The Wupperthal Trail – Cederberg Heritage Route
The Wupperthal Trail is one of Cederberg Heritage Route trails. A collective name for 5 community-based slackpacking trails in the Cedarberg mountains. Mostly ranging between 3 and 5 days. The trails make this beautiful area of the Cederberg accessible to walkers. Using charming community guest cottages in the Moravian Mission villages of Heuningvlei, Brugkraal and Wupperthal on the eastern side of the Wilderness area and Clanwilliam guest houses on the western side.
The Wupperthal hiking tour can be a 3 night or a 4 night trail with an optional day offered to hike up Krakadouw peak. Krakadouw peak is the highest mountain in the northern Cederberg. You walk from Pakhuis Pass all the way to Wupperthal, the picturesque mission village founded in the early 19th century. On the final day you return to Clanwilliam. Enjoy the Sevilla Rock Art trail to 9 different rock art sites. All the trails are fully inclusive: you are escorted by local community guides whilst your overnight luggage taken to the next nights’ stay.
The Wupperthal Trail is priced according to the number of people in your party with a set price for 2, 4 or 6 people. Contact us for a tailormade price if you have a larger group.
Arrive Clanwilliam in the afternoon. Walk/Donkey cart ride to Heuningvlei for overnight, Dinner, Bed & Breakfast
Arrive in Clanwilliam by the late morning in time for a light lunch at the Yellow Aloe coffee shop. There you will be met by a representative from Cedarberg Travel who will hand over your documents. After lunch you are transferred by road to the top of the Pakhuis Pass where you take the Donkey Cart Trail or walk to the charming mission village of Heuningvlei.
You can opt to ride in the traditional donkey cart of the area – an exhilarating 2 hour ride (including a couple of stops for photography), or walk the trail. This is a 12 km trail on a wide track which would typically take 2½ to 3 hours to walk (Rating 2A) The mountain scenery is spectacular and there are usually a variety of indigenous flowering plants to be seen along the way.
Accommodation at Heuningvlei is provided in either the new community guesthouse or in one of two guesthouses. Dinner is provided by the ladies of the community.
Optional Day – Hike up Krakadouw Peak, DBB & packed lunch
If you wish you can have an optional extra day to enjoy either a hike up Krakadouw peak or a circular walk around Heuningvlei – depending on your fitness levels and/or inclination!
Guided hike up Krakadouw Peak
This is an immensely rewarding, but strenuous hike up to one of the highest peaks in the Cederberg Mountains. It is an 8 hour hike (3-4 hours up climbing 900 metres, approx 1 hour on the summit and 3 hours descent). Rating is 4C. Some scrambling up gullies will be required so above average fitness and some mountain experience would be expected. However at the top you are rewarded with 360 degree panoramic views of the whole of the Cederberg range and a fascinating terrain. On the way up and down there are also wonderful views, incredible rock formations and several rare cedar trees, endemic to the Cederberg.
Relaxed guided walk in the hills behind Heuningvlei
Alternatively you can enjoy an easy day hike of 10-12km in the hills to the east of Heuningvlei (Rating is 2B). There are some rock art sites in the area that you can elect to visit if you so wish. Again the rock formations and varied vegetation and wild flowers provide interest along the way. Near the end of the walk you can swim in a large, deep pool in the Heuningvlei River, in a beautiful setting.
Walk to Brugkraal (15km), Brugkraal Guesthouse, DBB & packed lunch
Today you enjoy a guided day hike of about 15km (6 to 8 hours) up to the Boontjieskloof Hut, in the heart of the Cederberg Wilderness Area, and then down to the little Brugkraal mission settlement, via Grasvlei village. There are swimming opportunities en route in pools in the perennial Grasvlei stream. There are fascinating rock formations and an interesting variety of indigenous vegetation along the way. The Boontjieskloof Hut is one of several simple stone huts in the Wilderness Area that were built originally to provide shelter for the forestry workers. They are now mainly used by backpacking hikers. (The trail is not steep with a gentle climb up of 250 metres and then a 300 metres descent, Rating 3B).
You stay overnight in the community guest cottage at Brugkraal on a DBB basis. There are two bedrooms. One has one double bed and one single bed. The other has four single beds. There is one bathroom, off the passage, which is shared between the two bedrooms.
Walk to Mission Village of Wupperthal, 12 km, DBB & packed lunch
You continue on the guided trail down to the main village in the area, Wupperthal Mission Village. The hike is approx 12km down the valley to Wupperthal along the Tra Tra River (Rating is 2B). The Grasvlei waterfall with a big pool at the bottom is worth a visit, particularly if you would like a swim.
Wupperthal Mission Village was founded in the early 19th century and remains quiet and seemingly untouched by the 21st century with some villagers still travelling by donkey and cart. Visit the old attractive Moravian Church and also the shoe factory and shop, which sells ‘veldskoene’ – excellent walking/everyday shoes that, are all hand-made and excellent value.
You stay overnight in a guest cottage in Wupperthal. It has two bedrooms, each with three single beds, and a bathroom (bath, shower and basin) and a separate toilet. Meals are provided at the Lekkerbekkie Restaurant which is about 200m from the guesthouse.
Walk the Sevilla Rock Art trail & then back to Clanwilliam
This morning you will be collected from Wupperthal at approx 10am, so there is time for some sightseeing after breakfast. You are transferred back to Clanwilliam arriving in the early afternoon. En route you visit the very interesting Sevilla Rock Art trail.
San (Bushmen) Rock Art
One of the most appealing activities is to follow a trail to some of the ancient rock paintings of the San people, the first inhabitants of the Cape. The Cederberg is one of the best areas for rock art in Southern Africa with 2,000 discovered sites. (The other three areas are the Drakensberg mountains in KwaZulu Natal, the Brandberg in Namibia and the Matopas in southern Zimbabwe.)
The Sevilla Trail consists of 9 different rock art sites, in a very attractive environment, and will take about 2½-3 hours to complete (Rating 1A) but you can choose how many sites you wish to visit.
After the trail, you enjoy a picnic lunch before returning to Clanwilliam in the early afternoon where the tour ends.