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					   Hike @ Africa


                                 January to May 2008

JANUARY


BERMANZI HIKING TRAIL

This route is a paradise with luxury accommodation. For a hardened hiker a bed, water and firewood
is enough. But here we are spoiled with electricity, a fridge, warm showers and more.
Day 1: Sometimes we walked along forested paths with tree branches holding hands high above our
                                                          heads. Then it’s through a deep chasm –
                                                          Houtkapperskeur – with vertical cliffs on either
                                                          side. We followed the path literally down the
                                                          mountain, through a Pedi-village, past a
                                                          Swazi-kraal and drank fresh fountain water on
                                                          the Ribbok route. After a hefty climb up to
                                                          the plato, we sprawled out in an old khoi-
                                                          grotto and wait for the energy to return to our
                                                          legs. Everybody was awestruck as we came
                                                          round a corner and almost walked into the
                                                          2nd highest waterfall in Mpumalanga.
                                                          Day 2: The mist was slowly chased out of the
                                                          valley by the Baboon barks echoing through
                                                          it. Today we’ve got an easy trail with a lot of
                                                          time to stand around and take pictures, lie
                                                          around and even have a quick nap in the
                                                          shadow of a lonely tree. We followed the
route further over rocks and through hip high grass to the end of 2 days of fun…




OTTER HIKING TRAIL

Day 1: Several steppes lead us through a green, bushy little path to a Guano cave. From there it’s
only a fraction of a kilo until you reach the waterfall. When the packs come off, the jaws begin to
work – unspoken rule. The previous day everybody was still a bit shy, but today we are all chatting
like old friends.
Day 2: Today we’ve a slim 7,9km to cover,
but it’s got a bit of a kick. There’s no talk in
any of us as we try to save our breath
going up and down the mountain. Finally
we fall down on top of “Painter’s Cliff” with
a sigh and a grin. Cameras click and jaws
chew. The smell of bacon and eggs got all
the taste buds’ attention soon enough.
Oôrrr… and energy bar is just as good. In
the pool down by “Kleinbosriver” it’s lovely
to rinse most of the sweat of in the freezing
water. At Blue bay there’s some more
swimming, eating and just general laziness
with feet in the sand. From there it’s
another lazy walk to Scott-hut on the edge
of the forest by the Geelhoutriver mouth.

Day 3: We follow the route along the rocky seaside to the deep in ham of the Elandsbosriver-mouth.
It’s so quite and peaceful, here you can definitely just sit and muff. The sky is so blue, with only a few
specks of white. The hike to Lotteringsriver is a downwards zigzagging slope to below. It’s high tide
and with our backpacks in plastic we are ready to breech the “deep waters” and unpack at
Oakhurst-hut. No more swimming for today though, the sea is too rough. Fresh and scrubbed clean,
with a glass of wine in hand, we admire the beautiful sunset of pink, orange and gold.

                                                         Day 4: The longest leg (13,8km) of the route
                                                         takes us this way and that, up and down, past
                                                         rocky beaches and through bushy cliffs. There
                                                         are a lot of trickle streams and everywhere
                                                         you can hear the Loeries chatting. I don’t
                                                         even want to think about Bloukransriver… not
                                                         yet. With low tide it’s literally child’s play to
                                                         cross, but today we’re stuck with high tide.
                                                         The crossing becomes an adventure with
                                                         ropes, survival bags, swimming and rock
                                                         climbing.


                                                          Day 5: Its overcast and we seem unable to
                                                          pack up; we’re not in a hurry though. Today
                                                          we’ve got to climb the cliffs we were admiring
                                                          last night. The mist is just as unenthusiastic to
leave as we are. The walking is slow and we spend time at every water stream. Too soon we come
to “The Point “ – officially the end of the OTTER HIKING TRAIL.

