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Ideal Morning of Hiking

The morning sun hit my face bright and early after a night sleeping out under the stars. I’m so sore from yesterday’s climb my toes are even tight…

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Media Literacy Education

Media literacy, the ability to process and analyze readings and media to create your own messages, is just as important as knowing how to tie a pair of shoes.

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Hiking From Ceres

For the second time in the same day, we drastically underestimated the difficulty of the mountain facing us. For us, there’s only one solution— to keep climbing.

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My Top 5 iPhone Apps for Adventure

Apps for modern backpackers, urban travelers, and even astronauts to get un-lost, document and share their journeys, and enjoy the adventurous life.

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Danger: Road Crossing

I’m almost panicked—my heart quickens and I’m running. I only feel relief as I get away from the road and the horn from the huge “lorry” (cargo truck) fades and drops in pitch from a distance.

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Agterwitzenberg Passage In Photos

My memory of the Agterwitzenberg Passage is a collage of radical landscapes… and lots and lots of walking.

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The Orchard

I didn’t breathe as I walked. Mute, stunned, and disturbed, I could not look away. How did I arrive here?

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Awake, Inner Wild Side!

If there were was anything to be learned hiking up this mountain, it was to awaken the inner wild side and “be less sheepish!”

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The Cape Floral Kingdom

Tour an entire floral kingdom on foot to explore the world’s hottest hot-spot for biodiversity and endemism.

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Origins of the Cape Fold Mountains: A Quick Mega-History

The story of the Cape Fold Mountains, told by a non-geologist, to help you know what you’re standing on.

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A Year Ago Today: My First Step

Reading my journal brings me right back to where I took my first step on the Rim of Africa. As majestic as I’d like to make my first steps on the Rim of Africa, they actually had to be retraced—I’d left part of my camera case in the car and had to run back to […]

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Towson Alumni Magazine: In His Shoes

Walking 400 miles in South Africa with Jay Simpson 09, a National Geographic Young Explorer …

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PANORAMA: Johann’s Poem

“Answer this as you walk: what within me has been tamed and what is wild?”

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PANORAMA: Midday Oasis

We took refuge from our arduous day in the spotted shade and birdsong found under a farmer’s oak trees.

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Spotting in the Dark

As dusk faded and the night turned pitch-black and cold, I laid out my sleeping bag to prepare for another easy night under the stars. But when I rolled over, I spotted what looked like a group of conspirators in the dark.

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Live-Blogging Fail

Live tweets, photos, and video from expedition teams on far away mountain peaks now the norm — but not here on the Rim of Africa.

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Listen to the Rim of Africa

Audio recordings made while walking, drawing water from a stream with my hand, laying in the grass with bees, or listening to the birds — these bring me back to the Rim of Africa.

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Nightjar: “What makes a real adventure in the cape mountains?”

What makes a real adventurer? It’s a great question. The allure of wild space and wild things is powerful but we all have different relationships with it.

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Climbing Turret Peak

During breakfast I looked up at the angle of our ascent and realized getting to the top of Turret Peak was going to be a lot more than causal climb.

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It’s Endemic and a Killer

Don’t let the pink flowers fool you —this Roridula dentata is deadly. But its thirst for blood is only half the reason why it’s special.

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Kouebokkeveld Traverse

Once we left the Cederberg and started off into the Kouebokkeveld, the footpaths vanished and it was time to find out own way. Rather, it was time to create our own way through the mountains.

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The Edge of Curiosity

How close are you willing to get to feed your curiosity?

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Fauna on the Rim of Africa

The Rim of Africa can be a 400-mile walking safari if you want it to be. The mountains and lowlands you wander through are teaming with wildlife

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Gather ‘Round the Fire

Darkness falls, stars appear, and my eyes lazily wander, lost in the fire. As my eyes rest, my other senses are set alight.

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RANORAMA: Crystal Pools

I went in search for a perch to journal from, but what I found was a landscape too radical to pen.

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PANORAMA: Boontjieskloof

The straw-covered, dusty floor of the Boontjieskloof Hut reminds me of a barn, but tonight it will be home…

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A Summit Sunrise

As I stand in the morning light, sipping my instant coffee, I am an awe. “Up here” is a whole different world. The sun shines brighter, the cold bites harder, the quiet echoes…

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Leaving the Cederberg

No perfect wilderness area could go on forever, which meant on Day 7 we walked off the beautiful trails of the Cederberg and wandered off-path into the wondrous Kouebokkeveld.

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The Cape Leopard

No, I never woke up to the soft sounds of a large cat outside my tent. If I could have wished it possible, I might have — once I figured out what I would do when face-to-face with a 75-lb (34kg) wild cat.

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With Our Ancestors

I held my breath as I raised my hand to a print on the cave wall. There was a familiar symmetry when my hand and a burnt-orange handprint were seen next to each other, and with it I spanned thousands of years of existence to recreate a signature distinct to humanity.

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Flora, a Prizefighter

I talk about flora a lot, referring to all the plant life I experienced while walking on the Rim of Africa, and for good reason— it is hands-down my favorite part of walking in the mountains of the Western Cape.

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Tale of Two Twenty-Four-Year-Olds

Whew – we made it through our solo journey. And we didn’t even have any run-ins with Cape Leopard, get lost, or argue until we walk off in separate ways (which would be likely to combine all my fears at once)! How?

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My Favorite Mystery

I realized something while walking on the Rim of Africa: if you spot a unique flower out of the corner of your eye but don’t stop right then to photograph it, it’s likely you will never see it again.

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Ricardo Philander

Ricardo Philander and I had four days to get to know each other before we would be walking alone in the Cederberg wilderness. I only knew two things about him: he was 24 like me, but unlike my years of experience camping and mountaineering, he had never been camping before.

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iPhone Shots : the Cederberg

Here are my favorite shots from the Cederberg, during my first week out walking the Rim of Africa.

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The Night Sky, South Side

NOTHING prepares you for witnessing the southern sky in its full glory for the first time.

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Cederberg Wilderness Area

Zipping open the tent door and seeing nothing but untouched grassy mountains. Drinking freezing water from the pure freshwater streams. Impressive rock formations, open skies and endless fields of flowers. This is the Cederberg, where wild lives.

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Explorer Moment of the Week

My first bit of writing on the NatGeo website, and I even decided to include a haiku!

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A Bush Guide to Alien Clearing

Day 23 : There is nothing worse than having an otherwise beautiful day of walking in the mountains ruined by alien invasions.

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NatGeo Weekend Radio Interview

Last week I stopped by National Geographic HQ’s in Washington D.C. to talk to Boyd Matson…

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PANORAMA: First Campsite

Excited to be walking on the Rim of Africa, Ricardo and I continued pushing forward until we lost the sun behind the mountains and the wind kicked up.