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Wupperthal Cederberg Hike

  • A slack-pack hike traversing the unspoilt Cederberg Mountains
  • Ancient rock formations, ochre-coloured valleys, mountains and canyons
  • Listen to local stories and embrace age-old cultures
  • Enjoy Live the Journey hospitality from our excellent support team
  • Wild camping and fire-side dining under a billion stars

Overview

Hiking through the dramatic rock formations of the Cederberg

For many Wupperthal is the known as the “Jewel of the Cederberg”. It is located in a very secluded area of the Cederberg Mountains in the Western Cape of South Africa. Its uniqueness lies in its remote location, exceptional scenery and impressive rock formations, as well as the culture and way of life of the small number of inhabitants. Here it literally feels like time has stood still for 100 years.

The Wupperthal Cederberg Hike is an exciting, new four-day slack-pack hiking route stretching over approximately 62 km in the beautiful Cederberg Mountains. This hike offers so much more than just walking the distance every day from point A to point B. Our trail offers an immersive experience set against a backdrop of ancient rock formations, ochre-coloured valleys, mountains and canyons, accompanied by like-minded souls.

True to the Live the Journey Way you will experience hearty hospitality from our support team, and despite the logistical challenge to set up camps in totally remote locations, you can expect a world-class effort from the team. Two of the overnight locations can only be reached by 4x4 vehicles, donkeys or on foot. 

The Wupperthal trail is a new initiative from Live the Journey and the Wupperthal community and special permission was granted to develop this hike. The trail will take you through one of the most unspoilt areas in South Africa.

Group size: 18 – 24 hikers

Duration: 4 nights, 5 days (of which day 1 is arrival and welcome and days 2 to 5 are spent hiking)

Distance: Approximately 60 to 65 km

Rating: The hiking surface differs from single track to gravel roads. Some surfaces are quite rocky and stability and good hiking shoes are required. Participants require a good level of fitness. Overly the hike is not difficult, but on day 3 there is a section (6 km) with a consistent incline, and another 300-meter section with a steep incline.

Itinerary

DAY 1: ARRIVAL & WELCOME

Arrival in Wupperthal from 16h00 onwards. It is recommended that you arrive no later than 17h30 for the first night of wild camping.

A very special site between beautiful rock formations was identified for the first night’s camp. Nobody has ever camped here – you will be the first. The shelter that the beautiful rocks provide, bordered by rooibos tea plantations, will give you a true wilderness feeling and is one of the reasons why the Wupperthal hike is so special.

The logistical team awaits your arrival and during the evening a short briefing will be given regarding the trail, safety measures and what to expect in the days to follow.

O/N Wild camping – (enjoy a hearty dinner and a glass of wine around the camp fire)

DAY 2: HIKING (DISTANCE APPROXIMATELY 20 KM)

Breakfast will be served during which you will have to pack your own lunch pack for the day. The first part of today you will walk on a dirt road that connects the communities of Kleinvlei, Brugkraal and Agterstevlei with Wupperthal. You will be amazed by the simplicity in which the local communities make their living. Traditional farming methods are still widely used. The road follows a perennial river that has water 365 days of the year, ensuring a beautiful environment and allowing you to take a dip in one of the pools of water whenever you feel like it.

After about 13 km you leave the road and walk on a footpath that the locals from the community of Eselbank use to get to the community of Kleinvlei. The rock formations in this area are strikingly beautiful - sure to leave you feeling awestruck in wonder. Before reaching the Eselbank community you will first walk to the Eselbank Waterfall - a hidden gem.

Tonight’s campsite is located in a very special place, called “Ereboog” (Honorary Arch) by the locals. You might think that this is one of the most beautiful wild camping spots in the entire world. This camp site can only be reached on foot and all the camping equipment will be carried in by donkeys and our logistical team for the last 800 meters.

O/N Wild camping – (enjoy a hearty dinner and a glass of wine around the camp fire)

DAY 3: HIKING (DISTANCE APPROXIMATELY 16 KM)

While we know that you would like to stay longer in this mesmerising place, you unfortunately have to continue your hike today. Enjoy breakfast and pack your lunch box.

For the first few kilometers of today’s hike, you will walk at quite a steep elevation. The view is particularly beautiful in an easterly direction. If you start hiking early, you will have a spectacular view of the sunrise in the distance. During the hike today you will walk past some old, dead cedar trees. It is an endemic tree to the Cederberg mountains. It is also the tree that the mountain range gets its name from.

Mid-afternoon you will descend into a gorge, where you will overnight in a bush camp near Martiensrus, one of Wupperthal's outpost communities. The logistics team will have the camp ready for your arrival.