Back home I look through all my photos, again and again and again. Someone sends me a sms:

       “Mightier than the thunder of the great waters,
          mightier than the breakers of the sea –
            The Lord on high is mighty .! – Ps. 93
MARCH


BLYDERIVIERSPOORT HIKING TRAIL

This place enchants me, which is why I'll always go back there.
Each person has that special place in their hearts. Maybe a place you remember from childhood
memories, or maybe where you met your first love, or a place where you went in the wild student
years. A place where you can get everything that your heart yearns for: Silence and the remoteness
that feed the soul. On Saturday morning March 15th, with a great excitement our group loaded our
backpacks to take on the Blyderiver canyon Hiking Trail. Heavy dark clouds filled the air and the
breeze was rather cold.
We stopped at Watervalspruit hut for breakfast and to catch our breath. This is an easy route with a
lot of time to stand around and take pictures. Lunch we stopped at a swimming hole with icy cold
                                                         water.
                                                         From there it is up a steep hill, down through
                                                         a valley, over vast grass fields and through a
                                                         river stream. By late afternoon we can
                                                         finally rid ourselves of our backpacks, dirty
                                                         clothes, sweat and grime. We drink coffee
                                                         and socialize till late… 8 o’clock is late on a
                                                         hike. Sometime during the night I woke up to
                                                         hear rain falling lightly on the roof. By
                                                         morning the forest is sparkling in the early
                                                         sun, and with wet shoes we sloshed on
                                                         through. With the air so crisp and fresh we
                                                         feel so refreshed - it’s almost like a mini-
                                                         break. And to quickly the break is over, 2
                                                         days in the Blyderiver canyon. Back home I
                                                         got a sms: I miss the weekend’s reminiscing
                                                         and pain!




APRIL


EZEMVELO

                                                         I was looking for somewhere new to hike
                                                         when I came across this route With my
                                                         arrival, I immediately felt at home, as if I’ve
                                                         hiked here before.

                                                         Day 1: We follow the route uphill and
                                                         downhill, through interesting rock formations
                                                         and over grass plains where various great
                                                         wild undisturbed feed. The overnight hut
                                                         banks a great dam encircled by high cliffs.
                                                         With our feet in the water we sit like gophers
                                                         and absorb the late afternoon sun.
                                                           Day 2: We start with a stiff uphill, over and
through rocks and along a very forested river edge. The going is slow, a bit of searching, and finally
on top of the plato. We see the massive grass plains before us where man and animal becomes part
of creation. Quiet and awestruck we admire the sheer massiveness of creation. The “wetlands” was
a different story, we tried to keep our feet dry but soon gave up and everybody finished with very
muddy shoes and legs.




MAY


FISHRIVER CANYON

Early May the rations gets measured, weighed and packed. Bulging backpacks and boots will
become our hiking partners when we take on the Fishriver canyon on the 7th. We are a group of 8
“friendly females” that’ll make the canyon our home for the next 6 days. Standing on the cliff and
looking down at the river far below makes my stomach feel like a washing machine and takes my
breath away. It’s as if it was the first time that I could behold the wonder of nature, and I know that
there is 6 carefree days waiting for us in the canyon below.




                                                            Die Jirre is my Skawagter wat my nou
                                                          innie dradewerke van Hy se proewe hou.
                                                               Hy sal my nooit verloor lat lê nie,
                                                              en al sal ek ok niks oor my hê nie,
                                                            al wei ek nou wyd warie wind begin:
                                                            Hy lei my na waterse tissenie dyne in;
                                                                 Hy sit my siel in my lyf in trig;
                                                                 Hy breek slang se hoepelrig!




During the day the going is slow, a lazy
walk, swim wherever we want to and
take a LOT of pictures. It becomes a
team appreciation of nature, to
experience beautiful things. The
reminiscing around the fire gets very
merry, we laughed at everything – it was
like the sea washing all our sorrows
away.
Sometimes we struggle with buckling legs
over heaps of loose sand and do boulder hopping and cross the river many times.




                                            We took a shortcut up and over the hills, and what we saw
                                            was just stunning. Deep inside the canyon everything is still
                                            clean and pure, just like the Creator intended…




MOZAMBIQUE

Hike @ Africa does exactly what it says:
hike in Africa. The Fish river canyon’s sand
is still between my toes when my passport
got stamped for Mozambique. This is a
very relaxed holiday beach walk route
which gives the hiker plenty of time to
swim, snorkel, take pictures or just lie on the
beach with you’re your toes in the sand.
The holiday consists of 7 carefree days on
Mozambique’s coast between Barra Reef
and Island Rock (Pandane).




