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Hiking in Cape Town and the rest of South Africa, one summit at a time!

Dassie Biltong Challenge

Morning Fellow Champions of the World!

The Trailblazer – Adventure Hiking crew are inviting you to join us for The Inaugural ‘Dassie Biltong Challenge’ hike on Saturday 22 October 2011.

Please pass on our invitation to all friends and family that you feel will be interested in participating.

 

 

Details are:

Date: 22 October 2011 (Saturday)
Start time: 7am
Place: The National Parks ‘Wash Houses’ guest lodge at the top of Oranjezicht in the City Bowl
Duration of hike: 7 hours
Route: 3 Peaks in the City Bowl (Up and over Devils Pip, across onto the Table, over the Big Head and finish in Clifton at La Med)
Walking Entry Fee: R60 Donation to www.amybiehl.org

We will be trying to pull together a stay over at the Wash houses the night before and have a little end of World Cup celebration and braai. Please just ask for details and let me know if you are interested in staying over with us. Grant Stott on 083 3900148

We will post more details on the website and facebook and keep you all up to date!

Look forward to seeing you all there.

Kind regards
Grant “Dassie” Stott

Contact :

Grant Stott on 083 3900148 or

Grant Notten on 0825539457

 

See route map

Cape Town Hikes – Hike from Scarborough to Cape Point

Hike from Scarborough to Cape Point, Cape Town. This hike is along one of the most beautiful routes in Cape Town. Taking approximately 7 hours, with spectacular views, going via the beaches and mountains, it’s a lovely hike for the serious adventurer.

View Gallery Here

Watch Video Below

 

 

Cape Town Hikes – Redhill Nature Reserve

This is a fantastic hike that starts at Scarborough Conservation Village. It is a very remote area with beautiful views. It takes you past Kleinplaas Dam and then one heads in the direction of Slangkop and ends up above Blue Water Estate – Imhof Gift.

View Gallery of the Redhill Hike – 7 August 2011

Watch Video Below

 

Young Trailblazer Hike – The Hoek to the Valley of the Monkeys – Noordhoek Beach

The 1st Young Trailblazer Hike took place on the 13 August 2011. The little adventurers set out on a path from The Hoek to the Valley of the Monkeys via Mermaid Rock and along the Secret Smugglers, which entailed a hike down pirate board walk, up sliding dunes, over sinking sand, through croc infested lagoon, snack time at Mermaid Rock, Shark wrestling at Captain Hoeks corner, treasure hunting up smugglers way, play time at Valley of the Moneys, elf and fairy spotting in the enchanted milk wood forest.

The Young Trailblazer Pirates had great fun as they found treasures all along the path that Captain Hoek had left behind. Unfortunately, by the time they got to Mermaid’s Rock, the mermaid had already gone for a swim, just missing the eager little adventurers. They got to their destination at the Valley of the Monkeys and had a blast! The Hike was a great success, everyone who took part enjoyed the day thoroughly. With the 1st hike being such a success, everyone is looking forward to the next one, which is not too far away!

View pictures from the hike in our Gallery

View the video below

Hiking Southern Africa – Adventure Hiking Ideas Pt. 3

Hiking in Southern Africa is incredible. There are an amazing amount of routes that one can spend one’s life exploring and still be discovering new wonders. Below are some inspirational ideas for you to start planning your next adventure trips. Get in touch with Trailblazer if you require any help with your plans. This is part 3 of the list.

 

 

Lower Zambezi Nat. Park

It is the Zambezi River to the south and the undulating range of hills forming the Zambezi escarpment to the north that give this National Park its incredible diversity of fauna and flora. Professional guides and scouts are used to locate and explain the many fascinating trails available in the area and one is well rewarded with beautiful plains, natural pools and cascading waterfalls.

Zomba Plateau

Zomba is a spectacular table-top mountain and it is the southern section of this mountain that draws the visitors. Zomba Plateau has a slight depression in the middle and is covered in forest – this is one of Malawi’s Forest Reserves - and the slopes are adorned with an abundance of wild flowers. Hiking trails are easily accessible, suiting a wide range of energy levels.

Usambara & Pare Mountains

Both the Usambara and Pare Mountains are superb for hiking and birdwatching. The Southern Pare Mountains take you along narrow foot paths that connect the mountains with african villages and give one a glimpse into the traditional way of life. The Usambaras are approximately 110 kilometres long and can be as demanding or relaxing as you wish.


Hiking Southern Africa – Adventure Hiking Ideas Pt. 2

Hiking in Southern Africa is incredible. There are an amazing amount of routes that one can spend one’s life exploring and still be discovering new wonders. Below are some inspirational ideas for you to start planning your next adventure trips. Get in touch with Trailblazer if you require any help with your plans. This is part 2 of the list.

 

 

Malolotja Nature Reserve

 

Malolotja Nature Reserve is situated in the heart of Swaziland‘s highlands and is the last unspoilt mountain wilderness left in Swaziland. Hiking in the Malolotja Nature Reserve is reserved for experienced hikers. There are various routes available most of which are fairly steep and suited to a max of 8 people. There are numerous river crossings with slippery rocks and extreme care must be taken. The routes are well sign posted but a knowledge of map reading is advisable. Camping areas are available but all equipment and food must be carried with you.

