Desolation valley



// Nikon D7200 | -32.2685 : 24.52582 | alt. 798m

Before jumping to Mountain Zebra national park, I saw some interesting pictures of desolation valley on the west side, and I had to check out this place.

In the end, not much to do, the park is fairly small, the main trail being a 20min walk from the top of the valley (which is accessible by car) From the top, you get this famous shot of the Desolation valley, still worth the effort, as long as you have the wild card, they charge way too much for such a small part…..
From the top, I saw the Saundauk mountain….. and from there came the idea to climb it.
No trail going there, just one going all around his base. I moved the van to the trailhead, I could get some close up pictures of the top section, and see how it looks.

Ok, doesn’t look easy, but there could be a way to get on top ! Let’s see that tomorrow.

Next day, I left an hour after sunrise and went straight to the top. Remember, no trail. Most of the walk goes from easy to difficult, to unpassable dense bush…. It takes a lot of energy just to make my way across these very unfriendly plants…..
One hour to make it to the first wall, as high as expected, no way to climb it, so I’m now looking for a fault. Found it, and looks like someone made it there as well since there is a metal cable to climb, and you need it !
Honestly, I could not thrust this cable or his anchor…. so it took me time to climb without it. It’s only once on top I could check how safe it is for the way down, and it looks ok. Not good, but ok, it would not stand my weight free falling, but could be enough to help me.
50m on easy trail, and then, extremely dense bush, for sure the worst part of the hike, but at last, I made it !
A few minutes to celebrate and enjoy the 360 view, and I was already thinking about the tough way back….
That bush is giving me a hard time, but the cable part was easier than expected 🙂
On the way down, I was welcomed by 2 guys with automatic rifles…. ok, they wear camo, they should be park rangers or something…. Yup, just park rangers, but they did a very good job at intercepting me down the trail (since most of it is inside very dense bush, it’s not that easy to follow somebody !)

Simple permit control, which I don’t have since I started early, but showing my wild card (unlimited access to all parks) was enough for them, and they left after a quick chat.

Back on the road, direction mountain Zebra national park !

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