Central Cederberg Circuit - 5 days

Hi,

we’re (2 Pax coming from germany and be in the cederberg area in mid dec 2019) looking for gps tracks for the 5 days Central Cederberg Circuit:

can somebody help?
it is advisable to do this track in a group of two or would you advise (in reason of safty) to do it in a bigger group?

HI there
The recommended maps shows the trails and they are not difficult to find. The weather in December will also be generally clear (and very warm). The landscape is open with very few trees so landmarks are visible for long distances and you should not have trouble navigating with maps only if you can’t get hold of GPS tracks.
There’s no recorded incidences of hikers attacked in this area, so if you are happy to face the (minor) natural hazards of weather, rough terrain and the off-chance of snakes you should be fine as 2 persons.

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Hi Willem,

thanks for answering.
we are experienced hikers but to be honest we would like to find some hikers to join.
what about water - are there water sources during the trails?
how much water did you carry while hiking the trail in 2018 (great report and photos)?

btw if we cant manage the 5 day trail which one day trails would you recommend (we would stay then in the clanwilliams area)

best
bjoern

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HI Bjoern
Perhaps post on the forum when you have some dates and see if you can find anyone to join?
As to your other questions, some of them are answered in our Introduction to the Cederberg article - reading it will give you a good general feel.
Water: there’s perennial streams always within reach; you might just have to walk a bit to get water. The higher streams and drips tend to dry out towards summer, but it will very much depend on how much rain falls in Oct / Nov (which varies a lot). We did the hike in autumn after the first rains so there was plenty of water (early May). You should be able to fill bottles at / near most camp sites; make provision to carry at least 2 to 3 liter with you.

Day trails
Near Sanddrif / Dwarsrivier: Day hike to the Wolfberg Arch via the Wolfberg Cracks (excellent hike!); and day hike to the Maltese Cross (you can also do the Sneeuberg summit if you feel up to it)
From Driehoek - day or overnight hike up to Tafelberg
From Algeria - multiple day hikes in the area; consult the map

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Hi Willam,

thanks for answering and your suggestions.
do you think Wolfberg Arch / Cracks will be possible via Die Trap from Sanddrif as a round trip!
Which direction (die trap-wolfberg arch-wolfberg crack or wolfberg crack-wolfberg arch-die trap) would you suggest (see map)

https://www.alltrails.com/explore/trail/south-africa/western-cape/wolfberg-arch

Very nice route! It will be a long hike however so I will recommend an early start. I will also do Wolfberg Cracks first up - more scenic going up through the Cracks. I also recommend going through the Narrow Crack; it is not to be missed but will take a bit of time.
Be sure to check in with the Sanddrif Office to find out whether the trail to the Arch is open yet. At the very least you can do the Wolfberg Cracks.
Another very good day hike in the area is to the Maltese Cross and up to the summit of Sneeuberg Peak.

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Thanks again - you’re a great help :slight_smile:

we will do some day (wolfberg, algeria, maltese…) and maybe overnight (tafelberg) hikes in this area in dec. As far as i understand from your link it will be possible to sleep in Welbedacht Cave on the way to tafelberg (therefore i dont have to carry a tent with me) - is that correct?

before going to the Cederberg area we’re visiting Hermanus, Franschhoeck. After Cederberg Area we’re going to cape town. Do you also have some recommendations for day hikes in this area’s?

HI Bjoern
There are certainly some hikes in the Franschoek and Hermanus areas; I unfortunately do not have detailed information on those - a google search may give some information. The mountains behind Hermanus has a number of hiking trails; one I have done is called the Drie Damme (“Three Dams”) trail and you should be able to find the trail head on google maps. When in Franschoek you can drive across to Stellenbosch and do the Panorama circuit hike in Jonkershoek - one of the best full-day hikes in the Western Cape.
Finally, around Cape Town there are many options; the classics are doing Lion’s Head (avoid the full-moon hike though; the trail gets completely overcrowded); a sunrise hike is wonderful. Also doing Platteklip Gorge on Table Mountain. Especially Table Mountain has some amazing day hikes but unfortunately some areas are not safe or the trail could be tricky - I recommend that you employ the services of a guide for one day; it will certainly be worth it (and happy to recommend a guide if need be).

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Hi @aida_lover , I am from Hermanus and could recommend some trails. For mountain hiking, have a look at Fernkloof Nature Reserve (very easy walking). You can also do the Cliff Path walk which is magnificent. Another option is to do a round loop of the cliff path and the mountain by walking through the town to link the two (up to 20km). Navigation is very very easy, the trails are available on most offline map apps like Maps.me or Avenza Maps. Cliff path schematic map is available via Google.

