ZS: Mpumalanga Escarpment 5-Peak Adventure

December 2023 will see the first MP Escarpment 5-Peak Adventure SOTA expedition taking place! An initiative tabled by Marnus (ZS6MSM) and supported by Riaan (ZS6RDP), Julian (ZS6JGW) and myself, Phillip (ZS6FY), a 4 day, three night hike totalling 48km (29.8 miles) will be held to activate 5 x 8pointers and record a track for future activators.

With no marked/man-made trails and having to rely on the mountain for water reserves this will literally be groundbreaking and an awesome experience, hiking along the escarpment separating the Lowveld from the Highveld (and a first in ZS). The hike is planned for 15 - 18 December. As we will be camping in three of the activation zones and we are planning on taking a portable 10m beam antenna with us, we should have have ample opportunity for other activators and chasers to chase from all over the world, conditions permitting (and perhaps get some experience for next year’s 10m challenge?).

You should be able to follow us on APRS.fi by searching ZS6MSM or ZS6FY and our activations will be spotted on SOTAWatch and qrpcluster.com. Hopefully our efforts will allow some of you reading this post to one day join us on this hike again! We will definitely take a lot of pictures and post them on the SOTA facebook page to tempt you with the breathtaking views. So keep an eye out for us and try to get that “Chased Africa” award.

Thanks to Google Earth, here follows a preview of what we are looking forward to!

Route Overview

Escarpment view:

Summit 1:

Summit 2:

Summit 3:

Summit 4:

Summit 5:


Best wishes! Finding water on that route looks a challenge.


Luckily its our rainy season now so the seasonal streams should be flowing and there are a few scattered perennial streams. A bigger concern is the sudden thunderstorms we could experience, bit we’ll just have to duck and cover.