- 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
Hiking through the dramatic rock formations of the Cederberg
For many Wupperthal is the known as the “Jewel of the Cederberg” and is 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 Wupperthal66 Hike is an exciting, new four-day slack-pack hiking route stretching over approximately 66 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.
The Wupperthal trail is a new initiative from Live the Journey and the Wupperthal community and special permission was granted to develop this hike. Launched in 2022, this hike is truly unique for this part of the world and is growing from strength to strength. 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 66 km
Rating and Fitness: This multi-day hike takes place in rugged mountain areas and can be strenuous and challenging. The hiking surface differs from single track to gravel roads. Some surfaces are quite rocky and stability and good hiking shoes are required. Hikers need to be healthy and hiking fit and be able to manoeuvre steep inclines/descents and rocky terrain for the duration of the hike. Participants require a good level of fitness. Overly the hike is not difficult, buton one of the days of the Wupperthal66/100 there is a section (6 km) with a consistent incline, and another 300-meter section with a steep incline.
DAY 1: ARRIVAL & WELCOME
Arrival at Drakie Camp from 15h00 (please do not arrive before this time). We also ask that you arrive no later than 17h00 for the first night of wild camping. A very special site between beautiful rock formations was identified for the first night’s camp, guarded by a dragon, after which the camp was named.
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. Enjoy a hearty dinner and a glass of wine around the campfire.
O/N Drakie Camp - Wild camping
DAY 2: HIKING (DISTANCE APPROXIMATELY 18 KM)
Breakfast will be served. You will also have the opportunity to pack your own lunch with food provided. The first part of today you will walk on a small 2-track path and pass through Speelkloof until you reach the Grashoek community. Continue on the 2-track path 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 11km you leave the jeep track 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. Your camp this evening is close to Eselbank in a beautiful area. Enjoy a hearty dinner and a glass of wine around the campfire.
O/N Waterfall Camp - Wild camping
DAY 3: HIKING (DISTANCE APPROXIMATELY 20 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.
The morning starts off with a walk to the Eselbank Waterfall - a hidden gem, passing through lush fynbos. You then set off through the Protea trees on a sandy track, passing some houses on your way. The sand eventually gives way to a gravel road passing through the Eselbank community and onto a rocky plateau. You make your way over and through beautiful rock formations until you reach a very special place, called “Ereboog” (Honorary Arch) by the locals. You might think that this is one of the most beautiful spots in the world.
After spending some time at ‘Ereboog’, you make your way back down the rocky formations and continue walking between fynbos and protea fields. It is quite flat, but beautiful nature. At about midday, you will reach one of the outposts, Bo Martiensrus. From there you will walk down the mountain on a winding single track. This single track is still used daily by the locals to get up and down the mountain. It is enriching to see and experience the extent to which the locals must go to get out of the valley. Arriving at the bottom, you will meet a couple that has lived and cultivated this hidden and remote valley like their ancestors before them.
The last 7km of today you will follow a meandering stream till you get to the beautiful Akkeba camp next to the stream. The hearty hospitality of the locals is what makes this camp site truly special. Locally made Rooibostee Ginger beer is a special treat – something that is served nowhere else.
The logistics team will have the camp ready for your arrival. Enjoy a hearty dinner and a glass of wine around the campfire.
O/N Akkeba Camp - Wild camping
DAY 4: HIKING (DISTANCE APPROXIMATELY 15 KM)
Enjoy breakfast, pack your lunch box and fill the water bottles for a more challenging day. While today’s distance is only 15.5 km, there are some steep but short inclines waiting. The last 5 km is very easy walking with beautiful views. 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. Enjoy a hearty dinner and a glass of wine around the campfire.
O/N Wild camping
DAY 5: HIKING (DISTANCE APPROXIMATELY 12.5 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. Today’s hike can be broken up into three sections: First stretch of 3km is flat; second stretch is 6km downhill with sections of loose rocks; third stretch of 3km is also flat.
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.
The end of this hike at the historic church is best described by a previous hiker, Gerrit Dekker: “Reaching the end of this hike at the church with the beautiful sounds of the local brass band was an even greater and more sacred experience than ending the camino in Santiago, Spain. It was an unexpected pilgrimage”.
(Breakfast, and a special farewell finger lunch included)
Total distance: between 60 and 66 km.
END OF TOUR
- 13 – 17 April 2024
- 23 - 27 August 2024
- 03 - 07 September 2024 (Fully Booked)
- 12 - 16 September 2024 (Fully Booked)
Tour prices valid from 01 January 2024 until 31 December 2024:
Standard Package – includes hike cost & you bring your own camping equipment.
Sharing - per person: R11,870
Premium Package – includes hike cost, Dome tent rental (2.4 x 2.4) fold-up mattress, Live the Journey puts up and takes down your tent and gift pack filled with local products.
Sharing - per person: R13,950
Platinum Package – includes hike cost, Dome tent rental (2.4 x 2.4), fold-up mattress, Live the Journey puts up and takes down your tent, gift pack filled with local products, and Wupperthal66 coffee table book (1 per couple).
Sharing - per person: R14,700
Voluntary Community fee – R380 per person:
Although it is a voluntary fee, we would like to urge you to make this contribution. You will see once you are on the hike what we are trying to achieve with the hike, but also the fee.
At present the Wupperthal66 Hike is acting as the custodian of, and supporting two cultural traditions of the Wupperthal community, the ‘Riel’ dancers and the brass band. Both are focused on upholding traditions from the past and the funds the Wupperthal66 Hike collects help to keep these two traditions alive, especially under the youth of the area.
The communities in and around Wupperthal struggle and the funds we invest in these projects does go a long way. You will see once you are on the hike what we are trying to achieve with the hike, but also the fee.
If you feel you want to contribute in any way after you have done the hike, you are welcome to do so, and it doesn’t have to be the amount specified above. It can be less or more - any contribution helps.
- 4 nights’ wild camping with your own, or Live the Journey 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.
- All pre and post travel to Wupperthal (travel by road, flights, accommodation).
- Tent, mattress, sleeping bag and pillow (standard package).
- Hiking cutlery and crockery set.
- 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.
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.
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; hiking cutlery and crockery set (plate, knife, fork, teaspoon, tablespoon, porridge bowl, mug), 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.
Special Dietary Requirements
Our guide team will walk the extra mile to cater for your needs. However, given the conditions under which this tour/hike is operated it is not possible to cater for all dietary requirements. Also, variation and availability of supplies in the area is very limited. We can cater for vegetarians, pescatarians, and gluten free diets. If you do not fall within these categories, we would like to recommend that you discuss your requirements with us and where possible, make provision for your own meal requirements. We can discuss a possible discount off your hike price in these cases.
"My first multi-day hike and what a privilege to be part of the first group on this beautiful spring hike! Thank you to all at Live the Journey for making this an unforgettable Life Journey."
Susan van Rensburg
"Ek het nie woorde om te beskryf hoe vervuld ek voel na hierdie stap nie. Die mense saam met wie ek gestap het, die mense wat ons pad gekruis het, is geaard. Elke liewe vriendelike wuif, glimlag het my laat besef ons bly net in die beste land. Dankie vir Jurgens en Karien en jul span wat hierdie wonderlike ervaring vir ons waar en moontlik gemaak het. Ek is ’n ander mens wat weer my rol kan vervul by die huis, want ek is ook gevoed en vol om weer krag te hê om daardie rol te vervul."
"Thank you very much for your love to every detail, your personal input, your amazing preparation, and stunning team. This was indeed SO much more than average. Keep it up - I’ll be back!"
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