DRAKENSBERG MOUNTAINS HIKING TOUR

8-Day Private 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.

 

Sunset seen from Lodge

Highlights

Day 1-8; 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
  • Giant’s Castle Reserve: Stunning hike with panorama views of the Drakensberg
  • Kamberg Region: Spot the bearded and cape vulture whilst hiking, hike to Mooi River in unspoilt landscapes and view San rock art

Facts

Private hiking tour:
Hiking in the Drakensberg Mountains
Tourcode: SAEXP06HIK
From: Johannesburg
To: Durban
Min. number to guarantee tour: N/A
Max number of participants: private hike
Departure day: any day of your choice
Price: on request
Single Supplement: on request

 

Itinerary

Day 1 | Johannesburg – uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park, Royal Natal National Park

Driving distance approx. 360 km; pure driving time approx. 4-5 hours
Hiking distance approx. 5 km; hiking time approx. 2 hours and altitude approx. 200 m↑↓

In the morning, you meet your guide at the Safari Club near Johannesburg Airport, where we recommend staying overnight if you are from overseas. We can book this accommodation for you. After a short introduction with your guide, your adventure begins. Your destination is the Drakensberg Mountains. You drive through the Free State province to KwaZulu-Natal, one of the country’s most diverse provinces. Before lunch, you arrive at Thendele Camp in the Royal Natal National Park, part of the UNESCO World Heritage uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park. Having checked in, you can enjoy an incredible view of the natural amphitheatre. After an optional lunch, you hike to the Mahai River and Lookout Rock, where you can spot eland antelopes and other resident wildlife in this dramatic mountain range. On your return, you experience a traditional dinner called a “Braai” (BBQ), cooked over a fire by your guide. You spend the night at Thendele Camp.
Dinner

Day 2 | uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park, Royal Natal National Park

Hiking distance approx. 13 km; hiking time approx. 6-7 hours and altitude approx. 450 m↑↓

After a hearty breakfast, the first long hike begins. You follow a winding mountainside path until you reach the Tugela River, where you walk along the dry riverbed to the base of the natural amphitheatre. From this position, you can observe that the amphitheatre extends for several kilometres and rises 1000m above you. Moreover, Sentinel (3165 m) and Eastern Buttress (3047 m) peaks appear to stand to attention on either side of this beautiful rock formation. You can also see the impressive Tugela Waterfall, which can disappear during the dry seasons. Throughout the day, you experience a sense of peace and seclusion. Back at the camp, relax with a refreshing drink while watching the sunset as your guide prepares a “Potjiekos” dinner, a traditional South African stew. You spend another night at 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 altitude approx. 600 m↑↓

After breakfast, load your belongings in the vehicle, then set off on a stunning hike to your next destination, Witsieshoek Lodge, at the foot of Sentinel Peak. The trail passes the Tiger Falls and continues uphill, where the view becomes more dramatic with each step. Ahead is a rock wall, which can be traversed by climbing through the “Crack,” a narrow gap in the rocks. The reward at the top is a magnificent view of the amphitheatre and the surrounding mountains. The final walking section leads you over a ridge to Witsieshoek Mountain Lodge, where your luggage, sundowner, dinner and a good night’s sleep await.
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 4 | uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park, Sentinel Peak – Witsieshoek

Hiking distance approx. 12 km; hiking time approx. 6-7 hours and altitude approx. 770 m↑↓

On day four, you hike to the summit of Sentinel Peak (3165 m), which may be the most memorable and challenging day yet. En route, you see the Tugela Waterfall, which originates at the foot of the peak. During cold weather, the waterfall can freeze instead of cascading 948 m into the valley below, creating a magnificent sight. The final challenge is to use iron ladder rungs to ascend the almost vertical wall to the peak. However, you can follow an alternative route if you are uncomfortable with heights. The outstanding views from the peak are unforgettable. Back at Witsieshoek Mountain Lodge, your reward is a delicious dinner before falling deeply asleep in a comfortable bed.
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 5 | uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park, Giant’s Castle Reserve

Driving distance approx. 250 km; pure driving time approx. 4 hours

After the summit ascent the previous day, you can take it slightly easier on the fifth day of your adventure. Today’s destination is the Giant’s Castle Reserve in the central part of the Drakensberg. However, before you depart, there is a unique experience to savour. One of the last remaining populations of lammergeiers (also known as Bearded vultures) resides in the Drakensberg Mountains. These birds are extremely rare and have a wingspan of 3 meters. Before breakfast, you can see them in their natural habitat – a unique opportunity few people experience. After breakfast, you drive through beautiful scenery and pass the Sterkfontein Dam. At the Giant’s Castle Resort, you can relax in the mountain air, partake in an optional hike, and enjoy a delicious dinner before falling asleep in one of the resort’s bungalows. You spend the next two nights at Giant’s Castle Resort.
Breakfast | Dinner

Day 6 | uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park, Giant’s Castle Reserve

Hiking distance approx. 8 km; hiking time approx. 3-4 hours and altitude approx. 320 m↑↓

After breakfast, you set out on a picturesque hike in the Drakensberg. The trail follows a small stream leading you to a viewpoint where you can relish magnificent views of the 3000m high mountain range. Here, the air is fresh and invigorating. Along the trail, Eland antelopes, Africa’s largest antelope, can be seen, as well as other wildlife species. In the late afternoon, you return to Giant’s Castle Resort to relax after another memorable day, and you can look forward to another tasty dinner.
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 7 | Giant‘s Castle Reserve – uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park, Kamberg Region – Umdloti

Driving distance approx. 250 km; pure driving time approx. 4 hours
Hiking distance approx. 7 km; hiking time approx. 3 hours and altitude approx. 280 m↑↓

On day 7, your itinerary includes a trek and a drive to Greenfire Dolphin Coast Lodge on the Indian Ocean. After breakfast, you hike in the Kamberg region of the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park. During this walk, you stop to marvel at preserved rock art created by the San People. While there, you learn about their history, spiritual beliefs, and traditional nomadic lifestyle from your guide – a fascinating experience. Along the trail, you may spot baboons and different species of vultures circling in the sky. After the hike, you drive to your beachside accommodation on the Indian Ocean. Once you have checked in, you can take a leisurely walk on the beach and enjoy an optional dinner at one of many of Umdloti’s restaurants. You spend the night at the Greenfire Dolphin Coast Lodge.
Breakfast | Lunch

Day 8 | Umdloti – Durban Airport

Driving distance approx. 10 km; driving time approx. 15 minutes

During the morning, there is ample time to prepare and take one last walk on the beach. After breakfast, it’s time to say goodbye to your guide, who continues to the dramatic Wild Coast. When the time is right, the lodge can arrange a taxi to take you to Durban Airport.
Breakfast

 

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.

Includes

  • transport in an airconditioned minibus
  • professional guide
  • 7 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

Excludes

  • flights (international and domestic)
  • meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • alcoholic and soft drinks
  • optional activities
  • tips
  • personal expenses
  • visa fees
  • travel insurance

Map

Hiking in the Drakensberg Mountains map

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