O/N Wild camping – (enjoy a hearty dinner and a glass of wine around the camp fire)

DAY 4: HIKING (DISTANCE APPROXIMATELY 14 KM)

Enjoy breakfast, pack your lunch box and fill the water bottles for a more challenging day. While today’s distance is shorter, there are some very steep inclines waiting. The route mainly follows a trail that years ago was only used by 4x4 vehicles, but is currently out of use. The views are spectacular. On one side is the beautiful Cederberg mountains with its gorges and on the other side the vast plains of the Tankwa Karoo.

At the highest point of today’s hike, you will look down on the village of Wupperthal, as well as some of the other outposts, allowing you to track the entire route you hiked over the past two days. The vistas will stay with you forever.

Tonight, we camp at Vaalheuning. It is Wupperthal’s most remote outpost and can only be reached by 4x4 vehicles. You camp under a large oak tree, next to the beautiful stone houses of Vaalheuning. The seclusion of this remote outpost is really special.

O/N Wild camping – (enjoy a hearty dinner and a glass of wine around the camp fire)

DAY 5: HIKING (DISTANCE APPROXIMATELY 12 KM) & DEPARTURE

Enjoy breakfast this morning, no need to pack a lunch box for today. Today’s trail goes downhill in the direction of Wupperthal and you will enjoy breathtaking views along the entire 12-kilometer route.

We hike on a 4x4-track with truly breathtaking scenery. When we arrive in Wupperthal, we walk along the impressively beautiful "main street", lined with historic buildings. Repairs are still underway after a devastating fire caused major damage to these old buildings about three years ago.

Our hike ends at the churchyard where a special welcome awaits us.

(Breakfast included)

Total distance: between 60 and 65 km.

END OF TOUR

Dates

2022 Dates:

  • 10 April 2022 – 14 April 2022 (Fully Booked)
  • 27 – 31 August 2022
  • 06 – 10 September 2022

2023 Dates:

  • 09 – 13 April 2023
  • 18 - 22 April 2023
  • 27 – 31 August 2023
  • 05 – 09 September 2023

Rates

Tour prices valid from 01 January 2022 until 31 December 2022:

R 9,750 per person
R 650 per person community fee**

(**The community fee is a voluntary contribution. Please indicate when making your booking if you want to make this contribution.)


Rates for 2023 have not yet been released. Rates subject to increase.


Included

  • 4 nights wild camping with your own camping equipment
  • Local guides and support team
  • Transport and logistics of your luggage and camping gear to the overnight camps. Please make sure to pack light and use a soft duffle bag.
  • All meals included – from arrival dinner on day 1 to all breakfasts, lunch packs and scrumptious veld dinners with local specialties and spoils prepared by our local team on hiking days. Breakfast on day 5 will be included.
  • You will pack your own lunch pack every morning. We will provide a variety of breads, cold meats, and snacks for you to choose from. Remember to bring your own lunch box with.
  • Coffee and tea with meals and limited wine at dinner every evening is included.
  • Drinking and shower water.
  • Showers and chemical toilets, set up each evening.
  • Camping chair.
  • Wood.

Excluded

  • All pre and post travel to Wupperthal (travel by road, flights, accommodation).
  • Tent, mattress, sleeping bag and pillow.
  • Daypack and hiking gear like walking sticks, water bottles, lunch box container, first aid and blister kit, own medications.
  • Drinks not mentioned.
  • Comprehensive medical and travel insurance.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Indemnity & Emergency Evacuation Insurance:
Participants require a good level of fitness. An indemnity form must be completed by all hikers.

Hikers will also be required to have emergency medical evacuation insurance, whether through your medical aid or travel insurance, proof of which will be required prior to the hike.

Pack list
A complete list of what to pack will be provided after your booking is confirmed. Hikers must bring: a day pack; walking sticks (if preferred); hiking gear; lunch box; water bottles for carrying water during the day; plasters and blister-care goodies; all items of a personal nature; tent (pop-up recommended) and bedding.

Your hike includes coffee and tea with meals, and limited wine each night with dinner. Hikers may bring their own alcoholic beverages to enjoy, however keep in mind that space is limited as everything must be transported. You are also welcome to bring your own snacks to nibble on in between meals, but there is ample food to pack every morning. Remember to bring your own lunch box container.

Pre-travel arrangements and accommodation
Hikers are responsible for their own pre-hike travel and accommodation arrangements. You are however, welcome to ask our consultants to assist with and to handle arrangements on your behalf.