In Franshhoek there is also the Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve. Havent done it, but apparently hiking there is very nice (“Perdekop” is the highest peak, approx. 1500m ASL, I think its 15km but not sure). You should be able to find maps on Maps.me or Avenza Maps.

For Cederberg, please consider buying the Slingsby map series (Google or in SA bookshops). Also consider using Avenza Maps. You have to download the local topographical maps via the app (they are free), may be hard to understand if you dont know our map system. They have strange names in this format - “3319 AD Keerom” (location codes and then a name). You will have to locate the Cederberg area on a general map of SA inside the app, click on the required map and then download it for offline use. But the app works VERY well with a GPS phone. I tested the app against a Garmin Etrex, and I prefer using the app. It overlays your position on the official surveyed 1:50000 topographical maps of South Africa - you can take bearings, measure distances, record placemarks and routes, etc.

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Hi Willem, Hi Gerhard,

thanks for your help and recommendations. Now we’re able to plan our trip :slight_smile:

we’ll be in
Hermanus 03-07.12
Franschhoek 07-11.12
Clanwilliam 11-17.12
Cape Town 17-24.12

for Hermanus we’ll do some hikes at Fernkloof Nature Reserve and Cliff Path
for Franschhoek we booked permits for Rock Hopper Trail @ Bainskloof (Dec 9th) and Panorama circuit hike @ Jonkershoek (Dec 10th)
for Clanwilliam we’ll do day hikes to Wolfberg Arch / Cracks, Maltese Cross and summit of Sneeuberg, Algeria Waterfalls and maybe Driehoek hike up to Tafelberg,
and at least in Cape Town Table Mountain (maybe Indian Vester Route) and Lions Head

if somebody is in one of the area’s at this time and like to join a hike please mail…
or have a beer in hermanus or cape town :beer:

Have fun!! Will not be in Hermanus, but perhaps in Cape Town

Hi Bjoern
That looks like a great trip!
I won’t be hiking much this December as we have a new baby, but let me know when you guys will be in Cape Town; I might be able to join for the India Venster hike.

Cheers
Willem

Hi Willem,

Congratulations - Welcome to the world, little one!

would be great to hike table mountion via india vester together - possible dates for us would be 18, 19, 22, 23 of dec.

we should exchange mobile # via PN or FB messenger and make a short-term appointment when we’re arriving in cape town

best
bjoern + rica

Continuing the discussion from Central Cederberg Circuit - 5 days:

Good evening.We would like to do a 5 or 6 day trail in the Cederberg,that we have done a few years ago,but could not finish due to heavy smowfall.We would like to do the same route again,but I am not sure if the planned route still exists.We would like to start at Pakhuispass,to Heuningvlei,then to Boontjieskloof hut.From there to Crystal pools,Sleeppad hut,Wolfberg Arch and finally to Sanddrif.Can any one please assist with advice on the matter.

Great route and very much still there. Did it in July. What info do you need?

Thank you for the feedback.I want to compile an itinerary for my fellow hikers,and could not get hold of all the distances between each overnight hut,especially from Crystal Pools downward.Then,there might be some members in our group that are interested to do the hike,starting with us at Pakhuispass,but they want to walk to Algeria,instead of Sanddrif.Any suggestions on that will be welcomed as well.Thanks in advance.

The Slingsby “Hike the Cedeberg” map set is essential and will have all the answers you need for distances and optional exit point along that route: https://slingsby-maps.myshopify.com/products/hike-the-cederberg

Thank you very much for your assistance.It is much appreciated.I wiil get hold of the map a.s.a.p

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Good day,Arno

I received my Slingsby maps for the Cederberg trail,and as you sugested,they are very detailed,thanks.
Our hike is coming up in May.(Hope the lockdown is then revised,and repealed.)

One last question please,are the overnight huts still suitable to sleep in,or are they not really well maintained?

I would like to advise my group about carrying tents or not.Our last night we will be sleeping at the Wolfberg Arch,and tents will be needed there with the sudden cold weather,but then a more light weight tent can then be carried,if we can sleep in the overnight huts for the rest of the trail.What will you suggest?

The only hut in the Cederberg that I actually intentionally sleep in is the Sneeuberg Hut. The rest are all quite cramped and dirty. However, I arrived at Boontjieskloof Hut once in the rain and then it felt quite luxury, so I guess it’s all about context. If all you need is a dry spot to cook and sleep, they’re perfectly functional, but extremely basic.

Long story short, you should definitely carry a tent, both for the option of not sleeping in a hut, but also in case you get trapped in bad weather between huts.

Sleeping in a tent at Wolfberg Arch is a real treat! You’re going to love it.