What’s Hot in the Kouebokkeveld
Best Time To Run
The change of seasons is optimal out here. Winter is really cold; the escarpment brings you to a height of just over 1 000m, which is 500m higher than Ceres below, so it can get icy.
But autumn and spring provide some crisp, beautifully balanced weather. Early starts are advisable though; you might need gloves in the morning, but you should still pack some sunblock.
Gone are the roots and slippery rocks of South Africa’s coastal trail-running areas. The going is relatively friendly underfoot, with a mixture of jeep tracks and hard-packed sandy trails.
The trails do have rocks you should keep an eye on too, but it’s the exquisite surrounding rock formations that will really grab your attention. Carved sandstone backdrops create movie-set-like surroundings, with uninterrupted views of sweeping plains to take your breath away – along with some short but steep climbing sections.
You’ll find direction boards on the trails, but often mixed in with those for mountain-biking routes – you share the area with MTBs, so be aware, especially on the jeep tracks. But there are plenty of singletrack off-shoots and options to indulge in, over a vast area of trail running; do a memorable once-off run, or explore over as many days as you wish.
For many, +- 20km a day over two days is a popular mix. If you follow the Tankwa Trail route there’s only 240m of climbing on the first day, on a trail that takes you over wooden bridges, through isolated gorges and natural trails winding up Ernest’s climb for some far-reaching views, with jeep track back to the starting point.
Day two is something special; you start heading north on jeep track, through rocky outcrops and over stone formations created millions of years ago; and then it’s time for beautifully flowing singletrack, stretching as far as the eye can see. The route turns for home just above De Hoek, a settlement on the northern border of Kaleo Farm, and the absolutely amazing singletrack continues all the way back to the farmstead.
About Kaleo Farm
The graceful old Kaleo Manor (kaleomanor.co.za), situated high above the Ceres Valley and surrounded by oak trees and lush, inviting green grass, is the hub for your stay on this spacious farm.
There are cottages for accommodation, camping options with clean ablution facilities and hot showers, and more activities than you can pack into just one weekend.
For more information on Kaleo Guest Farm and the Tankwa Trail event, see tankwatrail.co.za.