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.

Policeman's Helmet Hike

The PolicemanS Helmet Trail 1 copyStarting at the Gorge car park this 6km hike to Policeman's Helmet with an elevation gain 340m along the way offers great views.

Location (Degrees)
28°43'19.9"S 28°55'42.4"E
Location (Decimal)
-28.722181, 28.928444
Type of Hike
Day Hike
Hike Grade
Hike Distance (Km's to destination)
Total Hike Distance (Km's)
Hike Duration (to destination)
Hike Duration (return)
Total Hike Duration (Hrs)
Landmarks, Vistas

The amphitheatre, flanked by the Eastern Buttress and the Sentinel, dominates the scenery, with the Policeman's Helmet standing proud in the foreground. The sandstone structure is visible from afar and it doesn’t take much imagination to see where it got its name.

From the Tugela Gorge car park head along the Tugela George Trail with the Vemvaan River on your left. A path comes in from the Thendele camp on your right, keep going straight. Follow the main trail for about 300 metres and then take a path heading off to the left. You are now heading up the Vemvaan Valley. The trail now swings to the left and begins to climb, eventually reaching the ridge where you will find Policeman’s Helmet.

Follow the ridge to the end and to the base of this huge sandstone rock. From along the ridge, you can get a photograph of the Policeman’s Helmet with the Amphitheatre and Sentinel in the distance.


GPX track map

Elevation (altitude) diagram of the track

Track length and Trackpoint information

Information Calculated value
Overall distance (metric) 6 km
Overall distance (imperial) 3.8 miles

Elevation / altitude data (metric)

Information Calculated value
Altitude range (highest-lowest point) 318 m
Minimum altitude (lowest point) 1500 m
Maximum altitude (highest point) 1818 m
Uphill (addition of positive altitude changes) 340 m
Downhill (addition of negative altitude changes) 40 m

Elevation / altitude data (imperial)

Information Calculated value
Altitude range (highest-lowest point) 1043 ft
Minimum altitude (lowest point) 4921 ft
Maximum altitude (highest point) 5965 ft
Uphill (addition of positive altitude changes) 1115 ft
Downhill (addition of negative altitude changes) 131 ft

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