New Moon Cederberg Adventures

New Moon adventures take advantage of minimal light pollution from the moon which at this stage is not reflecting the sun and detracting from the billions of stars, the Milky Way and the galactic core. Better conditions for astro photography you will not get

New Moon Cederberg Adventure

  • Day 1: Base Camp & Maalgat
  • Day 2: Wolfberg Cracks and Arch
  • Day 3: Swimming & Wine
  • Day 4: Maltese Cross
  • Adventure is suitable for ages 16 and over
  • Includes
  • Two overnight wild camps
  • Mountain & Photography Guides
  • Food & Beverages
  • Trekking Tent
  • The Universe
  • Untouched Wildnerness
Day One – Finding Feet & Focus at Maalgat

Base Camp is located at Sanddrif where you can choose to camp or stay at one of three cottages (optional upgrade at extra cost. They book out fast so get in early). The campsite has great amenities including ablution/shower block with hot water and campsites have access to electricity. Once we have set up camp we will have a traditional early evening adventure braai (BBQ). The group will get a chance to meet and get to know each other’s shared passion for the natural outdoors and photography. There will be a briefing before we check our gear. After some good food and vibes, we will pack our gear for an evening hike. The group will head off for an easy warm-up 30 min hike to Maalgat, also known as Hippo Pools, large natural pool downstream from Sanddrif. Backed by cliffs, the 50 x 30 m pool is a popular swimming spot in summer and is a good arena to acclimatize to the Cederberg photographic environment.

The group is free to explore their compositions with cliff, pools and waterfalls and the fading of the African Sun. We will stay through the golden and blue hours and wait for the milky way to make its appearance. It is truly magic with zero light pollution.

We then head back to camp for an early night as the coming day’s energy levels will be tested. We will be heading out very early in the morning to catch the Galactic Core. We will rise from 03h00-04h00 depending on the season for some coffee and one last gear check.

Day Two – Through the Cracks onto the Arch

We start the day with a five-minute drive to the start of a 7-hour hike return to the Wolfberg Arch via the Wolfberg Cracks. You can read more about this hike in our blog ‘Window to the Universe’. You will need to carry at least 7lt of water along with your camping and photography gear. So be warned that this is not for the faint-hearted. The hike in the darkness of early morning will take us through the famous and stunning Wolfberg Cracks. These giant cracks in ancient cliffs make an incredible focal point and frame the Galactic Core of the Milky Way perfectly at the new moon. The window to the universe is mesmerizing but we need to move quickly to find compositions and take advantage of the very finite time to get that magical shot that will blow people away and light up your Instagram feeds.

As the sun rises and the alpine glow fades into daylight we will prepare a quick breakfast and a much-needed cup of coffee and digest the magnificence of the wilderness we find ourselves in. We then set off on a 2-hour hike to the Wolfberg Arch where we set up our wild camp for the night.

On arrival at the Arch we will have a briefing, quickly set up camp and enjoy a bite to eat before we start looking around for compositions. Trust us, you want to be set up before you head off as it gets dark quickly and in the winter months it gets extremely cold so having camp set up is extremely important and in some cases a lifesaver. That evening we will shoot sunset followed by a nice warm dinner. Then later on and if you are partial to an early rise you can join us in shooting the core of the milky way over the Arch. Of course, this time will be flexible throughout the Astro season as the core shifts in the night sky.

Day Three – Swimming & Wine

The next morning we will enjoy a nice warm breakfast before setting off back through the cracks. Lunch will be in the main cathedral of the cracks and depending on how the group is feeling we will either go down through the large crack or the thin cracks and down the chimney. The rest of day three will be spent relaxing and recharging at Sanddrif campsite where there are hot showers, a perennial river to swim in if you don’t mind the temperature and even a short hike back to some rock jumps at Maalgat. We will also pay a visit just down the road to Cederberg Wine for a wine tasting experience you will not forget as they boast some of the countries top award-winning wines. For dinner that evening we will sit down to a proper South African braai (BBQ). After dinner, we will walk down to the river where we will shoot sunset and then Astro shots with the stunning reflections in the water. Then it’s back to camp to get some well-deserved sleep.

After dinner we will walk down to the river where will shoot sunset and then Astro shots with the stunning reflections in the water. Then it’s back to camp to get some well-deserved sleep.

Day Four  – Snow Mountain & Maltese Cross

Morning of day four we will wake up to a warm breakfast and hot pot of coffee. With batteries once again charged we will pack up camp and set off for the start of the Sneeuberg Mountain hut. We will drive for 20 min to the start of the hike. This is another overnight hike and once again we will be carrying all essential gear, food, and water to get us through the night. Along the way, we will pass by the famous Maltese Cross where we will stop for a photo session. Then depending on how everyone feels we might stay and wild camp at the cross or we will make our way to the hut. The weather, of course, will also have a part to play in the decision to stay on or push on so please understand that we will do our best to accommodate any decisions made by the group however if there are safety issues to be considered the decision will then be made by the team leader. Having said that both options will be rewarding as they offer amazing opportunities for Astro and sunrise compositions.

What our adventures say...

"Damien was extremely knowledgeable and thorough with his teaching. He was extremely hospitable and an awesome adventure companion. So If you're an eager adventurer and you want to better your photography knowledge and skills I definitely recommend Izithombe Adventures for you".
"What an adventure hiking through the Cederberg mountains! Our amazing guides Murray and Damien kept us motivated throughout the hikes and made us chuckle more than a handful of times. Such a great experience! One that I will never forget! Thanks guys!".