Noliswi Magwagwa

Noliswi Magwagwa


Mount Fletcher, Eastern Cape


Hiking and Running

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I’m a hiker and long-distance runner based in Cape Town. I’m very passionate about nature and adventure. I’m an adventurous girl, through and through. However, hiking is my first love.

There are many reasons I love hiking. I’m actually happier in the mountains - they allow me to experience tranquillity and peace in a very special way. Mountains are so calming and rejuvenating at the same time. They are also the best stress reliever, as the saying goes “Hike more and worry less”. Stepping out into the crisp fresh air is certainly the best way to give one’s mind a deep cleansing and there is certainly nothing better than experiencing and enjoying the beauty of nature from the top of the mountain. It is an exciting experience and utterly different from the fast-paced city life, what we see daily at our workplaces and our homes. Hiking has so many life lessons. It has taught me so much and it continues to change my perspective on life.


Steve Boyes - First Ascent


What are some of your most memorable achievements?

Conquering Mount Kilimanjaro is my greatest accomplishment and that will be engraved in my heart forever. I had been very much fascinated by the grandeur and beauty of Mount Kilimanjaro. It was my lifelong dream to trek to the rooftop of Africa – to reach the challenging 5895m altitude. I finally decided to take the plunge and embarked on this life-changing and unforgettable journey. The experience was mind-blowing in so many ways. I acknowledge the fact that it was not a walk in the park. It was indeed very ruthless in ways I could have never imagined. However, it helped me to understand one thing about myself; to never underestimate my abilities - I’m indeed much stronger than I thought I was. The human body can certainly go way further than we can comprehend.

Being a Comrades Marathon runner is also another achievement. Having the strength to run the 90km ultimate human race, the largest and the oldest ultramarathon in the world, is something I do not take for granted. I currently hold four Comrades Marathon medals.

These activities certainly teach me a lot about resilience and endurance. They continue to educate me that resilience is a learned skill and is accumulated over time.

What are the ambitions that you are working towards?

All I can share at the present moment is that my dreams are to climb much higher altitudes in this world. Kilimanjaro is certainly not the limit, as the saying goes “The top of one mountain is always the bottom of another” and “slowly is the fastest way to get to where you want to be”.

What are some of your top tips?

Hiking is one of the few activities that can be enjoyed by everyone because it works wonders for one’s soul, body, and mind. However, there are basic hiking rules that make life much easier and enjoyable when trekking up those spectacular wonders of nature. Each mountain has its own profile and we really need to learn not to underestimate them at all. Let’s try to afford them the respect they deserve:

  • Train accordingly before attempting a strenuous trail. Try to be in good health and condition the body prior to the hike. Learn to be very realistic about what your current level of fitness can achieve. Being fully and properly prepared for a hike means one will enjoy the journey while remaining safe.
  • Dress for the occasion :-) Reduce the risk of injury by wearing good hiking gear. Ensure that you’re comfortably dressed in the appropriate gear. Good hiking gear or a lack thereof can make a big difference between a successful or an unsuccessful hike. Appropriate gear does not only keep one safe, but it also makes a world of difference on the trail. It makes the whole hiking experience more comfortable, enjoyable, achievable and memorable.
  • Don’t disturb nature while you’re out enjoying it. “Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints, and kill nothing but time”
  • Avoid hiking alone
  • Stay hydrated
  • Hike at your own pace
  • Always keep emergency contact numbers
  • Never forget that outdoor activities are greatly affected by weather conditions and “the higher you go the colder it becomes”…we can never stress the use of appropriate gear enough to protect yourself against the elements.
  • Hiking is fun and beautiful…enjoy it : - )

What is your favourite First Ascent product and why?

The hiking pants are my favourites, anytime - any day - raining or not. They are just perfect for all seasons. I love the quick drying highly-technical material and the fact that I can start the hike in full pants on chilly mornings and quickly change to shorts when the temperature rises during the day. It is one item that screams comfort to me and something that is really made with hikers needs in mind. It surely caters for us holistically.