AfricanX TrailRun is coming to Jonkershoek
by Alexis Olds – Scientific Services, CapeNature
The very popular 3-day trail running stage race, AfricanX, is moving to the Cape Winelands. The event will be held from 27 – 29 April 2018 and the race village will be based at Boschendal Estate between Stellenbosch and Franschhoek.
The event promises spectacular views, plenty of climbing and the chance to glimpse some of the Boland’s most charismatic plants and animals.
There is no better place to start the race than the World Heritage Site, Jonkershoek Nature Reserve (which forms part of the larger Hottentots-Holland Nature Reserve Complex). Runners will be transported to Jonkershoek Nature Reserve on the first day of the race. The first impression of Jonkershoek is the sheer magnitude of the rugged mountains runners will be exploring. With mountain peaks of over 1500 m, runners will be treated to breath taking views and scenery.
Participants will be running through a host of vegetation types all with different characteristics. There will be fynbos, pine plantation, forest and even wetland seeps on top of the mountains. With such a diverse landscape, there are bound to be lots of natural beauties to look out for. The blushing bride (Serruria florida) is a plant endemic to the area and is found only in the Assegaaiboskloof area (hint: the runners will be very close to this). This beautiful little plant only starts flowering after five years and has a lifespan of 20 years. With winter on the way, the proteas have started flowering and that brings countless sugarbirds and sunbirds to the reserve.
For those interested in the local wildlife, be on the lookout for Klipspringer, Cape grysbok, leopard, Black Harrier, Martial Eagles, Verreaux’s Eagle and the elusive little Cape Rockjumper. Sightings of caracal are quite regular in the reserve so keep those eyes peeled. After the tough climbs to the top of the Stellenbosch Mountains, runners may hear the soft calls of the Landros moss frog, montane marsh frog and even a few Cape mountain toads….stop and have a listen to nature.
Jonkershoek is famous as a trail running and mountain biking destination and runners are bound to feel their souls singing happy tunes while they nurse their tired legs for Day 2.
If you’d like to host your event at a CapeNature reserve, click through to our Events page.