Drakensburg June Trip


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Drakensburg KZN

84 Year old Sarel Van Rensburg’s Drakensburg Hike

By Karen Hauptfleisch

84 Year old Sarel Van Rensburg’s hike up Rockerie pass and down Mweni Pass

There are not a lot of hikers that can claim they have hiked up/down Rockerie and Mweni Passess in the Drakensberg. Yet, Sarel Van Rensburg, 84 years old, did this with ease to celebrate Karen Hauptfleisch’s birthday on top of the Drakensberg.

It was a 3 day hike where they spend on average 12 hours hiking and slept in caves. The temperature dropped down to -10º but his only ‘complaint’ was that he was not as fast as before.

After climbing Kilimanjaro in 2002, Karen Hauptfleisch was introduced to the Drakensberg by Sarel van Rensburg and they spend several weekends in the Drakensberg where Sarel’s passion for the mountains rubbed off on her. In 2004, she started with her project to see the sunrise on the highest mountain in all the 54 African countries. After seeing all the litter on top of the peaks, she decided to not just climb the mountains, but to also clean them.

To date, Karen has been to 33 African countries and this has also inspired her to start the NGO, SOAPkidz, which has taken over 12,500 children into nature to experience the things she has seen in Africa.

Karen’s travels into Africa have allowed her to live her passion for the mountains, people and the environment and she has many stories to tell about her trips where she avoids commercial ventures and takes her trips day by day which results in many amusing stories and adventures.

Her next trip will be a 4 – 6 week extremely challenging trip to Chad and Libya through desert and jungle, where she will be the second person to visit the mountain.

You can follow her adventurous stories at Sunrise on Africas Peaks

Sarel Trying to keep warm

The Conservation Team

Smiles All Round

Chris lending Sarel A Helping Hand

Chris Feeling the Cold

Karen and Sarel on Top of the Rockeries