Best time to visit South Africa

Rim of Africa in South Africa 2024

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

Best time: late September–mid-November

Rim of Africa
Rim of Africa
Rim of Africa
Rim of Africa
Rim of Africa

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.

Practical info

When is the best time to hike the Rim of Africa in South Africa?

The Rim of Africa Trail is best hiked between late September and mid-November after the rainy winter season. The route is neither too cold nor too hot, with temperatures ranging from just below freezing to 40 degrees. The route is adorned with thick wild fynbos and flowers during this season, making for a pleasurable hike. Show more

Where does the Rim of Africa Trail start and end?

The Rim of Africa Trail is a 650-kilometer route traversing along the Cape Mountains' peaks from the Cederberg to the Outeniqua Mountains in South Africa. The trail passes through private property areas, and permits are required from the landowners. Thru-hikers need guides, and it is impossible to hike the trail unguided. Show more

What is the difficulty level of the Rim of Africa Trail?

The Rim of Africa Trail is a challenging hike that requires a good level of physical fitness. Those who wish to thru-hike are accompanied by up to 12 people, with mountain guides who provide tents and expertise. Though the trail is not a race, preparation for food, and other essential supplies is essential. Hikers will traverse hilly paths lined with wild fynbos. Show more

Can I traverse the Rim of Africa Trail unguided?

Thru-hiking the Rim of Africa Trail unaccompanied is impossible as it cuts through numerous private properties. The permits required to hike on the trail are obtained over time from the different landowners. Highest numbers of twelve people and guides accompany thru-hikers. Guides may offer assistance with expertise and in providing tents, but hikers are responsible for their provisions. Show more

What kind of experiences can I expect when hiking the Rim of Africa Trail?

The Rim of Africa Trail offers a thrilling adventure of hiking the most beautiful landscapes in South Africa, and visitors will traverse rugged and hilly paths abundant with wild fynbos and lively flora. There are numerous private properties along the route to enjoy. Thru-hikers can take guided tours of classic Cederberg hikes, traverse Kouebokkeveld, explore off-path tracks around Agterwitzenberg, take on the mountain treks around Hex River Valley or hike the ridge-line on the Langeberg. Show more

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