New West Coast trail is SA’s longest beach hike

A new hike known as the ’16 Mile Beach Challenge’, in which participants set off for a gruelling but beautiful one-day guided hike along South Africa’s longest uninterrupted beach, has been launched.

This endurance hike (rated level 4 for fitness) explores the picturesque and unspoiled coastline between Yzerfontein and Tsaars Bank in the famous West Coast National Park, and is the only guided beach walk of its kind offered within the West Coast biodiversity corridor.

Participants will arrive in Yzerfontein and be transported to the West Coast National Park where they will enjoy a meal and wine tasting, and then spend the night, before departing on the hike early the following morning. Upon arriving at the finish point in Yzerfontein, hikers can choose to head home or stay for another night on the Cape West Coast.

Enjoy a meal and wine tasting, and then spend the night before setting off on the hike.

Karen Schräder is the driving force behind this exciting hike and has a passion for sharing Yzerfontein and all that it has to offer with visitors to the area. Known for its pristine beaches, she identified the unique 16 mile (about 26km) uninterrupted beach north of Yzerfontein as one of the natural wonders of the Cape West Coast and South Africa as a whole, and wanted to share this with others.

“This new Hiking Challenge is a well-organized and unique experience for small adventurous groups,” says Schräder. “And it is not just about endurance. The experience also includes a wine tasting and the experience to savour local West Coast cuisine.

The 16 Mile Beach Challenge incorporates parts of the West Coast National Park, which hosts some of the oldest archeological sites in our country and is internationally known for its extensive bird and plant species. Participants will experience and discover this area in a unique way – through the eyes of Honorary Field Rangers who have been working for many many years in the park on a volunteer basis and know the area like the back of their hand.”

This short, but captivating, experience is only an hour away from Cape Town.

This short but captivating experience, which is only an hour away from Cape Town, is not only a wonderful personal challenge but also a great opportunity for a breakaway – to disconnect from stress, reconnect to the beauty of nature, and with yourself. This is an experience of West Coast living at its best!” says Schräder.

ITINERARY
Day 1
13:30 Meet at Yzerfontein Sports Club
14:00 Depart from parking area opposite Lullas restaurant

* Hikers leave their cars here for the night. Security will patrol throughout the night to ensure vehicle safety.
14:30 Welcome and check in at Die Stalle in the West Coast National Park
15:00 Informative session about the region and West Coast National Park
16:00 Prepare for the Beach Hike Challenge
17:30 Wine tasting
19:30 West Coast dinner

Day 2
05:00 Depart to Tsaars Bank in The West Coast National Park
*Driver will return with overnight luggage to Yzerfontein
05:30 Start the hike (depending on weather conditions)
* Hikers will stop every hour for a 10 minute snack & drinks break/ guide sharing info of the area etc.
14:00 Latest arrival time at Yzerfontein Sports Club
*The hike is expected to take between 5 and 8 hours depending on the fitness of the group (focus will be on each hiker finishing the trail, not the speed of the hike)
* Collect luggage here
* Photos and Farewell for hikers who have opted for the 1 night / 1 day challenge
15:00 Hikers staying for a 2nd night depart to accommodation in Yzerfontein
17:00 Reflecting on the walk – personal experiences, take-away messages
18:30 West Coast dinner experience

Day 3
08:00 – 10:00 Breakfast and farewell

Participants who complete the hike will receive a certificate to commemorate their achievement.

“West Coast Way is extremely excited about this new 16 Mile Hike Challenge and to be working with Karen Schräder to further promote the Weskus Beskus (Cape West Coast) – a kaleidoscope of culture, exciting activities, warm people and beautiful scenery, where at every corner there is a new and intriguing tourism offering,” says Carmen Lerm, founder and CEO of West Coast Way.

“Weskus Beskus – the catch phrase that West Coast Way have developed for the Cape West Coast – encapsulates the richness of the Cape West Coast culture and the innovative, world-class tourism products on offer here. This new hike is truly the epitome of Weskus Beskus – passionate local people working hard and collaborating to showcase the amazing offerings that the Cape West Coast has to offer,” concludes Lerm.

For more information on the 16 Mile Beach Challenge or to book, visit www.kettietravel.co.za or email [email protected].

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