Hikes

drakensberg maps

When going on a hike please ensure you have a map which can be purchased from most of the Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife regional reserves or at the head office in Pietermaritzburg.

This guide to Hiking in the Drakensberg may also be of assistance especially if your first hike. A list of the caves and phone numbers that can be booked is available here and an example of the Mountain Rescue Register can be downloaded here.

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Mnweni Pools Hike

Mnweni Pools Hike

KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

A 12.5km hike from the Mnweni Cultural Centre with an elevation gain of 347m.
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Category Hikes
Jonathans Gate (via Bushman's Nek Pass) Hike

Jonathans Gate (via Bushman's Nek Pass) Hike

KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Jonathan's Gate Pass is situated in the Southern Drakensberg, Bushman's Nek area. It was once an old Lesotho Border Post and active stock theft route. All that remains is five burnt down prefabricated buildings and an old desolate brick building.
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Category Bushmans Nek

A fun family day outing to Cobham and a short easy walk along the Pholela river. The distance is your choosing, from 1km to 5km in total. As you wind your way along the river choose one of the many pools to have a swim in and have a picnic lunch. This is a great way to introduce your kids to the Drakensberg without it ...
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Category Hikes
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Policeman's Helmet Hike

Policeman's Helmet Hike

KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Starting at the Gorge car park this 6km hike to Policeman's Helmet with an elevation gain 340m along the way offers great views.
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Category Royal Natal
Garden Castle to Rhino Peak (Thaba Ngcobo)

Garden Castle to Rhino Peak (Thaba Ngcobo)

KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

An difficult 10km hike which takes roughly 5 hours with a total uphill of 1 194m. An early start and the hike to the top and back can be done in a day, else take is easy and sleep in a cave or tent at the top overnight.
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Category Garden Castle

A popular pool only 4.5 km from Bushman's Nek camp. The pool is apparently named after Cedric Biggs, a leader of the Mountain Backpackers Club some years ago, who was known for plunging through the ice into the freezing pool. It's also referred to as "Three pools" on some of the Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife maps and literatu ...
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Category Hikes

This is a great 3 hour (6,6km circular route) moderate walk through an indigenous forest to a magnificent grotto with waterfall and pool. The water can be cold as not too much sun shines into the pool. After the pool head up the hill to Barry's Grave. Dick Barry was one of the early mountaineering pioneers of the area ...
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Category Monks Cowl
Gxalingenwa Cave via Pinnacle Rock

Gxalingenwa Cave via Pinnacle Rock

KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

11.5 km (4 hours) via Pinnacle Rock and an elevation gain of 432m The hike is good for bird watching and game viewing. It follows the Emerald Stream, past indigenous forest to a spectacular waterfall with pools suitable for swimming on the way back form the cave. The cave is a real cave with great views into the vall ...
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Category Hikes
Bannerman Hut via Langalibalele Ridge

Bannerman Hut via Langalibalele Ridge

KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

The long way to get to Bannerman Hut, 14km's, 609m uphill most of which is in the 1st half of the hike, its pretty flat thereafter. The views from Bannerman Hut and the relative luxury of the hut overnight will make the hike worth while.
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Category Giants Castle
Lammergeier Cave Hike

Lammergeier Cave Hike

KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

A strenuous 9.5km hike from Buskman's Nek Camp. A Map and knowledge of the area is necessary as no path exists in parts. The total elevation gain is 645 meters, no part of the hike is downhill. The cave could fit 50 people but 12 is the maximum allowed by Ezemvelo. A stream is below the cave all year and the sunrise i ...
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Category Hikes
Tlanyaku Pass

Tlanyaku Pass

KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Tlanyaku Pass is a steep pass located in the Cathedral Peak area. It is situated between Ndedema Dome and the Sphinx.
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Category Cathedral Peak
Organ Pipes Pass from Cathedral Peak Reserve

Organ Pipes Pass from Cathedral Peak Reserve

KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Organ Pipes Pass is probably one of the most commonly used passes in the KZN Drakensberg. The name is derived from the very impressive wall of rock pinnacles near the top of the pass. The ridge offers stunning views of the Cathedral and Cathkin ridges. This route is commonly used for smuggling activities and is best a ...
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Category Hikes
Tugela Gorge Chain Ladder Hike

Tugela Gorge Chain Ladder Hike

KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

This magnificent hike starts at the Gorge Car Park leading through stretches of protea veld and forest, and the scenery beyond the Gorge is spectacular.  
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Category Royal Natal
Gxalingenwa Cave via Pholela Shelter

Gxalingenwa Cave via Pholela Shelter

KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

12.5 kms (5 hours) via Pholela Hut and an elevation gain of 530m. The hike via Pholela Cave follows day 1 of the giants cup trail in reverse for the first  7.25km's and then you turn left (continue straight) and follow Gxalingenwa River up the valley. The cave is a real cave with great views into the valley. It' ...
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Category Cobham