Walking grades defined and how to prepare

We allocate Grades to our walking tours, according to the length of the walk and the terrain. This serves as an indication of walks that might suit you best, based on your level of fitness. See "Walking grades defined". In the second section we give advice on how to prepare for different walking grades.

Walking grades defined

Method of grade allocation

We allocate Grades to our walking tours, according to the length of the walk and the terrain. This serves as an indication of walks that might suit you best, based on your level of fitness. We allocate a grade to each day of the trip, as well as the overall route. We use 3 walking grades: easy, moderate and challenging. Method of Grade allocation: A grade is allocated to each day stage of the walk, as well as the overall route. We may combine two walking grades to describe the overall route difficulty, eg “Easy/Moderate”. This is when we judge that a particular route is slightly more demanding than the first mentioned walking grade (eg 2 out of 3 days- Easy and one day is Moderate). It can also be "Moderate/Easy" to indicate that the rating is slightly less than Moderate. This gives you more information on the type and intensity of the walking holiday you wish to choose.

Easy walking grade

Relaxed walking experience - gentle terrain - good paths and trails - few short gentle ascents / descents. A good choice for those with little or no previous experience of walking holidays. Distance per Day: Less than 13 km Time: Less than 5 hours per day View the following is an example of an Easy walking holiday: Franschhoek Valley Walk - Easy/Moderate

Moderate walking grade

Walking well established paths - occasionally loose underfoot / open areas - some hills but not too strenuous - ascents / descents up to an hour. Perfect for those with a relatively good level of fitness. Distance per Day: 13 - 20 km Time: Can be up to 7 hours per day The following are some of our Moderate walking holidays: Cape Winelands Walk - 7 days - Moderate, Cape Winelands Walk - 4 days - Moderate, West Coast Walk - Moderate, Hermanus Walk - Moderate/Easy, Cape Town Walk - Moderate/Easy.

Challenging walking grade

Some areas will be more challenging - the terrain will be varied with some rough and rugged footpaths - more ascent and descent involved (1- 2 hours). Ascent can be up to 1 000 m. A good level of fitness will be required. Perfect for regular walkers. Distance per Day: Up to 24 km. Time: Can be more than 7 hours per day. We do not offer any Challenging walking holidays at present. Some days of our walks may be challenging, depending on your fitness.

Your safety and comfort

Go to "Walking tours South Africa" to choose your dream destination, without compromising your safety and comfort. The Grades are shown in the Summary and the Walk details. Take a look at the walking grades and then assess your own capabilities. This will help you get the most out of your time on the trip..

How to prepare for different walking grades

General advice-How to prepare?

Read this article about 10 essential things you have to get right before you’re ready for a hike. It contains important practical tips about preparing for a long hike. In addition some walking is recommended before the trip. The distance and frequency depends on whether you have booked an Easy, Moderate or Challenging trip

Easy walking grade

Your preparation for an Easy walking holiday: Do a few hours walking before departure. Preparation before you go will help you to enjoy your holiday more. If you want to be absolutely prepared, then walking for 4 hours once a week during the 2 months before the departure is recommended.

Moderate walking grade

Your preparation for a Moderate walking holiday: Make sure that you are keeping reasonably fit for at least 2 months before the trip. Go for a walk of about 6 hours with some ascent every week during at least 2 months before departure. Continue as usual if you are practising a regular sporting activity (similar to a weekly 6 hours walk).

Challenging walking grade

Your preparation for a Challenging walking holiday: Prepare for at least 3 months every week. Go for some challenging walks; 1000m ascent at a good pace for more than 6 hours. If you practice an intense sporting activity that develops fitness (2 or 3 hours a week at least), this could suffice as your preparation. Keeping fit is essential, especially in the weeks before departure.

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