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 alsobe of assistance especially if your first hike. A list of the caves and phone numbers that can be booked is available hereand an example of the Mountain Rescue Register can be downloaded here.
Maliba Upper Trail To Black Pool in the Tsehlanyane National Park is an easy 3.2km hike (2 miles), taking about 1 hours 20 minutes to Black Pool. A circular route returning via Lower trail should take about 2 hours 30 minutes.
The upper trail starts from the junction about 140m north of the lodge veranda, accessed off the gravel road leading to the nursery. The trail is a clearly marked path with markers showing the distance covered in meters.
The start of the trail at the lodge is at 2030 meters above sea level. From here it climbs steeply for a short distance then winds along the contours of the mountains. Through the shrubbery crossing a number of small streams, some with crystal clear drinkable water, climbing up gently to a about 2140 meters then varying between this height and 2120m, until it drops to the black pool at about 2080meters.
As the trail winds through the convoluted mountains you become one with the beauty and splendor of the area. Looking back you will get awesome views of the lodge. Look out for eagles and other raptors circling near the peaks. The vegetation consists mostly of mountain shrubs and grasses. Looking closely you will be amazed at the variety of plants. You will also find tracks of porcupines and duiker along the way.
Shortly after passing the junction on the right of the Lower trail you reach “Lets’a-Lets’o” the Black Lake. This is a good place to rest and absorb the sounds of the river and the birds that are drawn to the water.
A few meters past “Black Lake” you will pass through a clump of mountain bamboo then you reach the crossing of the Hlotse River. The path continues to climb up from here for 2.2km to the “Matsa-Mararo” The Three Cascade Pools at a height of 2280m.