Cederberg Central Circuit March '23

Hi everyone,

And first of all - thanks for all the info I already got from the forum so far! Now it’s time to get into the details :wink:

My wife and I are planning to do a hike in the Cederberg, basically following the Central Cederberg Circuit, as described here: Central Cederberg Circuit - Hiking South Africa We will start in mid-March 2023, and have a tent with us. Both have hiking experience, mostly in Europe, some in Nepal.

Now, there is a couple questions left, that we don’t find answers for:

  1. CapeNature states, that you need to be in a group of at least 3 to get your hiking permit. I get the general reasoning considering hiking safety; hiking as a pair seems to be not unusual, though. So - is a group of three people really necessary (mostly for formal, but also safety reasons), or is two people possible?
  2. The times provided in the link above seem relatively genereous (e.g. 6 hrs for 11 km). Do you think they are realistic, given path conditions etc.?
  3. We might have to cut the trip short by a night in the end and take a drive from Sanddrif back to Algeria, where our car will be parked. Is there any possibility to arrange a ride between the two campsites; or how high is the chance to hitch a ride by someone who is on their way back?

Thanks a lot!

  1. Many years ago I requested a special form stating that we are experience hikers and that we accept all responsibility for the risk of only has a group of 2. Not sure if it’s still allowed, but worth a try.
  2. You’ll probably average 3.5km/h, but the times indicated include lunch stops and coffee breaks, so might differ.
  3. If you try to hitch a ride on a weekend from Sanddrif to Algeria, you’ve got a very good chance. In the week there’s less traffic, but we’ve gotten lifts before, you’ll just wait longer.

Additional point: Make sure you start your day with enough water for the whole day (2-3L). The Cederberg is at it’s driest in March.

  1. That sounds like a reasonable compromise - on CapeNature I find no form like that. Did you organise it before, or did you just do that on arrival?
    2 and 3) Great, thanks for the info.

And thanks for the advice on water. Was already on our preparation list, but now it’s fat and underlined… :wink:

I phoned in to make a booking telephonically, at which point I said we will only be two and take full responsibility. That’s when they sent the form. Hope it still works…