Saturday morning, just a week ago, Jaimi and I woke up at 05:00, packed my “Old Girl” with our dusty camping gear and hit the road en route to the beautiful Cederburg wilderness area to hike the infamous Wolfburg Cracks. We had heard a lot about the Cracks from our fellow hiking buddies and always wanted to give it a try. The weather forecast was good, and this looked like the perfect weekend to attempt this.
Arriving at our campsite some 45km away from the Cracks, and about 36 km from Clan William, we were happy to hear that we were the only campers on site for the weekend and that we had the lay of the land all to ourselves. We set up tent camp and took a stroll to the nearby river which had been dammed off by the owners to make a natural swimming pool. On the rugged pathway down to the river we encountered an unexpected little guy lying right in our path. One step more from me and I think I may have ended our weekend away, very abruptly. About a foot and a half in length, a thick trunk and a head half the size of my hand was a yellow and black Puff Adder sunning himself in the warm Cederburg light. Backpedaling slowly, Jaimi and I recollected ourselves and with a throw of a stick next to the snake now know as Joe, we watched Joe slither off into the nearby bushes. No swimming for us at our campsite for the weekend, was the decision we mutually agreed on.
Having arrived early enough, and with our campsite all done, we headed off Algeria, some 7 km’s away, to find a hike that would take us to a stunning waterfall. After paying our fee and a quick drive to campsite no 23 we started the climb to Middelberg Waterfall.
“This is a short, moderately steep climb from Algeria Forest Station up to Middelberg waterfall. The path is clearly signposted from the end of the campsite. When you are almost at the height of the waterfall, the path forks. You take the left hand fork to head to the waterfall where there are superb views of the valley and surrounding mountains, a small pool for paddling and secluded ledges for picnics. Allow one hour to get there and 50 minutes to return as well as time at the waterfall”
A really easy hike to this waterfall was well worth it. See the pics below and you will see why it is a “must do” on your hiking bucket list. Great for photos, lying around in your boardies or bikini, and to have a cool refreshing soak if you love icy water.
Back at our campsite that evening we spent some time cooking and warming ourselves around our fire. That night, with howling wind, baboon barks in the not too distant mountains, and a mattress (my mattress) that leaked all of it’s air saw neither of us having a really good nights sleep. Waking up on the hard campsite ground, with a unhappy deflated mattress is never really what one wants to experience when an 8 hour mountainous hike lies ahead of you. But hey, all was good, so we scoffed downed a quick breakfast and headed out to Sandrif Resort to get our access passes to do the Wolfberg Cracks hike.
A beautiful mountain lay ahead of us and in all honesty, I think we were a little under prepared for the magnificence that would greet us at the top of the 1.5 hour steep climb, which took us to the Cracks. This place is unbelievable, the mountain and rock features look like characters out of a Star Wars or Lord Of The Rings movie sets and the steepness of the rock and cliff surfaces left us a little breathless from time to time.
The hike itself is not an easy one, and one need to be ready to set a comfortable pace, be ready to climb and clamber over boulders, crawl and slide on one’s back through small dark holes between fallen and wedged giant boulders. If fear of height or claustrophobia is an issue for you personally 9like they are for me), then this is the perfect hike to test just how far you can push yourself to conquer those fears, even if it is just for your own personal satisfaction. You must take someone with you, at least one person, doing it alone may prove to be a little too challenging. Jaimi and I had turns in helping each other out, my strengths were her weaknesses and vice versa and we spent many a moment recollecting ourselves after the numerous challenges, and also after moments of laughter as we watched each other deal in our own “special” ways with those challenges.
Through the Cracks and out the other side, there is a further two or so hours walk to the Wolfburg Arch over dusty and rocky terrain. Also well worth doing. We had a day or twenty eight degrees of scorching sunshine and little wind, so with our limited water supply, we got close enough (one valley away) to take some lovely pics of the Arch before we turned back for the long descent.
The way back was as picturesque as the forward journey had been, and descending to the campsite below took some good hours to do. Back at our campsite that night we slept like the dead, tried and a little dehydrated, no howling winds nor baboons, no not even Joe, or the likes of him would have woken either of us that night.
Summing up the wolf burg Cracks Hike:
A must do for anyone who loves to hike, this is one of the most beautiful we have done to date. Take a friend or two with you, you will need them, sunscreen yourself from top to toe, take a hat and a buff, a backpack (keep it light) take some energy giving food and lots of water, I repeat, lots of water. We had about 1.5 liters between the two of us which was about a third of the recommended amount to take along for two people. Silly of us I know, but as I said before, we were a little under prepared.
Would I do it again? Yes indeed, and in a heartbeat, but maybe not tomorrow or not in the next couple of months, but one day again for sure.
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