Inkosana – the ideal base for Drakensberg hiking & climbing
The Drakensberg mountains suit all hikers and climbers – hiking and climbing challenges for all abilities and aspirations. Inkosana Lodge offers the ideal base.
The national park is administered by the Kwa Zulu-Natal Conservation Service which maintains a system of trails throughout the park. The nearest entrance at Monk’s cowl in the Champagne castle area is only 7km from Inkosana and the other areas of the greater park are within easy driving distance.
For example: Giant’s Castle, Rainbow Gorge, Cathedral Peak,Tugela falls, The amphitheatre, and in the Injasuthi area, Battle Cave and the highest peaks in South Africa, Mafadi and Injusuthi Peak.
Here is some general information:
The Drakensberg hosts a striking range of ecological regions. These range from the alpine areas of the escarpment, to the grasslands and sandstone rock faces of the Little ‘Berg and the indigenous forests found in the low river valleys. Hiking at low elevations is generally not too strenuous. A good number of mountain passes break through the escarpment wall and provide access to the top. Some peaks are accessible to hikers and the remainder provide a range of challenges to climbers.
Weather and Seasons
Hiking is year round in the Drakensberg. Winter (May – Aug.) is the preferred season for South African hikers and climbers since it features the most stable weather: days are sunny and warm, nights are cold and clear. There are occasional snowfalls, but these usually melt off quickly. Summer weather is more unpredictable. Rainfall can be frequent and weather can change unexpectedly, but it is usually good walking weather. Days are warm to hot with nights cool to warm.
Plants, Animals and Humans
Most of the Drakensberg park is classified as a wilderness area which has allowed the flora and fauna to remain relatively untouched. Rhebuck, eland, and troops of baboons are commonly found in the park as are a variety of birds including several species of eagles and vultures. Otters and the wild cats are usually very shy. Anteater and porcupine are only seen at night. As for human contact, the park is relatively under utilized: it’s not unusual to hike for a whole day without seeing anyone else!
For more information on the Drakensberg regions and how they fit together see www.drakensbergbackpackers.com