In South Africa, an unofficial challenge exists for the shortest total time taken to climb the tallest peak in each province, including the time taken to reach each peak. There are nine provinces and therefore nine peaks, with a total distance of 3000 – 3500km in between, and a sum total hiking ascent just below that of Everest. To date, this has been done by travelling in between each climb by car. The aim of our trip is to be the first to achieve this without the use of motorised transport, travelling by means of Qhubeka Buffalo bicycle, primarily down dirt roads. We have a “back to basics” approach which entails the use of simple clothing, basic home-made food, fueling on route with home-made hydration solution (sugar-salt water), navigation by means of map, odometer and compass, and camping rather than staying in hotels/B&Bs where possible. The bicycles also reflect the “back to basics” approach – these are designed to last a lifetime and are locally assembled, fully rigid, singlespeed, steel frame bikes. These weigh about 24kg.
The peaks to be climbed are as follows (not in any particular order):
- KwaZulu-Natal: Mafadi (3451m)
- Free State: Namahadi Peak (3275m)
- Eastern Cape: KwaDuma (3019m)
- Mpumalanga: Die Berg (2331m)
- Western Cape: Seweweekspoort Peak (2325m)
- Northern Cape: Murch Point, (2156m)
- Limpopo: Iron Crown (2126m)
- Gauteng: Toringkop in Suikerbosrand (1913m)
- North-West: Nooitgedacht West in Magaliesberg (1806m)
We plan to do this over 5-6 weeks. This accounts for approximately 2 weeks of climbing time and the remainder as cycling time.
The goal of this trip (other than the pioneering challenge in itself!) is to raise funds and awareness for the charity Qhubeka.
To keep up to date with this adventure, read through our blog posts.