Lebombo Hiking Trail

 

Located in Parque Nacional do Limpopo, adjacent to Kruger National Park, the Lebombo Hiking Trail offers an unforgettable hiking adventure through a pristine wilderness area and trailists have every prospect of encountering a wide array of wildlife. Hiking in groups of no more than eight people, trails are led by an experienced guide and are fully catered and portered so you need carry only a day-pack.

Tuli Block

 

The far eastern corner of Botswana, historically known as the Tuli Block, is a vast expanse of wilderness punctured by huge peculiar-looking Baobab trees. Lying adjacent to Mashatu, a refuge for the largest Elephant population on privately-owned land, visitors are afforded the opportunity to go on guided foot safaris. The winter months (April – August) are the best time to visit Botswana.

Adventure Hiking Ideas – Part 3 here

Hiking Southern Africa – Adventure Hiking Ideas Pt. 1

Hiking in Southern Africa is incredible. There are an amazing amount of routes that one can spend one’s life exploring and still be discovering new wonders. Below are some inspirational ideas for you to start planning your next adventure trips. Get in touch with Trailblazer if you require any help with your plans. This is part 1 of the list.

 

 

Naukluft Trail

 

The Naukluft Hiking Trail is situated in the South of Namibia in the easternmost portion of the Namib Naukluft Park. 120 kms long, the Naukluft Trail takes eight days to complete and invites you to experience one of the oldest deserts in the world. Open from March to October due to climatic conditions, groups must be minimum of three and maximum of 12 people. Camping facilities and water are available at stop-over points but all food and equipment must be carried.

Tsitsikamma Nat. Park

 

The Tsitsikamma Hiking trail, situated in the mountains of the coastal region of the Eastern Cape, is a must for any serious hiker. Traversing through some of South Africa’s most beautiful coastal scenery, the Cape Fynbos when in bloom tops it all. There are 2, 3, 4 and 5 day options available for the trail with luggage transportation if required. The hike starts at Nature’s Valley and ends at the Storms River Mouth.

Drakensberg-Mafadi Peak

 

The highest mountain in South Africa, the summit of the Mafadi is shared with Lesotho in the Central Region of the Drakensberg. This trail requires high fitness levels with water properly planned, since several parts of the route follow ridges. The high altitude (2500m-3500m) should be taken into consideration when coming from sea level.

Adventure Hiking Ideas – Part 2 here

Hiking Tips – Your Hiking Plan

YOUR HIKING PLAN

1. BE PREPARED WITH KNOWLEDGE & GEAR

Become self reliant by learning about the terrain, conditions, local weather and your equipment before you start (e.g. A map and compass can only get you home if you know how to use it, cellphones often do not work in the mountains as the land mass can block signals). Even if you are headed out for just an hour, an injury, severe weather or a wrong turn could become life threatening. Do not assume that you will be rescued; know how to rescue yourself. Have emergency equipment on hand (e.g. pocket knife, maps, compass, fl ashlight, First-Aid kit, rain or wind gear, or anything to start a fi re).

2. KNOW WHERE YOU ARE GOING AND WHAT KIND OF TERRAIN YOU WILL BE HIKING ON

Before you set out, it’s always advisable to consult a topographic map so you’ll be familiar with the type of terrain you’ll encounter. You can fi nd these maps in local outdoor stores, bookstores and online. Learn how to use a map and compass. Call ahead, read a guidebook and study maps of the area you’ll be hiking to become familiar with trails, roads, rivers, streams, mountains and other features.

Use these as reference points as you hike:

Know the time of sunset, the tide changes (especially when hiking in coastal / Marine Protected Areas) and weather prediction for the duration of the hike before you set out. Take steps to make sure you don’t become lost. Bring a trail map when possible CapeNature Nature Reserve Hiking Trials include a huge variety of terrain, from windswept mountainous areas, sheer cliff s and low-lying interval and fynbos covered terrain. The terrain can be very steep and rocky, so plan accordingly, as short sections of trail can take much longer than anticipated. Hikers can encounter snakes and other potential hazards particular to these areas.

3. LEAVE YOUR HIKING PLANS FOR EMERGENCY RESCUE PURPOSES

Once you’ve determined your route, leave your Hiking Plan with family or friends - then make sure you do not deviate from this Hiking Plan. Inform family members or friends where you intend going, the trails you are hiking, the route you intend following, when you will be departing from base camp, how long the anticipated hiking trail will take to complete (generally 3km/hr) when you will return and your emergency plans.

4. NEVER HIKE ALONE AND STAY TOGETHER

It is safer to hike in groups of two, three or more. When you start the hiking trail as a group, hike as a group and end as a group. Pace your hike to the slowest person. It takes many more hours for a Search and Rescue Team to locate individuals as opposed to locating the group. The costs involved for Search and Rescue operations are also exorbitant.

5. CAMP ONLY AT DESIGNATED CAMP SITES

6. NEVER DEVIATE FROM YOUR ORIGINALLY INTENDED ROUTE, UNLESS IN AN EMERGENCY

What you shouldn’t change: your route. If you do not return on schedule and the person you left your Hiking Plan with contacts authorities, search and rescue efforts will start where it is presumed you are. If you have taken another route, this can substantially delay help reaching you. Think through your situation and use your best judgment. Never change your route unless it is an emergency.

