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      News — Travel

      Kloofing in the Magaliesberg (with a Dog)

      Kloofing in the Magaliesberg (with a Dog)

      By Cam "Cambo" Kernes

      Last Sunday, Warrick and I were very excited to join Terence Vrugtman and his girlfriend Ash as well as a great couple, Jack and Michelle from Trail Lab to go kloofing in Magaliesburg at a place known as Grootkloof.

      To make the +-1.5hour drive from Johannesburg to the start of the hike at Grootkloof more interesting, Warrick decided to give his new Jeep Wrangler Rubicon its first off-road experience up the very rocky and worn away Breedts Nek Road (also a very popular training ascent/descent for mountain bikers in the area). This drive just added to the adventure we were about to embark on.

      The hike to Grootkloof was about 3km in total including a stop at an awesome viewpoint which was the first glimpse we got of the kloof we would be descending into.

      Just as we were about to enter the kloof we had a black Labrador dog join us. As we didn’t want the dog to follow us, we went back along the path to check for the dogs owners but there was no one around and unfortunately the dog didn’t have any form of identification on it.

      We started to make our way down the rocky boulders and the dog just wanted to follow us despite all our efforts to tell it to go home. So we ended up making our way down the kloof by rock hopping and wading through crystal clear pools with a black Labrador following us. We eventually came across another group of people that were resting in the kloof and the dog decided to stay with them.
      We eventually got to a section where you have to abseil down a +-14meter drop. Although I have been abseiling when I was a lot younger I was very nervous to do this again after so many years.

      Whilst Terence and Ash sorted out all the ropes to enable us all to abseil down, the group of people we passed earlier in the kloof caught up to us joined by the adventurous Labrador. At this point everyone knew that we were going to have to make a plan to rescue this Labrador out of the kloof. As the dog had already come down so far into the kloof it would be impossible for it to go back up again so the only option would be to abseil it down and continue making its way out the kloof with the group.

      After much deliberation it was decided that it would be best to put two harnesses on the dog to abseil it down. Ash, Michelle and two of the other groups’ members had already abseiled down and were there to assist with the dog coming down. The Labrador definitely seemed a bit apprehensive and as he was lowered down he tried to hold onto the rock with his paws. Once the dog was in the free abseiling zone of this descent he was lowered quickly and safely into the pool below to everyone’s delight. The dog definitely seemed to be very happy and chuffed with itself almost as if he had done this before. The other group of people then continued on their journey down the kloof with the dog as we still had four people to abseil down including myself.

      At the start of the abseil I was terrified as the rock face is slightly slanted and throws you off to the side but as soon as I widened my legs and leaned back I instantly felt more secure and in control of what I was doing. This abseil had a short drop to the first plateau and then you had to make your way to the next ledge of the descent which ended up being the part I enjoyed the most as you got to a point that you could free abseil into the rock pool below with a beautiful waterfall in view.

      Once we had all successfully abseiled, we all grabbed a quick bite to eat whilst also trying to warm up in the sun. It is really amazing how freezing cold you can get in a kloof even on a hot day like it was where the temperatures were around 35 degrees outside.

      The rest of our adventure down Grootkloof included more rock hopping and climbing, bum sliding into rock pools and just taking in the beauty of this incredible place.

      All in all this was definitely one of my favourite adventures to date and I cannot wait to go kloofing again in the future.

      See Camilla's blog at Cambo Adventures

      Top 10 Driving Roads in Cape Town #3

      Top 10 Driving Roads in Cape Town #3

      By Jacques Viljoen

      Number 3 in the search of my ten top driving roads in Cape Town led me to the beautiful Chapman’s Peak. A hotspot for motorists and cyclists alike, Chappies as it is locally known, features high speed gradual corners and tight chassis-testing corners, perfect for anyone looking to have some fun in their car, or on their motorbike.

      Route name: Chapman’s Peak Drive

      Road: M6

      Starting Point: 34° 2'49.99" S, 18°21'41.00" E

      Finishing Point: 34° 5'44.72" S, 18°21'21.25" E

      Road surface quality: 7 out of 10

      Scenery: 8 out of 10

      Watch the Google Earth Pro Flight here:


      Watch the GoPro driving footage here:


      Gear used:

      One important thing to note about Chapman’s Peak is that it is a toll road, with the fee at R40 for small motor vehicles. Currently there is roadworks at the start of the road, but this is a small price to pay to drive one of the local favourites.

      I had a blast driving this road in my Polo and would definitely recommend it for anyone looking to go for a nice Sunday afternoon drive. Chapman’s Peak is next to Hout Bay which is a wonderful destination for anyone looking for a nice party, or a family friendly restaurant.

      As you can see, all along the road you are surrounded by beautiful ocean and mountain views.

      I always enjoy driving on Chapman’s Peak and will definitely make a plan to head back there with a very nice car.

      Keep an eye on the website to follow the rest of our Top 10 driving roads in Cape Town.

      Makgadigadi Pans Mountainbike Adventure

      Makgadigadi Pans Mountainbike Adventure

      A Three day trek across the Makgadigadi pans on mountain bikes in Botswana, what a great experience! Kubu island was an absolute highlight. But riding on the ancient lake bed, now turned into salt pans was extremely taxing on the body. Although being fit for normal conditions, my heart rate basically stayed at 165+ bpm for hours at a time because of the sandy level surface and the constant wind.

