ADVENTURE IN THE CEDERBERG WITH VOETSPORE’S JOHAN BADENHORST & SON
Travel to the magnificent Cederberg with adventurer and Voetspore host Johan Badenhorst and his son, Streicher.
Voetspore is one of South Africa’s longest-standing travel and adventure programmes that has grown into a multifaceted brand that encompasses the spirit of taking the road less travelled. Team leader, Johan Badenhorst and his son and action cameraman, Streicher Badenhorst, join The Insider SA for an adventure through the Cederberg.
Voetspore launched on SABC 2 in 2000. Johan Badenhorst and his team have undertaken many epic journeys throughout the African continent. Over the years they have traversed over 250,000km and visited over 40 countries in Africa. Recently, the team ventured further abroad to Madagascar and India, but this year the journeys will remain within South Africa’s borders to showcase local hidden gems.
Johan and Streicher take us around their campsite – their “home away from home”. Their action-packed 4×4 – otherwise known as the “battle station” – is kitted with everything you would need on a three-month-long adventure on the road. There’s running water, power, a rooftop tent, and even Johan’s travelling library filled with all his guides and cookbooks.
Streicher was just 9-years-old on his first Voetspore trip. Now, he works with his dad on the show using action cameras to capture a different point of view. He shares, “I’ve been fortunate enough to complete my 9th trip this year. I’ve managed to spend a couple of thousand kilometers next to my dad.” Johan adds, “It’s obviously a privilege to travel with your son and to have him by your side.”
Running through the valley of the Olifantsrivier and stretching out to the Atlantic coast, the majestic Cederberg conservancy is one of South Africa’s greatest natural treasures.
Johan describes the Cederberg as a place of extremes: blazing in summer and freezing in winter. “It’s harsh,” he explains, “but the fact that it’s 2,5 hours from Cape Town makes it a prime hiking destination in South Africa.”
“We’ve been to a few impressive places on the African continent, but I doubt too many of them compares to this” says Johan. “I think it’s a bucket list thing to do in South Africa – here in our own backyard!” adds Streicher.
The hike to the Stadsaal Caves is no easy feat, but the peak is worth the journey. Nearing the top of the cracks, hikers are required to climb through a tricky ‘choke-stone’ which can be a tight fit for many. The Stadsaal Caves hold many treasures of the past, including evidence of those that have come before us. San rock paintings of elephants date back at least 1,000 years.
To relax after their adventure, father and son head to Cederberg Wines nearby Dwarsrivier Valley –. Winemaster, David Nieuwoudt comes from a long line of farmers with the first Nieuwoudt arriving in 1893. While they originally farmed tobacco, sheep and fruit, it was David’s grandfather who planted the first wine grapes in 1972. “Today, we’ve got a great reputation for some of the world’s best sauvignon blancs and shiraz,” says David.
“We’re 1,100m above sea level, so there’s a massive difference between day and night temperatures. Our reds are not ripened by sun, it’s ripened by time. We’ve got a very long hanging time, so you get great physiological ripeness in cabernet and shiraz.”
Following the success of their wines, David and his team launched their own craft brewery using fresh water from the natural springs in the mountains.
To end their day, Johan and Streicher kick back with some local beer, prepare some beer bread, and cook a leg of lamb and garden veggies on the fire. In Johan’s words, “It can’t be better!”
With years of adventuring and travelling countless kilometers, their Voetspore journey continues, reminding us of the sheer vastness and beauty our country has to offer.