7. KNOW WHEN TO TURN BACK

Weather conditions are known to change quickly, especially at higher elevations, even if the weather is good at lower altitudes, the higher you go, the colder, windier and wetter the weather is likely to be. Late spring storms can mean snow on mountain ranges. When the weather changes suddenly, you need to respect nature’s unpredictability and head for home. Fatigue and unexpected conditions can also aff ect your hike. The fitness levels of and medical condition of individual group members should always be considered and the group’s pace should be set by the slowest hiker. If that hiker is unable to continue, keep your group together.

Never be afraid to turn back.

Running out of time: Sunset and darkness can come quicker than expected, especially in the autumn and winter months. Respect the messages and signals nature and your body sends—it’s an experienced and intelligent hiker who can judge when to continue and when it is better to turn back and return another day.

8. KNOW HOW TO DEAL WITH CERTAIN EMERGENCY SITUATIONS:

Even if you are headed out for just an hour, an injury, severe weather or a wrong turn could become life threatening.

Do not assume that you will be rescued; KNOW HOW TO RESCUE YOURSELF.

Hiking Tips – Personal Safety Responsibilities

In an effort to educate hikers on the inherent risks of hiking and how they can become better prepared before beginning any hike, these HIKER SAFETY GUIDELINES have been prepared to improve personal safety.

These guidelines include a set of principles that all hikers can look to before they embark on the trail, created to help hikers become more aware of their responsibility for their own safety every time they are on a hike.

BEING PREPARED is the key to having a safe and enjoyable experience.

Here you’ll find help in planning ahead—from the equipment you’ll need and weather to be prepared for, based on the seasons, to what to do if you’re lost or have an encounter with wildlife or any other emergency situation which may arise and threaten your personal safety.

YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY, SO BE PREPARED!

BEFORE YOU HEAD OUT ON A HIKING TRAIL:

SIGN A HIKING REGISTER, a SELF-ISSUING PERMIT or whatever form available to indicate your presence on the hiking trail.

MAKE SURE YOU PARK ONLY ON PAVED SURFACES. Parking on unpaved surfaces slowly erodes preserve land, generates dust and poses a fi re risk to grasses and small brush from hot engine parts. Make sure someone knows where you’ll be hiking and when you expect to return.

BEFORE LEAVING YOUR CAR, make sure your valuables are stored out of sight. The best solution is to leave your valuables such as a wallet or purse at home or secure them in the trunk before arriving at the trailhead. Lock your car and take your keys with you (do not try to hide keys under a tire or car bumper)

REPORT SUSPICIOUS BEHAVIOUR to Nature Reserve Field Rangers or Management or to Crime Stop.

HAVE A HIKING PLAN

Hopefully these tips could help make your adventure thoroughly enjoyable!

Cape Town Hikes – Slangkop

The Slangkop Hoerikwaggo trail includes accommodation at the exclusive Slangkop tented camps in Kommetjie and this trail includes the Silvermine dam, Chapman’s Peak and Red Hill (33km).

A 2-day hike from Red Hill to Silvermine Dam along a leg of the famous Hoerikwaggo Trail. This Hoerikwaggo Trial has a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 12 hikers at a time. You will overnight at the Slangkop Tented Camps in the heart of Kommetjie. After a night at the Slangkop Tented Camps you can enjoy a fantastic beach walk along Noordhoek Beach!

This is another section of the Nottdog Challenge, aside from the overnight. The Nottdog Challenge is all in one day

Dassie Biltong Challenge

Morning Fellow Champions of the World!

The Trailblazer – Adventure Hiking crew are inviting you to join us for The Inaugural ‘Dassie Biltong Challenge’ hike on Saturday 22 October 2011.

Please pass on our invitation to all friends and family that you feel will be interested in participating.

 

 

Details are:

Date: 22 October 2011 (Saturday)
Start time: 7am
Place: The National Parks ‘Wash Houses’ guest lodge at the top of Oranjezicht in the City Bowl
Duration of hike: 7 hours
Route: 3 Peaks in the City Bowl (Up and over Devils Pip, across onto the Table, over the Big Head and finish in Clifton at La Med)
Walking Entry Fee: R60 Donation to www.amybiehl.org

We will be trying to pull together a stay over at the Wash houses the night before and have a little end of World Cup celebration and braai. Please just ask for details and let me know if you are interested in staying over with us. Grant Stott on 083 3900148

We will post more details on the website and facebook and keep you all up to date!

Look forward to seeing you all there.

Kind regards
Grant “Dassie” Stott

Contact :

Grant Stott on 083 3900148 or

Grant Notten on 0825539457

 

See route map

Cape Town Hikes – Hike from Scarborough to Cape Point

Hike from Scarborough to Cape Point, Cape Town. This hike is along one of the most beautiful routes in Cape Town. Taking approximately 7 hours, with spectacular views, going via the beaches and mountains, it’s a lovely hike for the serious adventurer.

View Gallery Here

Watch Video Below

 

 

Cape Town Hikes – Redhill Nature Reserve

This is a fantastic hike that starts at Scarborough Conservation Village. It is a very remote area with beautiful views. It takes you past Kleinplaas Dam and then one heads in the direction of Slangkop and ends up above Blue Water Estate – Imhof Gift.

