DRAKENSBERG MOUNTAINS HIKING TOUR
6-Day Scheduled Lodge Hiking Tour
An almost unparalleled experience awaits those who go hiking in the Drakensberg. With beautiful mountain paths, spectacular views and magnificent landscapes this trekking tour is perfect for those who wish to get active and soak in the beauty of the natural world around them. Accompanied by a knowledgeable guide you explore one of the most pristine regions in South Africa. Then after your daily hike, there remains enough time to enjoy a refreshing sundowner before getting comfortable around the campfire and watching the countless stars pass over you. The Drakensberg is a magical place, and this hiking tour will show you why.
Don’t be intimidated by some of the long hiking times. They represent the maximum amount of time the hike should take and have been calculated according to a relaxed, walking pace.
Day 1-6; South Africa
- Royal Natal National Park: Beautiful hike to the Mahai River cascades and to Lookout Rock, memorable hike to the Amphitheatre and the Tugella Waterfall
- Witsieshoek: Exciting trekking to Tiger Falls and hike up the foot of Sentinel Peak
- Kamberg Region: Spot the bearded and cape vulture whilst hiking, hike to Mooi River in unspoilt landscapes and view San rock art
- Giant’s Castle Game Reserve: Stunning hike with panorama views of the Drakensberg
Hiking in the Drakensberg Mountains
Min. number to guarantee tour: 2
Max number of participants: 10
Departure day: Wednesday, every four weeks from April until October
Price: from 28,500 ZAR
Single Supplement: from 2,500 ZAR
Day 1 | Johannesburg – uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park, Royal Natal National Park
Driving distance approx. 360 km; driving time approx. 4-5 hours
Hiking distance approx. 5 km; hiking time approx. 2 hours and elevation approx. 200 m↑↓
Your guide greets you with a smile in the morning at the Safari Club near the Johannesburg Airport. If you are travelling from an overseas destination, then it is advisable to spend an extra night at the Safari Club before your Drakensberg hiking tour begins. Please let us know if you would like us to assist you with this pre-tour booking. Now the real excitement can begin: In your tour vehicle and with your guide, you make your way through the Free State province towards one of South Africa’s most kaleidoscopic provinces, KwaZulu-Natal. As you near the magical Drakensberg, you may already brim with anticipation for the fantastic hiking paths and majestic views that await you. The uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the Royal Natal National Park is one of the parks which make up the greater protected area. Your destination is the Thendele Camp, situated in the Royal Natal National Park itself. Upon arrival, you will awe at the camp’s spectacular view of the surrounding mountains. Take some time to relax, before it is time to put on your hiking boots and to get active. You hike towards the Mahai River to admire the cascades and to Lookout Rock. On your hike, you may encounter hartebeest antelopes as well as other animals which call this beautiful mountain region home. In the evening, you sit comfortably around the campfire, whilst your guide prepares a tasty South African “braai” (BBQ) dinner for you. Your accommodation tonight is the Thendele Camp.
Day 2 | uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park, Royal Natal National Park
Hiking distance approx. 13 km; hiking time approx. 6-7 hours and elevation approx. 450 m↑↓
Prepare yourself with a hearty breakfast for the great hike awaiting you today. Your guide will give you a quick briefing and then you can get going. Today’s hike will take you through beautifully green mountainsides, en route to the Tugela River. Following the river, you continue towards the Amphitheatre, towering ahead of you. The Amphitheatre is an approximately five-kilometre-long cliff face, set between two peaks on either end. The Sentinel with 3164 m is the highest and the Eastern Buttress is not much smaller with 3047 m. Combined with a cliff face that is approximately 1000 m high, a captivating scenery is created. Take some time to soak in the majesty and tranquillity of your surroundings. From here you can also witness the spectacular Tugela Waterfall. In the dry season it can happen that the waterfall is too dry to flow, however during the raining season it is an awesome sight to behold. Upon arrival back at your camp, you can put your feet up and enjoy a well-deserved rest. Admire the sun setting against the mountain backdrop with a refreshing beverage at your side, all while your guide creates another delicious dinner for you. Tonight, you can enjoy a “potjie”, a South African stew-like meal prepared on the fire. You spend the night at the Thendele Camp.
