Five hiking trails to explore in the majestic Drakensberg Mountains
The majestic Drakensberg mountain range in KwaZulu-Natal is an absolute must for anyone looking to do some serious hiking. The word roughly translates to Dragon Mountain and is easily acceptable from both Johannesburg and Durban making it one of the most visited and beloved mountain ranges in South Africa.
The Giants Cup Hiking Trail
Located within the Ukhahlamba Wilderness Area (a World Heritage Site) this meandering 60-kilometre hike takes one from Sani Pass towards Bushman’s Nek. The hike takes roughly three days to complete and they have even introduced something called ‘Slackpacking’ where hikers can stay in luxury lodges after each day’s hiking. It works out to roughly 13 kilometres a day. Click here for an extensive visitors guide to the area.
The Amphitheatre Heritage Hike
The Amphitheatre Heritage Hike is one of the grandest mountain areas in all of the Drakensberg and an absolute must for any hiking enthusiast both novice and skilled. It’s also another world heritage site for which the Drakensberg boasts many. The hike also features awe-inspiring views of the famed Tugela Falls which also happens to be the world’s second-highest waterfall and the highest in Africa. Visit this website for more information.
Maluti Community Trail
The gateway to this culturally rich hiking trail is Matatiele roughly 70 kilometres from Kokstad in the relatively unexplored Southern Drakensberg. The trail takes one through certain rural villages in the area, and hikers will get a chance to experience real indigenous South African life. The hike takes four days to complete and hikers will be accommodated at various chalets at the end of each day. Check out this page for more.
Tugela Gorge Hike
Widely regarded as the greatest one day hike in South Africa, it’s said that the best time to participate in the Tugela gorge trail is during Spring when all the amazing fauna and flora of the Drakensberg mountain range is in bloom, majestically blanketing the countryside. It’s also recommended that one wears suitable hiking shoes. however, if you have space to pack sandals that’s also advisable for when you will be walking through the river to get to the gorge. Hire a car in South Africa to accommodate your travel.
Cannibal Cavern Hike
This hike will transport you back to the darker times of South African history. Where certain people within the Drakensberg area were driven from their homes by the mighty Zulu Warriors of Shaka Zulu’s reign. Some of these people out of sheer desperation turned to cannibalism. The hike takes roughly four hours and is seven kilometres in distance. The cavern is situated in The Royal Natal National Park and is a part of the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site. Visit this website for more information on this fascinating piece of South African history.