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Best time to visit South Africa

Rim of Africa

Rugged hilly path coloured with wild fynbos is often said to be more than just a trail, as it passes through a range of private lands


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The Rim of Africa Trail stretches along the most epic landscapes of South-Western coastline of South Africa. Its scenic 650-kilometer route along the Cape Mountains' peaks wanders from the Cederberg in the north and continues eastwards before it ends at the Outeniqua Mountains. The route was initiated in 2009. Since then local mountain guides offer their services to those who crave for adventures. One of the reasons for why the Rim of Africa is not a usual trail is that it winds across a range of private property areas, and years have passed to obtain permissions from all landowners to cross these lands. This is also why it's impossible to traverse the route unguided.

The hikers take responsibility for food and preparations, whereas mountain guides provide them with tents and expertise. Although guided, a thru-hike along the Rim of Africa is not a piece of cake and requires a certain level of physical training. Groups of 12 hikers at most are moving at established pace, so you'll have to catch up with everybody. At the same time, it's not about any kind of race, but an adventure to be enjoyed together.

There are traverses offered every year, each lasting for about a week. You can join the group of 10-15 people on one of the traverses, or make the whole journey (thru-hike). Some of the experiences offered by guides are the classic Cederberg, a tough traverse to Kouebokkeveld, off-path track at Agterwitzenberg, mountains around Hex River Valley, ridge-line hike on the Langeberg.

Thru-hikes are available solely in spring months, roughly between mid-September and mid-November. Why spring? Because it's when the rainy winter season is over, and it's neither too cold nor too hot, in comparison to other seasons. Snow is still common in many areas along the trail in September, and temperatures might drop as low as below freezing, and at the same time be as hot as 40 degrees. A pleasant bonus from the season is thick wild fynbos and flowers that ornate the route and hinder the walkways here and there.

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