Drakensberg Hiking Trails
This area incorporates portions of the natal Drakensberg and the Maluti Mountains and is dominated by the Amphitheatre, Sentinel, Eastern Buttress, and the Malutis.
This fascinating mountain range rises approximately 3,475 meters and it extends itself for 1.125 km’ s parallel to the south-eastern coast of South Africa. For hikers, this means an almost endless wonder through rocky terrain with breathtaking views. Rock paintings have been found in the area dating back several thousands of years and are worth looking out for. For those with a little bit more experience, a hike to Sentinel Peak will see you at the highest free-standing peak in the Northern Drakensberg.
The main rivers are the Tugela, the Namahadi, the Mesti Matsho and the Mahai, which have numerous tributaries including Vemvaan River & The Gudu River. All of these streams have many beautiful pools and waterfalls.
All hiking trails have the option of having a guide accompany you, the guide provides knowledge about the area and surrounding communities. Should you encounter shepherds while hiking the guide has the ability to speak the local language and communicate with them.
Hiking from Sentinel Peak Car Park:
The Sentinel Peak Car Park is the trailhead to the Drakensberg Grand Traverse, one of the world’s great off-track wild hiking adventures. For most hikers, this trailhead is better-known as the starting point for the one-day Sentinel Peak or Chain Ladder Hike which takes you to the top of the Amphitheatre.
Update – December 2022. At the moment the last few km of the road to the Car Park require a 4×4. Not just a high ground clearance SUV, but a proper 4×4. If you don’t have those facilities, please contact us to arrange a transfer and leave your car parked at Witsieshoek Mountain Lodge.
The difference between summer and winter walking is “chalk and cheese”. In summer, dehydration and the heat can be dangerous, whilst in winter the cold and avoiding being “caught out” are the big hazards. Summer storms can also drop the temperature to below freezing, so ALWAYS carry anoraks. The time taken along the same path in summer is usually 20 to 25% longer than in winter. This is especially apparent when carrying a large “pack”; so when calculating the time with a pack, add a further 25%. The times quoted in the descriptions are all for cool weather.