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Paddling with wild horses

Rooisand Nature Reserve A herd of wild horses has roamed the Bot - Kleinmond estuary and wetland for perhaps a century or more. The free roaming herd is actually feral and comprises about twenty-eight individuals. Many websites repeat the three theories about their...

Karoo corridor MTB tour

Mitzi, Marion's sister-in-law, owner of Makadas Adventures, planned this private cycling tour, and I assume, dubbed it the "Karoo corridor" too. In 5 days most of us covered 265 km, climbing through 2942 m and descending 2957 m. Some rode more and some rode less - and...

A walk on the Wild Coast

The Pondo Trail, Pondoland Besides a previous Wild Coast hike from Port St Johns to Coffee Bay, Pondoland, The Wild Coast and the Transkei have constituted a gap in my outdoor experience of South Africa. The beauty and the undeveloped nature of the coast south of Port...

A northern Kruger cultural safari

July 2023 Kruger has been calling since our last visit in 2019 before the nightmare of the pandemic lockdowns. Along with long-time friends, Debbie and Paul Watson, we were happy to decide on a route through the northern sector of the park over about ten days, staying...

Fighting the Kogelberg fire

The latest fire that swept through the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve last week was nothing short of disastrous. Young veld burnt again and all the eleven-year old veld has been destroyed, so that, in the words of a nature conservation official, "everything between...
Balloch High Rim hike

Balloch High Rim hike

During April we three MCSA Stellenbosch section members - Sonja, Paul and me - made the long trek to that part of the Eastern Cape that forms the southern border with Lesotho, to participate in the MCSA national mini-camp hosted by the Free State section. Although I...

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Namaqualand coast hike

Namaqualand coast hike

From the Spoeg River to the Groen River Late January arrived with an unexpected adventure: a 3-day hike down the Namaqualand coast within the borders of the Namaqualand National Park. Kevin, a longtime hiking companion, was the instigator. He had wanted to tackle the...

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Boating the Lot River

Boating the Lot River

After the hugely enjoyable canal boat trip on the Canal du Midi five years ago, another French self-navigating boating holiday was always in our future. With seven months of long leave due before retirement, the opportunity presented itself and we convinced the...

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Cycling Connemara

Cycling Connemara

Having booked another canal boat adventure in southern France and been invited to Belgium by the Verhoevens, the first week of our European visit was still undecided. As Marion is of Irish descent, a trip to the emerald isle has been on the cards at some stage. So...

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Klein Hangklip

Klein Hangklip

As the name suggests, Klein Hangklip is a smaller replica of Hangklip peak located further south at Cape Hangklip. Hangklip is the sentinel east of False Bay's entrance. In the age of sail, many a navigator mistook Hangklip for the Cape of Good Hope and ended up being...

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To the Rooiels source

To the Rooiels source

I think we decided on the route for that day at breakfast. The only criterion was that we would walk from my house and not drive anywhere. Santie would be on a mission anyway: to log her 1200th species on iNaturalist. My previous hike up the Rooiels River valley had...

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Rooiels River walk

Rooiels River walk

This was my first hike from our new home in Rooiels, having moved to this coastal paradise in the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve five weeks ago. We quickly came to realise that we have landed in the middle of a contest between the preservationists/conservationists who...

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Simonsberg

Simonsberg

Simonsberg has been a looming, brooding presence in my life for almost fifty years. It towered to starboard daily on the short walks to engineering classes, and later on the cycle commutes to work. In stressful times when I needed calm and to gaze at something...

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The Kogelberg Trail

The Kogelberg Trail

The Kogelberg Trail is a circular, 24 km hiking trail in the Kogelberg Nature Reserve. Last weekend's walk was fifth time that I have done it, as I remember. All the gradients are gradual, there is no exposure nor scrambles and the trail has few obstacles. It is...

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Welcome to RalphPina.com

Thank you for visiting my outdoor blog. RalphPina.com documents my experiences over many years of appreciating, and adventuring in, Nature. It celebrates visual beauty, advocates minimal impact, reflects on humans’ relationship with our ecosphere, spans the planet but focuses on the wild diversity of southern Africa. Photos, videos and GPS maps of hiking, cycling, kayaking, abseiling, canoeing and windsurfing..

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