The Umko trail is a three day hike designed to test and build character. It is aimed at Gr 9 students and older. The hike takes place in the picturesque Umkomaas valley just outside of Richmond.
Students are divided into groups of 10 and given a map with which they have to navigate the 16 kms to their overnight stop, where they will prepare their own potjies in their teams, and camp beside the meandering Umkomaas river. The camp has an overall theme of leadership, but the emphasis is that you have to be able to lead yourself through hardship and adversity before you can lead others. Each day has its own theme which is discussed at the beginning and the end of each day. Day one’s theme is "consequences of ones choices”, day two’s theme is “personality vs character” and the 3rd day’s theme is “what is true happiness?"
The hike on the second day is 18 kms and is a challenging hike aimed at exposing character flaws and testing perseverance and grit. The third day is a gentle 8 km hike down to Linwood farm school where the learners will assist the students from Linwood with basic maths and reading. This school has many needs, and participating schools have the option to raise funds for a project of their choice to assist with on the day. The interaction at the school reminds students that it is better to give than to receive, and brings home the fact that they are really privileged and have so much to be grateful for.
The minimum number of learners on the hike is 25 and the maximum is 250. Each group of 10 learners’ will be accompanied by a facilitator equipped with a radio with which good communication between each group and the two support vehicles is maintained.
This hike is the perfect opportunity to extend your learner's and invest in their character.
Roselands Outdoor Centre offers 3 day or 5 day hikes along the unspoilt beaches of the Transkei. The 5 day package starts at the Wild Coast Sun and is limited to a maximum of 40 students. The first day is comprised of a guided tour of the petrified forests and fossilised shells as well as a rocky shore and tidal pool study. That evening we are hosted by a local Xhosa family and stay in traditional huts and eat various traditional foods whilst dancing away the night around a roaring fire.
The second day is a majestic 25 km walk alongside the turquoise waters of the wild coast, which involves numerous swims and countless unforgettable experiences. That evening we stay at Mtentu river camp, which will be our base for the next three days. The remaining three days will include paddling up the Mtentu river which boasts several waterfalls and the most breath taking scenery, exploring the Mkambati nature reserve as well as cliff jumping and general life changing experiences which seem to occur naturally in this unexplored wilderness.
The 3 day hike which caters for larger groups of up to 120 students, will include 3 days of unforgettable hiking and camping on the undisturbed Transkei coastline. The students will have to get into groups of 2 or 4 , two terms before the hike where they will be briefed on what food they need to pack, tents, clothes and cooking gear needed. They will then have two terms to prepare and borrow and buy these items from family and friends. They will be totally self-sufficient over the next three days which will teach them many valuable life lessons.
These are the unique bonding tours, as this stretch of coastline provides the perfect setting to build lifelong memories, friendships and character.
Roselands Outdoor Centre is able to tailor make packages to assist learners in completing their adventurous journey for bronze, silver and gold medals for the President’s Award. We are currently hosting these journeys in the Umkomaas valley just outside of Richmond where we can include hiking, cycling and white river rafting as part of the journey or along the wild coast where the hike is done along unspoilt beaches and paddling can be done on unexplored estuaries. We can also offer opportunities for community work for all three levels as well as the Residential project for the gold level participants. Our first camp for the Silver Medal category will be taking place in Dec 2016.