News: Pallid Harrier breeds in Western Europe for the first time

Hiking: Maltese Cross in the Cederberg

Justin Hawthorne


Justin Hawthorne

Maltese Cross Hike, Cederberg Photo by Kirsty Hawthorne

After a ritualistic mountain breakfast of modernised moerkoffie & buttermilk rusks, we left the comfy confines of Klipspringer Cottage at the Algeria campsite and drove up Uitkyk Pass at dawn. It was a gorgeous winter morning, abnormally warm due to the current weather patterns affecting the Western Cape, the small number of wispy clouds lit up shades of pink and purple ever so briefly.

Maltese Cross Hike, Cederberg Photo by Kirsty Hawthorne

Maltese Cross Hike, Cederberg Photo by Justin Hawthorne

Getting there

Permits acquired (free to Wild Card holders – we are!), we took the mountain jeep track that leads from Dwarsrivier Farm past the Observatory and onto the start point for the hike. The rough track is around 6km long, gaining 160m in elevation and I can’t see how it would be drivable without a high clearance vehicle.

Maltese Cross Hike, Cederberg Photo by Kirsty Hawthorne

We had a Hyundai ix35 for…

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Travel: Weekend adventures in the Cederberg

Justin Hawthorne


Justin Hawthorne

As a winter weekend getaway, Kirsty Hawthorne, Darian van Eck and Justin Hawthorne chose Algeria in the central Cederberg as their base.

Cederberg, South Africa

With winter sunsets being closer to 17:30 at this time of year, getting to the Cederberg (a 2.5hr drive from Cape Town) is likely to be after dark if you’ve spent the day working. Algeria works brilliantly as it’s situated close to the N7, meaning that the after dark gravel road driving is kept to a minimum.


The cottages are modern, and with an indoor fireplace, you should be pretty cosy as you settle into your weekend. If conditions are clear, step out onto the patio with your beanie and jacket on to bend your neck towards the sky! It’s a great time of year for stargazing, especially if close to the new moon. *Note: The Cederberg Astronomical Observatory at Dwarsrivier operates in good weather on…

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Interview: Talking adventurous hiking on Table Mountain

Justin Hawthorne


Justin Hawthorne

Devil's Peak Hike

The discussion I had with Pippa Hudson, of CapeTalk radio, focused on the more adventurous hikes on the Table Mountain Chain for those individuals who were looking for something ‘more’.

Very quickly it became obvious that a 20-minute interview wouldn’t be near enough time to get through all that I’d hoped, but if you missed it please hit play!

Cape Talk interview

We’ll look at two good examples of ‘spicing up’ a hike, one with a short variation, the other is a whole different ascent path.


Jubilee Traverse

You’ve hiked up Porcupine Ravine on the Twelve Apostles range of Table Mountain…the long, relentless ascent can lose its sparkle after numerous visits so adding in the traverse on Jubilee Buttress changes the dynamics of the hike.


Jubilee Buttress, one of the buttresses forming the Twelve Apostles range, acts as the southern wall of Porcupine Ravine. A nifty traverse line…

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Adventures: June 2017

Justin Hawthorne


Justin Hawthorne

June 2017 has been an eventful month with a fair amount of hiking on the Cape Peninsula as well as a fantastic trip to the Cederberg. The winter chill finally arrived in Cape Town and we’ve had a number of wet days to deal with, a couple times the gear was tested against the elements! *not official gear testing, although I wouldn’t be the worst person tasked to gear up for any brands in winter…

The month started with a memorable road trip up the West Coast of South Africa to the Cederberg Wilderness Area. I blogged that trip to show you the highlights in a comprehensive post. Take a look to see just what you can manage to squeeze…

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