      The first night on the pans I woke up at 2 in my cold tent because of the silence! This must be experienced, I can't even start to describe it to you. So I got up and walked to the middle of the camp and restarted the deserted fire. I was the only one awake. I curled up my body on a camp chair to preserve heat and just sat there. The stars and the amount of shooting stars were incomprehensible... I felt really small under this majestic universe. I sat there for about 2 hours ... thinking about everything in total silence. I really want to experience this place again. Then Kubu island... wow. I also need to make a trip to Kubu again. You can feel the history... ancient history. With those Baobab trees being thousands of years old, from before the time of Jesus. Really met some wonderful people from all over the world traveling through the pans.

      Makgadigadi Pans Mountainbike Adventure from Boeriewood on Vimeo.

      Thanks to Frank Pretorius for sharing his adventure with us!


      Top 10 Driving Roads in Cape Town #2

      Top 10 Driving Roads in Cape Town #2

      By Jacques Viljoen

      A few weeks ago I started a series where I try to find the top driving roads in Cape Town. Although there are a quite a lot good driving roads in Cape Town, only a few qualify as great roads. Victoria Road between Seapoint and Hout Bay is just that, great.

      Route name: Seapoint to Hout Bay

      • Road : M6 (Victoria Road)
      • Starting Point : 33°55'43.37" S, 18°22'31.33" E
      • Finishing Point : 34° 2'37.52" S, 18°21'2.24" E
      • Road surface quality : 9 out of 10
      • Scenery: 9 out of 10

      Beautifully smooth road, stunning views and some awesome cars and bikes pass by. On the day I went, I saw a Ferrari, two Audi R8’s, four Ford Mustangs, hundreds of Golf GTI’s and more. This road passes through a few hot spots where you will find the who’s who of Cape Town and surrounding areas. It was a beautiful day, temperature was about 27°C (in the middle of winter), so everyone bought out their toys to show off.

      Victoria Road (also known as the M6) features long open straights, and tight hairpin turns which puts any car through a rigorous handling test.

      Here is the point-of-view video recorded from my car. As always, I recorded at 1080p @ 30 frames per second.

      This is how I mounted my GoPro. I started with the GoPro Hero, then switched to the GoPro Hero 4 Silver.

      The scenery is typical coastal road. You drive right up against the cliffs and on your right side is hundreds of kilometres of stunning ocean views. There is also quite a few parking areas where you can stop and admire the view, or you can go to one of the many restaurants, bars or clubs along the route.

      Gear used:

      So I tried something new to show the route. I used Google Earth Pro Flight Simulator to “fly” along the route. Please excuse if it wasn’t perfect, it was literally a first attempt and hopefully it generates a good response. I will hopefully get better with practice. Check it out here:

      I would recommend this road to anyone who asks, as it also leads to Chapman’s Peak, which will feature soon on Top 10 Driving Roads.

      Terence reviews the Klipriviersberg trail

      Terence reviews the Klipriviersberg trail

      By Brad Edwards AKA Fuzz

      Klipriviersberg is a Municipal Nature Reserve that is open to the public for free. It is located in the South of Johannesburg adjacent to the very popular MTB Park known as Thaba Trails. Klipriviersberg boasts amazing trails for the nature loving hiker and more than enthusiastic trail runner. The well run and maintained reserve has 2 entrances; a small north entrance and a bigger main entrance at the south east end of the park. The north entrance has a full time security guard to manage the gate and sign in but does not have secure parking. The main entrance on Cnr Peggy Vera Rd and Frederick Pl has an inside parking lot and full time security. In addition to the ‘secure parking’ there is also access to toilets.

      On the Trail:

      Klipriviersberg is not short of trails. At the entrance, ask for a map. The map is well detailed and shows the various different colour trails including markers and distance references. You can plan your own tailored route and run/hike it without the fear of going wrong or getting lost. When I ran it, I remembered my route based on colour and just head into the hills.

      As seen in the map below, the blue trail is the only trail that runs the full length of the reserve. It’s the only trail I can describe as Jeep Track. Every other trail is rocky, technical single track!

      The reserve has plenty of hills and is idea for the intermediate to more experience trail runner. If you are looking to work on your technical skills, speed and hills then I would highly recommend Klipriviersberg.

      Unlike Kloofendal, you can get more distance out of Klipriviersberg. You can comfortably get 10-15km out of Klipriviersberg without running the same route. I feel you can run 20km, but you would have to run every trail with a well-planned course.

      For me, the technical downhills and open vistas are the real treasure of the reserve. At the high point on the yellow trail you can see a stunning view of Johannesburg CBD and it forces you to think how lucky we are as adventure enthusiast to get out and about.

      My last run there:

      I ran a combination of trails with friends. Our goal was just to get some time on the legs and have fun. We spent a good amount of time talking nonsense on each view point.

      We decided to run the massive sewer pipe too (It doesn’t stink). *Do at your own risk*

      Additional Pros:

      • The reserve is well placed; close enough to the highway making it feel like a short drive from home but far enough from the city and so you don’t hear traffic or city noise.
      • “The reserve is home to 150 bird species; 600 plant species; wildlife, including blesbok, zebra and duiker; as well as a rich archaeological site.”
      • The people you meet on the trails are super kind. When running or hiking, make sure you greet. It makes for a nice community feeling.
      • Don’t force hikers of the trail. Wait for them to move, I'm sure they will.
      • Take your own water.
      • The reserve is safe; I have run alone before and felt safe. *Do at your own risk*

      Hit me up and Twitter (Tvrugtman) and Instagram (Act10nMan) and let me know what you think about Klipriviersberg. #KlipriviersbergTrail


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