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner
Day 3 | uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park, Royal Natal National Park – Witsieshoek
Hiking distance approx. 12 km; hiking time approx. 6-7 hours and elevation approx. 600 m↑
Another exciting day on your Drakensberg hiking tour awaits. So, after breakfast, you prepare your daypack, store the rest of your luggage in the tour vehicle and carrying your lunchbox with you, you begin your hike. You walk past the magnificent Tiger Falls and reach the foot of an imposing rockface. Your experienced guide will lead you to a narrow gap in the rock-wall, through which you can ascend between the cliffs. Reaching the summit, you will have an amazing vista open up before you. Revel in the delightful panorama, this is a moment not soon to be forgotten! The remainder of your hike is less strenuous. You continue over a mountain ridge to your lodge for tonight, the Witsieshoek Lodge, located at the foot of Sentinel Peak. Once arrived, you will be pleased to find that your tour vehicle, transporting your luggage, has already made it to the lodge by driving around and up the mountain. Now all that is left for you is to kick off your boots and relax with a cool sundowner drink and admire the beautiful views of the red-tinged mountain tops, before another delicious dinner is served. You spend the night at the Witsieshoek Mountain Lodge.
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner
Day 4 | Witsieshoek – uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park, Kamberg Region
Driving distance approx. 340 km; driving time approx. 5 hours
Hiking distance approx. 7 km; hiking time approx. 3 hours and elevation approx. 280 m↑↓
Perhaps you were able to catch a glimpse of the bearded vulture on your hike yesterday. If not, then today you will have another opportunity as the Drakensberg is one of their last hide-outs. The bearded vulture possesses an incredible wingspan of up to 3 metres and they can simultaneously appear fascinating and unnerving. Later in the morning, you will drive past the Sterkfontein Dam towards the central Drakensberg. Your destination is the idyllic Kamberg Region. Your hike today will take you along the Mooi River to well preserved, original San rock paintings. Your guide can tell you more about the nomadic way of life of these ancient peoples, as well as aspects of their history and their spiritual beliefs. There is wildlife in the region too and you might very well come across baboons on your hike. If you do, take some time to observe their interesting social behaviour. Also, keep looking overhead in case you see the bearded or cape vulture about. After another interesting day, you reach the charming Antbear Eco Lodge, where a tasty evening meal and a good night’s rest awaits you.
Breakfast | Dinner
Day 5 | uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park, Giant’s Castle Game Reserve
Driving distance approx.100 km; driving time approx. 2 hours
Hiking distance approx. 8 km; hiking time approx. 3-4 hours and elevation approx. 320 m↑↓
Enjoy a delicious breakfast before you drive to the Giant’s Castle Game Reserve, which also forms part of the greater uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park. Your hike today will take you through the ancient lands once inhabited by the San. You walk along a beautiful stream towards a lookout point which gives you a magnificent view of the mountain ranges lying before you. Take a moment to appreciate the tranquillity of nature and your surroundings and take a deep breath of the fresh mountain air. Along the way, you might come across some eland antelope, the largest antelope species in Africa. As the evening sets in, you return back to the lodge. Enjoy another beautiful sunset at the Antbear Eco Lodge, where you spend the night.
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner
Day 6 | Drakensberg – Durban
Driving distance approx. 200 km; driving time approx. 3 hours
Start the day nice and easy with a delicious breakfast and explore the Antbear Eco Lodge a little. This morning, you can view some interesting art pieces created by the lodge’s owner from disposed building materials. Thereafter, it will be time to move on. You climb back into your tour vehicle and drive towards Durban. Your guide can drop you off at either the Durban International Airport or at a lodge near the airport. Those who are on our Hiking South Africa: Mountains and Wild Coast tour will continue their adventure to the Wild Coast. We look forward to the next time when we can step out in nature together!
Please don’t book any flights from Durban before 2pm.
Alternatively, you can extend this wonderful journey by going on a self-drive tour from Durban onwards or by joining a safari in the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park. Speak to one of our experienced South Africa Travel Experts for more information.
- Transport in an air-conditioned minibus
- Professional guide
- 5 Nights’ stay in lodges, rest camps and guesthouses (depending on availability, accommodation of a similar standard will be booked)
- Meals according to the itinerary
- Activities as per itinerary
- All national park fees
- Flights (international and domestic)
- Meals not indicated in the itinerary
- Alcoholic and soft drinks
- Optional activities
- Personal expenses
- Visa fees
- Travel insurance