The unique 16 Mile Beach Challenge, which sees participants set off for a gruelling but beautiful one-day guided hike along South Africa’s longest uninterrupted beach has been re-opened after a winter break.
This endurance hike, (rated at level 4 for fitness) the only guided beach walk of its kind within the West Coast biodiversity corridor, is a wonderful way to celebrate the arrival of warmer weather and explores the picturesque and unspoiled coastline between Yzerfontein and Tsaars Bank in the famous West Coast National Park.
Participants arrive in Yzerfontein at their overnight accommodation where they enjoy a typical West Coast meal and wine tasting, and then spend the night, before departing on the hike early the following morning. Upon arriving at the finish point at Tsaars bank, hikers can choose to head home or stay for another night on the Cape West Coast.
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. Being known for its pristine beaches, she identified the unique 16-mile 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 visitors.
“This 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 savor local West Coast cuisine.
” The 16 Mile Beach Challenge incorporates parts of the West Coast National Park, which hosts some of the oldest archaeological 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, 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
13:30 Meet at Yzerfontein Sports Club / Lullas Restaurant for welcome drinks.14:00 Depart to the NSRI station 34 where hikers will be briefed on the role of the NSRI on the West coast and hikers will get an overview of the Yzerfontein / Langebaan MPA and West Coast National Park.15:00 Walk from the Yzerfontein harbour to Schaap Island (30 min max) / photo opportunities. 16:00 Depart to overnight accommodation in Yzerfontein.
17:30 Wine tasting.
19:30 West Coast dinner.
05:00 Depart to Yzerfontein Main Beach for the walk to Tsaars Bank in The West Coast National Park.
*Note: vehicles will be parked at the Community Hall area and will be supervised during the day by Yzerfontein Armed Response.
05:30 Hike commences (depending on weather conditions).
* It is compulsory for hikers to stop every hour for a 10-minute snack & drinks break during which time the guide will share information of the area.
14:00 Latest arrival time at Tsaarsbank in the West Coast National Park. *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). * Transport will be waiting upon arrival at Tsaarsbank – hikers will have an opportunity to viewpoints of interest in the West Coast National Park and take photographs, for approximately an hour.
15:30 Arrival at the Yzerfontein Sports Club for celebratory drinks to toast the completion of the 16 Mile Challenge. Participants who complete the hike will receive a certificate to commemorate their achievement.
16:00 Hikers staying for a 2nd night depart to accommodation in Yzerfontein. Other hikers depart for home. 17:00 Reflecting on the walk – sharing personal experiences and take-away messages. 18:30 West Coast dinner experience.
08:00 – 10:00 Breakfast and farewell.
“West Coast Way is extremely pleased to be working with Karen Schräder and the 16 Mile Hike Challenge 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 catchphrase that West Coast Way has 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.