View Gallery of the Redhill Hike – 7 August 2011

Watch Video Below

 

Young Trailblazer Hike – The Hoek to the Valley of the Monkeys – Noordhoek Beach

The 1st Young Trailblazer Hike took place on the 13 August 2011. The little adventurers set out on a path from The Hoek to the Valley of the Monkeys via Mermaid Rock and along the Secret Smugglers, which entailed a hike down pirate board walk, up sliding dunes, over sinking sand, through croc infested lagoon, snack time at Mermaid Rock, Shark wrestling at Captain Hoeks corner, treasure hunting up smugglers way, play time at Valley of the Moneys, elf and fairy spotting in the enchanted milk wood forest.

The Young Trailblazer Pirates had great fun as they found treasures all along the path that Captain Hoek had left behind. Unfortunately, by the time they got to Mermaid’s Rock, the mermaid had already gone for a swim, just missing the eager little adventurers. They got to their destination at the Valley of the Monkeys and had a blast! The Hike was a great success, everyone who took part enjoyed the day thoroughly. With the 1st hike being such a success, everyone is looking forward to the next one, which is not too far away!

View pictures from the hike in our Gallery

View the video below

Hiking Southern Africa – Adventure Hiking Ideas Pt. 3

Hiking in Southern Africa is incredible. There are an amazing amount of routes that one can spend one’s life exploring and still be discovering new wonders. Below are some inspirational ideas for you to start planning your next adventure trips. Get in touch with Trailblazer if you require any help with your plans. This is part 3 of the list.

 

 

Lower Zambezi Nat. Park

It is the Zambezi River to the south and the undulating range of hills forming the Zambezi escarpment to the north that give this National Park its incredible diversity of fauna and flora. Professional guides and scouts are used to locate and explain the many fascinating trails available in the area and one is well rewarded with beautiful plains, natural pools and cascading waterfalls.

Zomba Plateau

Zomba is a spectacular table-top mountain and it is the southern section of this mountain that draws the visitors. Zomba Plateau has a slight depression in the middle and is covered in forest – this is one of Malawi’s Forest Reserves - and the slopes are adorned with an abundance of wild flowers. Hiking trails are easily accessible, suiting a wide range of energy levels.

Usambara & Pare Mountains

Both the Usambara and Pare Mountains are superb for hiking and birdwatching. The Southern Pare Mountains take you along narrow foot paths that connect the mountains with african villages and give one a glimpse into the traditional way of life. The Usambaras are approximately 110 kilometres long and can be as demanding or relaxing as you wish.


Hiking Southern Africa – Adventure Hiking Ideas Pt. 2

Hiking in Southern Africa is incredible. There are an amazing amount of routes that one can spend one’s life exploring and still be discovering new wonders. Below are some inspirational ideas for you to start planning your next adventure trips. Get in touch with Trailblazer if you require any help with your plans. This is part 2 of the list.

 

 

Malolotja Nature Reserve

 

Malolotja Nature Reserve is situated in the heart of Swaziland‘s highlands and is the last unspoilt mountain wilderness left in Swaziland. Hiking in the Malolotja Nature Reserve is reserved for experienced hikers. There are various routes available most of which are fairly steep and suited to a max of 8 people. There are numerous river crossings with slippery rocks and extreme care must be taken. The routes are well sign posted but a knowledge of map reading is advisable. Camping areas are available but all equipment and food must be carried with you.

Lebombo Hiking Trail

 

Located in Parque Nacional do Limpopo, adjacent to Kruger National Park, the Lebombo Hiking Trail offers an unforgettable hiking adventure through a pristine wilderness area and trailists have every prospect of encountering a wide array of wildlife. Hiking in groups of no more than eight people, trails are led by an experienced guide and are fully catered and portered so you need carry only a day-pack.

Tuli Block

 

The far eastern corner of Botswana, historically known as the Tuli Block, is a vast expanse of wilderness punctured by huge peculiar-looking Baobab trees. Lying adjacent to Mashatu, a refuge for the largest Elephant population on privately-owned land, visitors are afforded the opportunity to go on guided foot safaris. The winter months (April – August) are the best time to visit Botswana.

Adventure Hiking Ideas – Part 3 here

Hiking Southern Africa – Adventure Hiking Ideas Pt. 1

Hiking in Southern Africa is incredible. There are an amazing amount of routes that one can spend one’s life exploring and still be discovering new wonders. Below are some inspirational ideas for you to start planning your next adventure trips. Get in touch with Trailblazer if you require any help with your plans. This is part 1 of the list.

 

 

Naukluft Trail

 

The Naukluft Hiking Trail is situated in the South of Namibia in the easternmost portion of the Namib Naukluft Park. 120 kms long, the Naukluft Trail takes eight days to complete and invites you to experience one of the oldest deserts in the world. Open from March to October due to climatic conditions, groups must be minimum of three and maximum of 12 people. Camping facilities and water are available at stop-over points but all food and equipment must be carried.

