SEEKING IZITHOMBE

Packing the Jeep with my gear before heading off on adventure feels like I am shedding off layers of tension and monotony. I am heading out of Cape Town with a tent and my camera, straight to undoubtedly one of the most beautiful wild and free places that still exist in this world. Adventure on my mind and camera in hand the Cederberg is calling, my spiritual escape and re-connection with the planet await.

Removing oneself from the daily grind of the city can be hard with all the commitments and demands of the modern world. The city helps sustain us materially through convenience as our consumer lifestyles are about efficiency and time management. This, however, has numerous negative effects on the human psyche. You only truly understand this when you leave it behind you.

After a 4hr drive up the west coast and inland to the Cederberg Mountain range, named after the endangered and endemic Clanwilliam Cedar, you can feel those city layers peeling away. I am entering a World Heritage Site which forms part of the Cape Floral Region and encompasses 71 000 hectares of rugged mountainous terrain. The wildness creeps in and my energy is immediately invigorated. The mountain range is rugged and is famous for ancient sandstone rock formations like the Maltese Cross, Wolfberg Arch and Cracks. These mountains hold ancient treasure troves including 450 million old fossils, Khoisan rock art from at least a thousand years ago, leopards and a window to the universe.Adventure on my mind and camera in hand the Cederberg is calling, my spiritual escape and re-connection with the planet await.

I am on a scouting mission for future Izithombe Adventures so I head out on a two-hour hike to the Wolfberg Cracks. I come across a very rare sighting, that of a Leopard spoor and next to it a smaller footprint of its offspring. The Cracks, forged over a hundred million years provides refuge from the brutal heat and martian type landscape. This cavernous cathedral of rock not only provides shelter but also visually humbling and stimulating while offering incredible focal points and sandstone framing. The rock formations offer the opportunity for exploration and bouldering. I am here to find the best possible compositions and campsites for a future adventure. The Wolfberg Cracks and Arch will be providing Izithombe Adventures with the perfect platform for our guided and immersive photographic experiences. We will be curating this experience. We will be waiting, chasing and seeking the Izithombe (Zulu for pretty pictures).

It’s about exploring untouched remote areas that lie well off the beaten track. Immersing yourself in the wilderness through hiking and wild camping under the stars. It’s about searching for the perfect shot, hunting the deep tones and the soft directional light of early morning or late evening, nailing your focus, capturing the moment while leaving no trace.

The four-day adventure that is being planned will afford its adventures not only guidance on photographic techniques and education of the best compositions but will also take them to parts of this incredible natural beauty rich country that will reconnect them with the planet and peel away those layers of urban materialism. You will walk away with a sense of freedom and some amazing landscape and astrophotography to boot.
It’s about searching for the perfect shot, hunting the deep tones and the soft directional light of early morning or late evening, nailing your focus, capturing the moment while leaving no trace.

My day journey to cracks is over as I make my way to base camp in Sandrift. I will be heading back in two weeks to overnight wild camp at the cracks and then onto the Arch and the Maltese Cross to map out our first Izithombe Adventure.

I simply cannot wait to return and to show you through my eyes and lens the extreme natural beauty this world has to offer. It’s about reconnecting with the planet. Izithombe Adventures will be officially launching March 2020 for immersive guided adventure photography. We will be doing tours throughout South Africa including the Cederberg, The Wild Coast, Drakensberg, West Coast and many more. Over the next year, we will be scouting these regions and mapping out our experiences. Stay in touch with us for news and info and Adventure packages and follow our blog and social media to get a taste of what is to come.

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