A Information to the Finest Hikes within the Drakensberg, South Africa

Cathedral Peak within the Drakensberg. Photograph by

— by Timon & Yana Peskin

South Africa is an extremely various nation with stunning shoreline, animal packed safaris and loads of mountain porn. After exploring Desk Mountain and Cape City, we set off in our rental automotive. Vacation spot… Drakensberg. Passing via the wine nation and the well-known Backyard Route, we arrived into the mountainous foothills of this unbelievable vary. We felt proper at dwelling and had been able to discover essentially the most stunning space of South Africa.

The Drakensberg is a mountain chain that runs 1,000 kilometers alongside the Southern African plateau and surrounds the small nation of Lesotho. The rugged mountain peaks supply some epic hikes. There are some areas with crowds, however for essentially the most half, solitude looking for hikers can be simply happy. From brief walks, to adventurous day hikes to multi day treks, the Drakensberg affords all of it.

Drakensberg countryside. Photograph by

Finest Time to Go to

The perfect time to go to the Drakensberg is in the course of the Spring and Autumn months. November is the very best month for fauna development. March via June affords nice climate and vibrant inexperienced colours after the summer time rain. The summer time is the wet season and afternoon storms are widespread at excessive peak areas. The winter months have snow at greater altitudes and may get very chilly.

Finest Hikes within the Drakensberg

Climbing in Monks Cowl. Photograph by Monks Cowl

There are a lot of hikes inside Monks Cowl, from brief day hikes to overnighters. The Blindman’s Nook hike through the Sphinx is a superb day hike which takes Four-hours return. The hike begins from the Monk’s Cowl car parking zone on the very finish of the highway in Champagne Valley. If time permits, tenting is offered simply previous Blindman’s Nook.

Price: 50 rand per particular person (~$Three.50 USD)

Cathedral Peak. Photograph by

Cathedral Peak

There are some locations on our travels that actually resonate with us. This hike was a kind of locations. It’s actually in contrast to another place on earth.  Our hike began up the summit path to the Contour Path, and down One Tree Hill. At one level, we misplaced the trailhead and needed to bushwhack up the facet of the mountain. After 5 hours, the climate turned and began pouring rain on us. To see these lush inexperienced coated mountain peaks was oh so value it! The full hike was 7 hours return.

Price: 110 rand per particular person for entry and parking (~$7.68 USD)

Tip: The price of the parking comes with a coupon reimbursing 30 when spending 50 rand on the resort.

Gudu Falls. Photograph by

Gudu Falls

The Gudu Falls is a straightforward Three-hour return hike. To make a loop, add going up the Crack and down the Mudslide to make this an adventurous 6-hour hike. Views from the highest of the Crack are wonderful. The spotlight for us was mountain climbing down the Mudslide which entailed numerous ropes and wood ladders.  It felt like a hobbit would possibly bounce out and be a part of us.

Tugela Gorge. Photograph by

Tugela Gorge

This Eight-mile hike is straightforward and ends at an attractive gorge. The hike isn’t spectacular, however the gorge on the finish is gorgeous. Be sure you take a look at the ladder main up the facet of the gorge to a swimming gap. Another choice is to hike straight into the gorge which requires wading via water to succeed in the swimming gap. For finest views hike into the gorge.

Price for the earlier two hikes: Entry to the nationwide park is 40 rand per day/particular person and 45 rand per day/automobile. Tenting throughout the park for 1 night time contains the price of 2 days, mainly making the tenting free. Tenting at Mahai Campsite is 110 rand per particular person.

On prime of the Amphitheatre. Photograph by

Amphitheatre Rim

Wow what can I say about this hike?  It’s AAHHHmazing! That is the preferred hike in all of Drakensburg and for good cause.  It’s so breathtaking.  Though there are many hostels and accommodations that provide excursions, it may simply be hiked alone. You gained’t discover solitude exploring this space however it’s fully value it. Make this hike a loop by going up the chain ladders and down the gorge. Bear in mind occurring the chain ladders will be fairly terrifying if afraid of heights. The views from the highest are gorgeous!

Price: 110 rand per particular person for entry and parking (~$7.68 USD)

Tip: The dust highway to the beginning of the hike will be fairly tough. Nonetheless, we may drive with a standard/small automotive.  In case of rain arrange transport with Witsieshoek Mountain Lodge.

Don’t Miss: Golden Gate Nationwide Park is only a brief drive from the Amphitheater and value a cease. It is thought for its great colours and sandstone rock formations. It’s free to drive on freeway R712 which cuts via the Nationwide Park and affords a number of scenic areas and possibilities to identify wildlife. Tenting is offered at Glen Reenen Relaxation Camp located beneath the spectacular cliffs.

Golden Gate Nationwide Park. Photograph by

Campsites and Backpackers

(costs per particular person until famous)

  • Khotso Backpackers in Underberg – 90 rand
  • Highmoor KZN – 130 rand per campsite (2 adults), 65 rand for extra adults
  • Inkosana Lodge in Champagne Valley –  125 rand
  • Mahai Campsite in Royal Natal (Amphitheater Valley) – 100 rand no electrical energy, 110 rand with electrical energy
  • Karma Backpackers in Kestell –  100 rand
  • Glen Reenen Relaxation Camp in Golden Gate Nationwide Park – 200 rand per campsite (2 adults)
  • Clarins Inn Backpackers in Clarens – 100 rand

In regards to the Authors

Timon Peskin and Yana Peskin are visitor contributors and presently touring the globe. They give up their jobs in 2015 and haven’t regarded again since. From Africa, the Center East, New Zealand, Australia, and Asia, they proceed to publish articles on their backpacking expertise. For extra on their weblog, take a look at or observe them on Instagram @beard_and_curly.