Tsitsikamma Nat. Park

 

The Tsitsikamma Hiking trail, situated in the mountains of the coastal region of the Eastern Cape, is a must for any serious hiker. Traversing through some of South Africa’s most beautiful coastal scenery, the Cape Fynbos when in bloom tops it all. There are 2, 3, 4 and 5 day options available for the trail with luggage transportation if required. The hike starts at Nature’s Valley and ends at the Storms River Mouth.

Drakensberg-Mafadi Peak

 

The highest mountain in South Africa, the summit of the Mafadi is shared with Lesotho in the Central Region of the Drakensberg. This trail requires high fitness levels with water properly planned, since several parts of the route follow ridges. The high altitude (2500m-3500m) should be taken into consideration when coming from sea level.

Adventure Hiking Ideas – Part 2 here

Hiking Tips – Your Hiking Plan

YOUR HIKING PLAN

1. BE PREPARED WITH KNOWLEDGE & GEAR

Become self reliant by learning about the terrain, conditions, local weather and your equipment before you start (e.g. A map and compass can only get you home if you know how to use it, cellphones often do not work in the mountains as the land mass can block signals). Even if you are headed out for just an hour, an injury, severe weather or a wrong turn could become life threatening. Do not assume that you will be rescued; know how to rescue yourself. Have emergency equipment on hand (e.g. pocket knife, maps, compass, fl ashlight, First-Aid kit, rain or wind gear, or anything to start a fi re).

2. KNOW WHERE YOU ARE GOING AND WHAT KIND OF TERRAIN YOU WILL BE HIKING ON

Before you set out, it’s always advisable to consult a topographic map so you’ll be familiar with the type of terrain you’ll encounter. You can fi nd these maps in local outdoor stores, bookstores and online. Learn how to use a map and compass. Call ahead, read a guidebook and study maps of the area you’ll be hiking to become familiar with trails, roads, rivers, streams, mountains and other features.

Use these as reference points as you hike:

Know the time of sunset, the tide changes (especially when hiking in coastal / Marine Protected Areas) and weather prediction for the duration of the hike before you set out. Take steps to make sure you don’t become lost. Bring a trail map when possible CapeNature Nature Reserve Hiking Trials include a huge variety of terrain, from windswept mountainous areas, sheer cliff s and low-lying interval and fynbos covered terrain. The terrain can be very steep and rocky, so plan accordingly, as short sections of trail can take much longer than anticipated. Hikers can encounter snakes and other potential hazards particular to these areas.

3. LEAVE YOUR HIKING PLANS FOR EMERGENCY RESCUE PURPOSES

Once you’ve determined your route, leave your Hiking Plan with family or friends - then make sure you do not deviate from this Hiking Plan. Inform family members or friends where you intend going, the trails you are hiking, the route you intend following, when you will be departing from base camp, how long the anticipated hiking trail will take to complete (generally 3km/hr) when you will return and your emergency plans.

4. NEVER HIKE ALONE AND STAY TOGETHER

It is safer to hike in groups of two, three or more. When you start the hiking trail as a group, hike as a group and end as a group. Pace your hike to the slowest person. It takes many more hours for a Search and Rescue Team to locate individuals as opposed to locating the group. The costs involved for Search and Rescue operations are also exorbitant.

5. CAMP ONLY AT DESIGNATED CAMP SITES

6. NEVER DEVIATE FROM YOUR ORIGINALLY INTENDED ROUTE, UNLESS IN AN EMERGENCY

What you shouldn’t change: your route. If you do not return on schedule and the person you left your Hiking Plan with contacts authorities, search and rescue efforts will start where it is presumed you are. If you have taken another route, this can substantially delay help reaching you. Think through your situation and use your best judgment. Never change your route unless it is an emergency.

7. KNOW WHEN TO TURN BACK

Weather conditions are known to change quickly, especially at higher elevations, even if the weather is good at lower altitudes, the higher you go, the colder, windier and wetter the weather is likely to be. Late spring storms can mean snow on mountain ranges. When the weather changes suddenly, you need to respect nature’s unpredictability and head for home. Fatigue and unexpected conditions can also aff ect your hike. The fitness levels of and medical condition of individual group members should always be considered and the group’s pace should be set by the slowest hiker. If that hiker is unable to continue, keep your group together.

Never be afraid to turn back.

Running out of time: Sunset and darkness can come quicker than expected, especially in the autumn and winter months. Respect the messages and signals nature and your body sends—it’s an experienced and intelligent hiker who can judge when to continue and when it is better to turn back and return another day.

8. KNOW HOW TO DEAL WITH CERTAIN EMERGENCY SITUATIONS:

Even if you are headed out for just an hour, an injury, severe weather or a wrong turn could become life threatening.

Do not assume that you will be rescued; KNOW HOW TO RESCUE YOURSELF.

Hiking Tips – Personal Safety Responsibilities

In an effort to educate hikers on the inherent risks of hiking and how they can become better prepared before beginning any hike, these HIKER SAFETY GUIDELINES have been prepared to improve personal safety.

These guidelines include a set of principles that all hikers can look to before they embark on the trail, created to help hikers become more aware of their responsibility for their own safety every time they are on a hike.

BEING PREPARED is the key to having a safe and enjoyable experience.

Here you’ll find help in planning ahead—from the equipment you’ll need and weather to be prepared for, based on the seasons, to what to do if you’re lost or have an encounter with wildlife or any other emergency situation which may arise and threaten your personal safety.

YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY, SO BE PREPARED!

BEFORE YOU HEAD OUT ON A HIKING TRAIL:

SIGN A HIKING REGISTER, a SELF-ISSUING PERMIT or whatever form available to indicate your presence on the hiking trail.

MAKE SURE YOU PARK ONLY ON PAVED SURFACES. Parking on unpaved surfaces slowly erodes preserve land, generates dust and poses a fi re risk to grasses and small brush from hot engine parts. Make sure someone knows where you’ll be hiking and when you expect to return.

BEFORE LEAVING YOUR CAR, make sure your valuables are stored out of sight. The best solution is to leave your valuables such as a wallet or purse at home or secure them in the trunk before arriving at the trailhead. Lock your car and take your keys with you (do not try to hide keys under a tire or car bumper)

REPORT SUSPICIOUS BEHAVIOUR to Nature Reserve Field Rangers or Management or to Crime Stop.

HAVE A HIKING PLAN

Hopefully these tips could help make your adventure thoroughly enjoyable!

Cape Town Hikes – Slangkop

The Slangkop Hoerikwaggo trail includes accommodation at the exclusive Slangkop tented camps in Kommetjie and this trail includes the Silvermine dam, Chapman’s Peak and Red Hill (33km).

A 2-day hike from Red Hill to Silvermine Dam along a leg of the famous Hoerikwaggo Trail. This Hoerikwaggo Trial has a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 12 hikers at a time. You will overnight at the Slangkop Tented Camps in the heart of Kommetjie. After a night at the Slangkop Tented Camps you can enjoy a fantastic beach walk along Noordhoek Beach!

This is another section of the Nottdog Challenge, aside from the overnight. The Nottdog Challenge is all in one day

Dassie Biltong Challenge

Morning Fellow Champions of the World!

The Trailblazer – Adventure Hiking crew are inviting you to join us for The Inaugural ‘Dassie Biltong Challenge’ hike on Saturday 22 October 2011.

Please pass on our invitation to all friends and family that you feel will be interested in participating.

 

 

Details are:

Date: 22 October 2011 (Saturday)
Start time: 7am
Place: The National Parks ‘Wash Houses’ guest lodge at the top of Oranjezicht in the City Bowl
Duration of hike: 7 hours
Route: 3 Peaks in the City Bowl (Up and over Devils Pip, across onto the Table, over the Big Head and finish in Clifton at La Med)
Walking Entry Fee: R60 Donation to www.amybiehl.org

We will be trying to pull together a stay over at the Wash houses the night before and have a little end of World Cup celebration and braai. Please just ask for details and let me know if you are interested in staying over with us. Grant Stott on 083 3900148

We will post more details on the website and facebook and keep you all up to date!

Look forward to seeing you all there.

Kind regards
Grant “Dassie” Stott

Contact :

Grant Stott on 083 3900148 or

Grant Notten on 0825539457

 

See route map

Cape Town Hikes – Hike from Scarborough to Cape Point

Hike from Scarborough to Cape Point, Cape Town. This hike is along one of the most beautiful routes in Cape Town. Taking approximately 7 hours, with spectacular views, going via the beaches and mountains, it’s a lovely hike for the serious adventurer.

View Gallery Here

Watch Video Below

 

 

Cape Town Hikes – Redhill Nature Reserve

This is a fantastic hike that starts at Scarborough Conservation Village. It is a very remote area with beautiful views. It takes you past Kleinplaas Dam and then one heads in the direction of Slangkop and ends up above Blue Water Estate – Imhof Gift.

View Gallery of the Redhill Hike – 7 August 2011

Watch Video Below

 

Young Trailblazer Hike – The Hoek to the Valley of the Monkeys – Noordhoek Beach

The 1st Young Trailblazer Hike took place on the 13 August 2011. The little adventurers set out on a path from The Hoek to the Valley of the Monkeys via Mermaid Rock and along the Secret Smugglers, which entailed a hike down pirate board walk, up sliding dunes, over sinking sand, through croc infested lagoon, snack time at Mermaid Rock, Shark wrestling at Captain Hoeks corner, treasure hunting up smugglers way, play time at Valley of the Moneys, elf and fairy spotting in the enchanted milk wood forest.

The Young Trailblazer Pirates had great fun as they found treasures all along the path that Captain Hoek had left behind. Unfortunately, by the time they got to Mermaid’s Rock, the mermaid had already gone for a swim, just missing the eager little adventurers. They got to their destination at the Valley of the Monkeys and had a blast! The Hike was a great success, everyone who took part enjoyed the day thoroughly. With the 1st hike being such a success, everyone is looking forward to the next one, which is not too far away!

View pictures from the hike in our Gallery

View the video below

Hiking Southern Africa – Adventure Hiking Ideas Pt. 3

Hiking in Southern Africa is incredible. There are an amazing amount of routes that one can spend one’s life exploring and still be discovering new wonders. Below are some inspirational ideas for you to start planning your next adventure trips. Get in touch with Trailblazer if you require any help with your plans. This is part 3 of the list.