It’s a luxury of walking barefoot, no heavy backpacks and excellent accommodation in Lodges and
everybody eat Crabs, Lobsters, Prawns and other things with lots of legs – Shrimp, Langoustines. This
hike is to get rid of all your heaped-up frustrations and to recharge your batteries with new energy.
Friday: Around 7h30, with boots & all we
jumped in a minivan in Sabie to take on the
long road. The Gatepost is quiet and with
short frequent stops we arrived by sunset at
Nhambavale Lodge near Chidenguele,
approximately 2 hours North of Xai-Xai.
Everybody hastens out of the van to click the
sunset through the palm trees. Dinner was a
feast of roast fish, chips and salad.

Saturday: Still almost dark when we scurried
outside with our baggage. Another few hours
ride to Jangamo Village where will we rattle
around in a 4x4 for the last 10km to Island
Rock. Unload, eat, swim and rest, climb a
dune, socialize, eat again and then to bed.



                                                Sunday: “Wake up, wake up – wake up in
                                                the morning…” After Breakfast and a photo
                                                session we began the hike. That's the real
                                                reason why we are here. It’s a lovely stroll on
                                                the beach to Pandane. There we stopped to
                                                take more pictures, some swim, some scuba
                                                and I sat with my toes in the cool sand. By
                                                Rosa’s Restaurant we stopped for
                                                refreshments, 2M and a light lunch. Jeff’s
                                                Palm Resort is a mecca for tourists and
                                                mosquitoes.




Monday: a Dark bank heavy clouds hang
in the air and sounds like a hungry
elephant’s insides. We picked up shells, ran
around barefoot through the surf and lie
around on the sand. Before 12h00 we
arrived at Coconut Bay and it was another
lazy afternoon of swim, snorkeling, relax
and laugh.
                                                       Tuesday: A big breakfast before a big walk…
                                                       18km. My toes were actually wriggling with
                                                       excitement and I feel like a racehorse waiting
                                                       for the gates to open. Today is going to be a
                                                       very nice day. At Casa Barry in Tofo we
                                                       overnight in 2-bed Casitas. Ooh, and that belly
                                                       button popping meals ……




Wednesday: We were on a picnic to Inhambane by taxi which definitely had more than one loose
screw, on a Dhow we sailed to Maxixe with Captain John. There was a light breeze in the sail and with
one oar we got there. We explored Inhambane by foot, bargain at the market for some souvenirs to
take back and we visited the museum. Then it’s back to Casa Barry and the Seafood pots of
Mozambique.


Thursday: Too soon and the last 7km of the hike was over and we were at Barra Reef Lodge. We are
going to stay over until Saturday morning. But it was a day full of fun, and our four legged friends
hiked along and tired them selves out catching sticks.


Friday: We woke up Mozambique style, which was slow and late – everything is slow and late on a
Friday. Some of the hikers was scuba divers and others swimmers. The air was almost bluer than blue
and the snow white smooth strands looks very inviting for a run and to pick up shells. Later the day we
wandered through the palm trees and over heaps of loose sand to Flamingo Bay. Wow…this is grand.
This was the last night to socialize, drink 2M and eat all kinds off “things”.

Saturday: In the early morning hours we’re on our way again on the road back to South Africa.


                    “It’s my Land, my own land, the land where I live”.
FUTURE HIKES …..2008

July

Mozambique

August

Whale
Mozambique

September

Fanie Botha
Amatolla
Mozambique

October

Blyderivierspoort
Mozambique


                          Interesting in any of these….

                               Please contact us:



                                   Mariè Botha
                            SA/Namibië Hiking Trails
                       e-mail: hike.africa@vodamail.co.za
                             Cell: +27 (0)84 775 8831
                             Fax: +27 (0)86 602 8945
                       Posbus 830, SABIE, 1260, Suid Afrika
                          Web: www.hikeafrica.co.za




                          Jill Salt, Sabie, Mpumalanga
                              Cell: +27 (0)74 103 5963
                           Tel/Fax: +27 (0)13 764 1597
                                 jill@hikeafrica.co.za
                                jillsalt@hotmail.co.uk
                          http://www.hikeafrica.co.za

				
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