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If you’re in matric sweating through that last stretch of your final school exams, listen up! Fancy five days in the Cederberg this December with other matriculants for only R70? Yes, R70! Time to put away those books and get packing for the Matric Chill Out 2016. By Arnold Ras

Join Rim of Africa from 11-15 December and experience a wilderness chill out – exclusively for matrics – you will never forget. Picture this: endless mountainscapes, rock pools, sleeping under the stars and exploring the wild. Enter now as there are only 24 spots available.

Wild’s Arnold Ras had a Facebook chat with Jess Tyrrell, Rim of Africa’s Youth on Trails director, to find out more. Dudes, the Matric Chill Out 2016 is going to be epic!

Five days in the wilderness for 70 bucks?

If I read that, I’d think: Where’s the catch? But there is none. It’s MAHALA! We’ve got HI-TEC who are super keen on supporting this experience, and CapeNature and other trusts who are wanting to cover the costs so that all South African youth can join. The R70 is seen as a small donation to show that you are willing to invest in yourself.

What makes the Cederberg so special?

On a practical note – it’s super easy to get to as it’s close to Cape Town. But the real reason is the sheer beauty of the area, the amazing rock pools to swim in, unbelievable stargazing, rock art that shows our history as people, caves to sleep in, and your choice of sleeping anywhere under the stars.

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Pictures courtesy of Rim of Africa

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Will there be a lot of chilling?

Oh yes! Chilling when we eat breakfast, chilling over a cuppa tea, chilling at rock pools, chilling in the shade, chilling and laughing with everyone, and chilled walks as we move to new places. It’s called a wild chill out as it’s seen as a real opportunity to simply BE. Not a lot of those opportunities in this crazy pressured world. This is one of them. Just pitch up as you are, and totally be yourself.

Why should matrics enter?

Everyone’s got their own reasons for wanting to be a part of this experience. Some want time out to finally chillax after their crazy last year of school; some are interested in conservation and environmental work; some want to meet new and interesting people outside of the same-same school system. But whatever the reason, matrics should enter if they want the opportunity to celebrate their achievement of finishing school, to head into the mountains to get away from it all and rejuvenate.

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Is hiking experience essential?

It’s not. All you need is a pair of tekkies. The Matric Chill Out is not meant to be strenuous, or some kind of endurance test. It’s about reaching new places that can only be discovered on foot. There’s something so rewarding about that – using your own two feet to get yourself where you want to go. Not a bad metaphor for life, neh?

Will there be cellphone reception?

No. It’s wild, as in natural, and it’s about leaving behind all the pressures of the modern world – which includes stressing about who’s WhatsApp you need to reply to and how many likes you’re getting. It’s a chance to REALLY connect to people and places, not through someone else’s photos or a screen. One of my favourite sayings goes: There’s no WiFi in the mountains, but I can promise you a better connection!

Is alcohol allowed?

Leave the dop at home. We gonna keep it fresh in a different way – epic mountain stream water bottled at the source. Save that celebratory beer for your arrival back home after time in the mountains.

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Itinerary: 11–15 December 2016

  • Day 1: Leave from Cape Town to arrive in the Cederberg by lunch time. Head out into the mountains. It will be summer heat, but beautiful clear streams await. Camp at the base of a beautiful kloof.
  • Day 2: Walking on from camp in the cool of the morning, the group will set out along a path with amazing views to find pools to swim in and a shady cave to rest in.
  • Day 3: This day is your choice to chill and swim in the mountain pools or go for a wander to find some Bushman paintings. The matrics will spend a second night here at the camp by the stream.
  • Day 4: Discover new places and sleeping over in a cave is the night’s highlight. Head out to a contour path and look for leopard tracks.
  • Day 5: Slow meander down the mountain to rock pools, a swim, lunch and load up in the vehicles to head home – rejuvenated.

There are just 24 spots on this special experience. Apply NOW to be a part of this once-in-a-lifetime outing.

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What to pack?

  • Multi-day hiking backpack (size between 35-65 litres)
  • Hiking gear: shoes, boots, hat and sunblock
  • Warm top and a beanie
  • Sleeping bag (a warm one – mountains can get cold at night even in summer)
  • Sleeping mat
  • Extra snacks
  • Personal medication

Rim of Africa will supply

  • Logistic support
  • Food
  • Mountain medical pack
  • Limited edition bandana
  • Experienced mountain guides
  • Hiking permits
  • Camping fees
  • Maps
  • Lindt chocolate and hot chocolate at night

Matriculants, win with HI-TEC!

Wild is giving away a HI-TEC hamper to the value of R3,088 to one of the chosen matriculants. Email the answer (subject line: Chill Out) to our simple question below and stand a chance to win a pair of Trail OX Chukka I Waterproof outdoor crossover boots (R1,999), a Cedar Technical daypack (R999) and some hiking socks (R90). Entries close on 18 November 2016. Remember to include your full names, contact details, the name of your school, and postal address. The winner will be notified telephonically.

Question: Where does this year’s Matric Chill Out take place?

Winners: Lysette Tshikuna (Voortrekker High School) and Philip Matjan (Luckhoff High School)

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