 

 

Lower Zambezi Nat. Park

It is the Zambezi River to the south and the undulating range of hills forming the Zambezi escarpment to the north that give this National Park its incredible diversity of fauna and flora. Professional guides and scouts are used to locate and explain the many fascinating trails available in the area and one is well rewarded with beautiful plains, natural pools and cascading waterfalls.

Zomba Plateau

Zomba is a spectacular table-top mountain and it is the southern section of this mountain that draws the visitors. Zomba Plateau has a slight depression in the middle and is covered in forest – this is one of Malawi’s Forest Reserves - and the slopes are adorned with an abundance of wild flowers. Hiking trails are easily accessible, suiting a wide range of energy levels.

Usambara & Pare Mountains

Both the Usambara and Pare Mountains are superb for hiking and birdwatching. The Southern Pare Mountains take you along narrow foot paths that connect the mountains with african villages and give one a glimpse into the traditional way of life. The Usambaras are approximately 110 kilometres long and can be as demanding or relaxing as you wish.


Hiking Southern Africa – Adventure Hiking Ideas Pt. 2

Hiking in Southern Africa is incredible. There are an amazing amount of routes that one can spend one’s life exploring and still be discovering new wonders. Below are some inspirational ideas for you to start planning your next adventure trips. Get in touch with Trailblazer if you require any help with your plans. This is part 2 of the list.

 

 

Malolotja Nature Reserve

 

Malolotja Nature Reserve is situated in the heart of Swaziland‘s highlands and is the last unspoilt mountain wilderness left in Swaziland. Hiking in the Malolotja Nature Reserve is reserved for experienced hikers. There are various routes available most of which are fairly steep and suited to a max of 8 people. There are numerous river crossings with slippery rocks and extreme care must be taken. The routes are well sign posted but a knowledge of map reading is advisable. Camping areas are available but all equipment and food must be carried with you.

Lebombo Hiking Trail

 

Located in Parque Nacional do Limpopo, adjacent to Kruger National Park, the Lebombo Hiking Trail offers an unforgettable hiking adventure through a pristine wilderness area and trailists have every prospect of encountering a wide array of wildlife. Hiking in groups of no more than eight people, trails are led by an experienced guide and are fully catered and portered so you need carry only a day-pack.

Tuli Block

 

The far eastern corner of Botswana, historically known as the Tuli Block, is a vast expanse of wilderness punctured by huge peculiar-looking Baobab trees. Lying adjacent to Mashatu, a refuge for the largest Elephant population on privately-owned land, visitors are afforded the opportunity to go on guided foot safaris. The winter months (April – August) are the best time to visit Botswana.

Adventure Hiking Ideas – Part 3 here

Hiking Southern Africa – Adventure Hiking Ideas Pt. 1

Hiking in Southern Africa is incredible. There are an amazing amount of routes that one can spend one’s life exploring and still be discovering new wonders. Below are some inspirational ideas for you to start planning your next adventure trips. Get in touch with Trailblazer if you require any help with your plans. This is part 1 of the list.

 

 

Naukluft Trail

 

The Naukluft Hiking Trail is situated in the South of Namibia in the easternmost portion of the Namib Naukluft Park. 120 kms long, the Naukluft Trail takes eight days to complete and invites you to experience one of the oldest deserts in the world. Open from March to October due to climatic conditions, groups must be minimum of three and maximum of 12 people. Camping facilities and water are available at stop-over points but all food and equipment must be carried.

Tsitsikamma Nat. Park

 

The Tsitsikamma Hiking trail, situated in the mountains of the coastal region of the Eastern Cape, is a must for any serious hiker. Traversing through some of South Africa’s most beautiful coastal scenery, the Cape Fynbos when in bloom tops it all. There are 2, 3, 4 and 5 day options available for the trail with luggage transportation if required. The hike starts at Nature’s Valley and ends at the Storms River Mouth.

Drakensberg-Mafadi Peak

 

The highest mountain in South Africa, the summit of the Mafadi is shared with Lesotho in the Central Region of the Drakensberg. This trail requires high fitness levels with water properly planned, since several parts of the route follow ridges. The high altitude (2500m-3500m) should be taken into consideration when coming from sea level.

Adventure Hiking Ideas – Part 2 here

Hiking Tips – Your Hiking Plan

YOUR HIKING PLAN

1. BE PREPARED WITH KNOWLEDGE & GEAR

Become self reliant by learning about the terrain, conditions, local weather and your equipment before you start (e.g. A map and compass can only get you home if you know how to use it, cellphones often do not work in the mountains as the land mass can block signals). Even if you are headed out for just an hour, an injury, severe weather or a wrong turn could become life threatening. Do not assume that you will be rescued; know how to rescue yourself. Have emergency equipment on hand (e.g. pocket knife, maps, compass, fl ashlight, First-Aid kit, rain or wind gear, or anything to start a fi re).

2. KNOW WHERE YOU ARE GOING AND WHAT KIND OF TERRAIN YOU WILL BE HIKING ON

Before you set out, it’s always advisable to consult a topographic map so you’ll be familiar with the type of terrain you’ll encounter. You can fi nd these maps in local outdoor stores, bookstores and online. Learn how to use a map and compass. Call ahead, read a guidebook and study maps of the area you’ll be hiking to become familiar with trails, roads, rivers, streams, mountains and other features.

