Roar Africa

Exploring Africa Since 1688

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Hiking in South Africa: The Rim of Africa trail

"You're invited to join a walk of no ordinary proportions!"

That's what arrived in my inbox today; An invitation to be part of the inaugural hike of stage 1 of the Rim of Africa - a trail years in the making and following the natural ridge lines of mountain ranges in the Western Cape from the Cederberg to the Outeniqua.

The vision of the Rim of Africa is to "create a mega-distance trail on a par with the best the world has to offer". It is the first long-distance hiking initiative in South Africa and is based on, amongst others, the the Appalachian and Continental Divide trails in the USA. The route is a result of three years of work and reconnaissance by Ivan Groenhof, Galeo Saintz and volunteers. It stretches from the northern Cedarberg of the Cape's west coast to the Outeniqua Mountains of the Garden Route. 650 km of paths following natural lines and linking the regions biodiversity treasures, national parks, tourism destinations and communities like beads on an African necklace. It is hoped that the Rim of Africa will connect to the Outeniqua Trail and Eden to Addo hike thereby creating an extended 1,200 km trail. I suspect I'm not the first to wonder if it can't be extended further through Hogsback, the Drakensberg and onwards up to Swaziland.

The primary value of the Rim of Africa is to create a platform for transformative experiences in nature that directly link cultural practices to conservation. The initiative has been endorsed by the following conservation partners: CapeNature, Mountain Club of South Africa, The Cape Leopard Trust, and Eden to Addo Corridor initiative.

This is certainly a walk of "no ordinary proportion" and you might not have the time or inclination to embark on something of this magnitude. However every bead on this necklace will be a memorable experience so if you are outdoors-inclined don't forget to explore beyond the beaten path. South Africa has incredible hiking opportunities. Better yet be part of the inaugural hike starting April 12th.

3/11/9 Postscript: Received from Ivan Groenhof: "Just a small but important change. We have moved the Inaugural Rim of Africa Mountain Passage forward due to “Voting Day” so the new date is the 23rd April to the 3rd May covering the entire Cederberg and the first 3rd of the rouged Skurfteberg. "

For more information go to: Rim of Africa

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