Travelling in late December

Travelling in late December

by Eugene

Hi Katrin (and everyone else),

Thanks for writing such a comprehensive guide! I've read through the pocket guide and some of the Destination Guide and am amazed at the amount of detail you put in.

Now... I know the early wet is a bad time to go, but based on your past experience, do you know if many people have made it up to the tip in late December?

Unfortunately that's the only time I have free at the moment.

I would be taking the (boring) bypass roads of course.

I'll probably have about 2-2.5 weeks for the trip and would be going solo - my friends can't commit to such a long trip that may or may not be successful!

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Hi Eugene,
by: Katrin

Thank you for the feedback :-)

There is a chapter in the free Pocket Guide that explains the different times of the year as well.

Each wet season is different so it is impossible to predict but when the monsoonal rains start they will not stop. Last year they started in early December and never stopped for months. The year before they started in early January and never stopped for months.

Raining for such a long time puts the river waters up and cuts the road, so there is a fair chance that you either get stuck on your way up here or get stuck once you are up here at the Tip, or on your way down along the peninsula.

And there is still also a chance that the coming wet season will be drier and you get up and back without getting stuck (2016 was that kind of a year but even though the rivers weren't up much, the road was still horrible to drive in many places).

When you get stuck on the road you might get stuck in between the rivers so you don't have a way back or anywhere to go and do the shopping so you need a lot of food and water (and patience to camp on the river bank) in case you were stuck for some time.

You obviously also need a fair bit of extra time so if your plan is tight and you absolutely need to be back at work in 2-2.5 weeks time it is probably not a good idea.

You also use the word "boring" which is correct :-) While there is some excitement in doing it during the wet, you will not get to do any of the fun tracks, just the main road up and there is not a lot to see, so if your only goal is to get to the sign, why don't you just fly and rent a car once up here.

The road will also be tricky to drive, it will be sloggy and slippery and you can get bogged. There will not be much traffic so unless you have a sat phone, for any help you might have to wait for a long time.

So - no, we don't see travellers driving up here in late December, there might be an odd one in drier years. Once the rivers go up the police will officially close the road so driving through is an offence and they will be watching.

Depends on your situation but with all that risk, and all the work driving the bad road and the very little that you will see - i would consider waiting for a better time in your life when you can get time off during the right season and enjoy what the Cape really has to offer, instead of paying the same high price for the fuel for seeing nothing much.

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