Use these as reference points as you hike:

Know the time of sunset, the tide changes (especially when hiking in coastal / Marine Protected Areas) and weather prediction for the duration of the hike before you set out. Take steps to make sure you don’t become lost. Bring a trail map when possible CapeNature Nature Reserve Hiking Trials include a huge variety of terrain, from windswept mountainous areas, sheer cliff s and low-lying interval and fynbos covered terrain. The terrain can be very steep and rocky, so plan accordingly, as short sections of trail can take much longer than anticipated. Hikers can encounter snakes and other potential hazards particular to these areas.

3. LEAVE YOUR HIKING PLANS FOR EMERGENCY RESCUE PURPOSES

Once you’ve determined your route, leave your Hiking Plan with family or friends - then make sure you do not deviate from this Hiking Plan. Inform family members or friends where you intend going, the trails you are hiking, the route you intend following, when you will be departing from base camp, how long the anticipated hiking trail will take to complete (generally 3km/hr) when you will return and your emergency plans.

4. NEVER HIKE ALONE AND STAY TOGETHER

It is safer to hike in groups of two, three or more. When you start the hiking trail as a group, hike as a group and end as a group. Pace your hike to the slowest person. It takes many more hours for a Search and Rescue Team to locate individuals as opposed to locating the group. The costs involved for Search and Rescue operations are also exorbitant.

5. CAMP ONLY AT DESIGNATED CAMP SITES

6. NEVER DEVIATE FROM YOUR ORIGINALLY INTENDED ROUTE, UNLESS IN AN EMERGENCY

What you shouldn’t change: your route. If you do not return on schedule and the person you left your Hiking Plan with contacts authorities, search and rescue efforts will start where it is presumed you are. If you have taken another route, this can substantially delay help reaching you. Think through your situation and use your best judgment. Never change your route unless it is an emergency.

7. KNOW WHEN TO TURN BACK

Weather conditions are known to change quickly, especially at higher elevations, even if the weather is good at lower altitudes, the higher you go, the colder, windier and wetter the weather is likely to be. Late spring storms can mean snow on mountain ranges. When the weather changes suddenly, you need to respect nature’s unpredictability and head for home. Fatigue and unexpected conditions can also aff ect your hike. The fitness levels of and medical condition of individual group members should always be considered and the group’s pace should be set by the slowest hiker. If that hiker is unable to continue, keep your group together.

Never be afraid to turn back.

Running out of time: Sunset and darkness can come quicker than expected, especially in the autumn and winter months. Respect the messages and signals nature and your body sends—it’s an experienced and intelligent hiker who can judge when to continue and when it is better to turn back and return another day.

8. KNOW HOW TO DEAL WITH CERTAIN EMERGENCY SITUATIONS:

Even if you are headed out for just an hour, an injury, severe weather or a wrong turn could become life threatening.

Do not assume that you will be rescued; KNOW HOW TO RESCUE YOURSELF.

Hiking Tips – Personal Safety Responsibilities

In an effort to educate hikers on the inherent risks of hiking and how they can become better prepared before beginning any hike, these HIKER SAFETY GUIDELINES have been prepared to improve personal safety.

These guidelines include a set of principles that all hikers can look to before they embark on the trail, created to help hikers become more aware of their responsibility for their own safety every time they are on a hike.

BEING PREPARED is the key to having a safe and enjoyable experience.

Here you’ll find help in planning ahead—from the equipment you’ll need and weather to be prepared for, based on the seasons, to what to do if you’re lost or have an encounter with wildlife or any other emergency situation which may arise and threaten your personal safety.

YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY, SO BE PREPARED!

BEFORE YOU HEAD OUT ON A HIKING TRAIL:

SIGN A HIKING REGISTER, a SELF-ISSUING PERMIT or whatever form available to indicate your presence on the hiking trail.

MAKE SURE YOU PARK ONLY ON PAVED SURFACES. Parking on unpaved surfaces slowly erodes preserve land, generates dust and poses a fi re risk to grasses and small brush from hot engine parts. Make sure someone knows where you’ll be hiking and when you expect to return.

BEFORE LEAVING YOUR CAR, make sure your valuables are stored out of sight. The best solution is to leave your valuables such as a wallet or purse at home or secure them in the trunk before arriving at the trailhead. Lock your car and take your keys with you (do not try to hide keys under a tire or car bumper)

REPORT SUSPICIOUS BEHAVIOUR to Nature Reserve Field Rangers or Management or to Crime Stop.

HAVE A HIKING PLAN

Hopefully these tips could help make your adventure thoroughly enjoyable!

Cape Town Hikes – Slangkop

The Slangkop Hoerikwaggo trail includes accommodation at the exclusive Slangkop tented camps in Kommetjie and this trail includes the Silvermine dam, Chapman’s Peak and Red Hill (33km).

A 2-day hike from Red Hill to Silvermine Dam along a leg of the famous Hoerikwaggo Trail. This Hoerikwaggo Trial has a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 12 hikers at a time. You will overnight at the Slangkop Tented Camps in the heart of Kommetjie. After a night at the Slangkop Tented Camps you can enjoy a fantastic beach walk along Noordhoek Beach!

This is another section of the Nottdog Challenge, aside from the overnight. The Nottdog Challenge is all in one day

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