Northern Drakensberg Traverse - 6 Days

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HIGHLIGHTS
  • Enjoy sweeping views of the Drakenberg Amphitheatre
  • See Tugela Falls — the secondhighest waterfall in the world
  • Experience pristine, untouched wilderness
  • Cross the Rwanqwa Pass, located at an altitude of 3218m
This scenic trek awaits those who’d like to push their limits and enjoy pristine, untouched wilderness in the Drakensberg region. Book this 6-day, guided trek and follow the Drakensberg escarpment while enjoying some of the most dramatic mountain views in South Africa.

Regarded as one of the the world’s top 10 treks, this journey starts in the northern Drakensberg near Sentinel Peak and the Amphitheatre, then winds along a spectacular mountainous landscape towards Cathedral Peak. Hike to the top of the Drakensberg escarpment on the first day before traversing the distance from Tugela Falls to the Stimela Ridge on the second day. Cross the Rwanqwa Pass, the highest point of the trek (3218m), on the third day. Your journey comes to an end in Didima Lodge on the sixth day of the trip.

The Drakensberg escarpment divides South Africa and Lesotho. As you trek southward, the lowlands of KwaZulu are visible below the colossal Drakensberg peaks. An unusual experience, hiking in the high Berg takes place on top of the mountains and often above the clouds.

Enjoy breathtaking views of jagged peaks and massive cliffs that form the escarpment each day of the trip. Notice how the jagged ridges form a contrast with the rolling highland meadows and streams of Lesotho below. For more about this trip, please scroll down to the itinerary section.

Day 1

Transfer from Cathedral Peak or Didima Lodge to the trailhead at the Sentinel Car Park in the northern Drakensberg. Your trek begins at 10:00 am. Hike to the top of the Drakensberg escarpment via the chain ladders in Mont-Aux-Sources.

Spend your first night near the source of the Tugela River, one of South Africa’s major rivers, which empties into the Indian Ocean. Enjoy awesome views over the Tugela Valley, Amphitheatre and the Sentinel.

Walking distance: 8km

Day 2

See the stunning Tugela Falls, the second highest waterfall in the world, and head for the Stimela Ridge today. Pass the Ifidi Pinnacles on the way. Have your lunch while enjoying stunning views over the valley. Camp at Stimela Ridge.

Walking distance: 12km

Day 3

Start your day by skirting around the remote Mnweni cutback. See Mnweni Needles and enjoy great views of Madonna and her Worshipers, the Fangs, Rwanqwa Pass and 12 Apostles. The top of the Rwanqwa Pass is the highest point of the trek, located at the altitude of 3218m.

Camp tonight on the Orange River Plateau, near the source of Orange River, one of South Africa’s main rivers, which winds its way to meet the Atlantic Ocean at the Alexander Bay.

Day 4

Climb up to a viewpoint above the Rockeries Pass and enjoy majestic views of the rugged Rockeries Ridge. See the huge wedge of North Peak loom ever closer as you pass a Cape Griffon Vulture nesting site.

Pass through the saddle between North and South peaks, ascending over a knife-edge ridge. See amazing views of the Cathedral Peak range. Camp tonight on the bank of the Kwakwatsi River.

Walking distance: 15km

Day 5

Enjoy stunning views over Cathedral Peak and Mhlambonja Buttress. You will be surrounded by Bell, Mitre and Chessmen as you descend about 1,000m during a 4km journey. Hike further until you reach today’s campsite on the Mhlambonja River, near a beautiful Berg river pool, perfect for an early afternoon swim.

Please note that this option is contingent on weather. In case the weather turns bad, we will take a quick detour to the Twins Cave.

Walking distance: 13km

Day 6

A short climb past Mt Helga where elands often graze takes you to the rolling hills of Drakensberg. See Column and Pyramid tower above you as you head down to the lodge for a welcome shower and civilised luxuries.

  • Professional, qualified mountain guide
  • All meals from lunch on day 1 to lunch on day 6
  • General camping gear like stoves, cups, plates, utensils and 3-season mountain tents
  • 1 night bed and breakfast at a mountain lodge rest in camps along the route
  • Transfer from Didima Lodge to the trailhead
  • National Park fees
  • Personal camping gear and items on the gear list
  • Travel/medical insurance
  • Pickup and drop off. Transport to and from Drakensberg
  • Dinner and beverages at the mountain lodge
  • Anything not mentioned on the itinerary or the ‘What’s Included’ section

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

Northern Drakensberg Traverse
Price From
$ 1,800 Per Person
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Adult
$ 1,800 Per Adult
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