From a timing perspective there are a number of considerations:
Leave from Business - Employees of most organisations do not enjoy substantial amounts of leave.
A hike of twelve days plus time to get to and from the start and finish of the hike means that a
minimum 2 week period is required. Planning to optimise the use of public or religious holidays
can assist in this regard. In South Africa, the Easter weekend, followed by a number of statutory
holidays, makes April a particularly good time.
Seasonal considerations - Four Seasons in a day on the mountain is not uncommon. The weather
conditions can change rapidly in mountain environments. Despite this however there are times
when one stands a better chance of having fair and suitable conditions. Other seasonal
considerations include temperature extremes as well as daylight hours. The summer months have
longer daylight hours but are more prone to severe rainstorms. The winter months have extreme
cold temperatures and shorter daylight hours. This leaves spring and autumn. Autumn presents a
good opportunity, enough daylight to complete 8-9 hours walking, fairly moderate night time
temperatures, less chance of storms, but still plentiful water on the mountain for drinking, cooking
The chosen time for our traverse was from 13th to 24th April 2009. This was a good combination of
numerous public holidays with seasonal advantage.