Overnight trails & hikes in the Drakensberg Mountains
There are several factors which make overnight hikes and trails in the Drakensberg Mountains safe and easy to organize – good topograpic maps, trails and water.
All of the water in the park is safe to drink so you can leave your filters and iodine tablets at home. You may not even need a tent: the formation of the Drakensberg has produced lots of caves (shown on the topo maps) that are ideal for camping on overnight hikes!
The Conservation Service also operates a search and rescue service for overdue hiking parties. Guides are available for the walks in the Monk’s Cowl and some other areas.
Having said this, it is important to note that the terrain can be very rugged and overnight hiking strenuous. Route finding and map reading skills are definitely required. Hikers must also be prepared for the possibility of rain showers and cold nights.
|1 night R 1250||R 1050||R 950||R 875|
|2 night R 2350||R 1950||R 1750||R 1500|
|3 night R3250||R2650||R 2200||R 1900|
Please note that these are only examples of over-night hikes that you can do, they are not pre-arranged trips. For pre-arranged over-night trips please see the section “Guided overnight Hikes”
Apart from The Giant’s Cup, there are no fixed routes in the Drakensberg, any combination of walks is possible as long as you can find the way, and are up to it!
- In the Monk’s Cowl area, spend a night behind a waterfall while camping in Zulu Cave and continue on to explore the beautiful Didima Gorge. Some of the best San (Bushman) Rock Art can be found nearby in Eland Cave. Or head to the top and spend the night on top of Champagne Castle. Watch the sunrise above the clouds over Cathkin Peak and Kwa Zulu-Natal. Experienced hiking parties can descend via the hectic Ship’s Prow Pass.
- Around Cathedral Peak, try the three-day overnight hike – Bell Traverse. Begin with an ascent of Cathedral Peak and overnight in a cave at the base of the neighboring Bell mountain. The second day is spent winding your way through peaks at 3000 m and overnighting in spacious Twins Cave. The final day begins with a short trip up Mlambonjwa Pass to the top of the escarpment with magnificent views into Lesotho. Descend the pass, walking and rock-hopping down the Mlambonjwa river back to the valleys of the Little ‘Berg.
- Starting at Giant’s Castle entrance, it’s a steep ascent to a mountain hut directly below the basalt cliffs of Giant’s Castle, and perched on the edge of a mountain lake. On the second day, a fairly easy walk takes you to the base of Langalibalele Pass. Once at the top, view the Carbineers’ Graves which date from the English occupation of Natal. Overnight at Bannerman Cave. The third day takes a spectacular high-altitude traverse past Gypaetus Point where the bearded vultures nest. Ascending an enormous valley one reaches the Injasuthi area with the highest points in the Drakensberg. The evening is spent in Injasuthi Cave. On the final day, the traverse concludes with ridge-walking over a 1000 m drop, culminating with the arrival at Leslie’s Pass, and a comparatively easy descent to the welcoming river valley. You may overnight in an indigenous forest or at Junction Cave. The final day needs just an easy two hour stroll to the Injasuthi entrance gate.You may also reach the Highest Peaks of Mafadi and Injusuthi Peak from the Monks Cowl entrance and arrive at the Injusuthi camp on the third day.
These are just a small set of the overnight hiking possibilities. Contact us for specifics on overnight hikes and the unlimited routes and itineraries!
For more information on the Drakensberg regions and how they fit together see www.drakensbergbackpackers.com