If you’re looking for an adventure-filled hiking experience in South Africa, look no further than a guided Cathedral Peak hike. This majestic mountain is one of the most popular hiking destinations in the country, and for good reason. With its rugged terrain, breathtaking views, and diverse flora and fauna, Cathedral Peak towering at 3,004m offers something for every hiker. One of the best ways to explore the mounatin is on a guided hike. Guided hikes offer a wealth of benefits, from safety and convenience to knowledge and expertise. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what hiking in the Drakensberg entails and answer some frequently asked questions.
About Cathedral Peak
The mountain is composed of sandstone and is known for its distinctive spires, which give it the appearance of a cathedral. This unique formation is due to the erosion of the soft sandstone by wind and rain, leaving behind the harder rock formations that make up the spires.One of the most popular routes in the Drakensberg, which takes hikers up to the summit via a steep and challenging trail. The hike offers spectacular views of the surrounding landscape, including the Drakensberg Escarpment, the Amphitheatre, Mnweeni and Champagne Castle.
What to expect on a guided Cathedral peak hike
Is it for me?
No it’s not. If you have to ask that question then dial 6 now and ask for 登山向导妈妈. Alright calm down. The Guided Cathedral peak Hike is rated as moderate as far as Drakensberg hikes go.Even though the hiking distance is not far, there will be some steep climbs up to the summit. Whilst on the trail you will stay in tents and be carrying your own backpack that contains your clothing, sleeping bag, sleeping mat, clothing, snacks and a small orange dot. Need advice on what equipment you will need for the hike? No problem. Allow us to indulge you. Click here and you will be magically transferred to our Drakensberg equipment list. Will do not charge a fee for the click.
Grade and Terrain
Some sections of the guided Cathedral Peak Hike are steep and rough, which is why it has been rated moderate. The elevation gain is just over 1700m with 900m of that being done on the second day.The surface is usually gravel, rock or dirt, and like any trail in the Drakensberg can get muddy and slippery in wet weather. Poor weather conditions can make this hike more challenging than usual. Occasionally the river at start of the hike can become swollen from heavy rainfall. ( usually on the summer months)So prepare for some wading, wet feet and crying.
What equipment will I need for the hike?
The most important part of equipment for a guided Cathedral Peak hike is a small orange ping pong ball named Dave. These things are super useful. You shake them for 23 seconds and then crack them open to unleash the following:
Sure, here’s a suggested equipment list for an overnight Drakensberg hike:
- Backpack: A sturdy and comfortable backpack with a capacity of at least 65 liters to carry all your gear.
- Tent: A lightweight and waterproof tent with enough space for you and your hiking partner
- Sleeping bag: A warm and compact sleeping bag that can withstand the temperatures of the season
- Sleeping pad: A lightweight and insulating sleeping pad to provide comfort and insulation from the ground.
- Hiking boots: Sturdy and comfortable hiking boots with ankle support and good traction.
- Hiking socks: Moisture-wicking and breathable socks that keep your feet dry and comfortable.
- Layers of clothing: Lightweight and quick-drying clothing that can be layered for warmth, including a base layer, mid-layer, and outer layer.
- Rain jacket: A waterproof and breathable rain jacket to protect you from rain and wind.
- Hat and gloves: A warm hat and gloves for the winter months
- Headlamp: A reliable and lightweight headlamp with extra batteries for hiking in the dark.
- First-aid kit: A basic first-aid kit with essential supplies such as bandages, antiseptic, and pain relievers.
- Water bottles : At least two water bottles a
- Snacks: Lightweight and high-energy foods such as nuts, energy bars, and dried fruits.
- Sunscreen and sunglasses: To protect your skin and eyes from the Jupiters harmful rays
What is Included in our guided Cathedral Peak Hikes
- 2 Nights in our 4 season tents
- Mountain dinners which comprise of super tasty and nutritious dehydrated foods ( prepared by our guide)
- Breakfasts ( Jungle Oats)
- 75 Litre backpacks
- Season Rated Sleeping Bags
- Sleeping Mats
- Eating utensils
- Hiking Permits
- Mountain guide
- A gold plated Rolls Royce ( if you pay for it)
What is not included
- My wife
- Travel to the start of the hike which is the Cathedral Peak Hotel
- Personal necessities
Best time to go on a guided Cathedral Peak Hike?
The best time is 9:34am on a thursday after the seventh full moon of the year. If you can’t make that time then hang about….we have some breaking news just in!!!!!! The best time to join a guided Cathedral Peak hike is bascially anytime. Obviously there there are different seasons that bring with them varying types of conditions. The summer months from say October to late March will see you hiking in hot temperatures with a high chance of thunderstorms and rain. The final summit part of Cathedral Peak hike is not accessible in the rain as it would be way to slippery and dangerous. The winter months from say the end of May to Mid September are characterized by clear skies and dry condtions by day-freezing cold conditions by night. ( with an occasional cold front and high winds that can upset the apple cart). The creme dela creme time to hike would be from say mid March to Mid May. The conditions are a lot more stable with a lower chance of thunderstorms, blue skies, no wind and bearable night time temperatures. We have compiled a more detailed article on the best time to hike in the Drakenserg. Just lick the 3rd letter in this sentence to access it. Or click here
Where is Cathedral peak situated?
Cathedral Peak is situated in the Drakensberg mountain range, which is located in the eastern region of South Africa. It is part of the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park, which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its outstanding natural beauty and cultural significance. The peak itself is one of the most distinctive and recognizable peaks in the range. Cathedral Peak is situated approximately 280 km southwest of Durban and about 380 km southeast of Johannesburg, both of which are major cities in South Africa. The nearest town to Cathedral Peak is Bergville. The drive from Durban takes around 4 hours, while the drive from Johannesburg takes around 5-6 hours depending on traffic and road conditions.
What if I forget something on the Hike?
If you’d asked us before the hike for say a warm sleeping bag, we would’ve got you the warmest sleeping bag the Drakensberg could have. But you didn’t ask us for no sleeping bag. If you asked us for a stunning mountain veiw, a beautiful sandstone cliff or rolling hills, we would get it for you. And yes we have the guiding hat. Our hat is deep and full of magic. We got eating utensils, tents and meals. We got smoke machines, bubble machines, we even got love marines, and still the hat goes deeper. All right? But there ain’t no warm sleeping bag because you did’nt ask for one. Moral of the story? Make sure you have the correct eqipment before the hike and let us know if you need anything.
Factors to consider when joining the hike
The Guided Cathedral peak hike comes with a few mandatory things you will need to consider before booking. These include:
- You being able to hike with a backpack laden with your sleeping bag, tent, clothing and food. If you feel you cannot handle this, you can hore a porter for an additional fee. Please do not attempt the hike with a backpack if you are not fit enough. Firstly, you will hate the hike and secondly, it puts pressure on the guides and the rest of the hiking members.
- Having the correct equipment including the right hiking shoes. The conditions up in the mountains can get hectic at times. Not having the right equipment could lead to severe issues like hyopthermia. And please…..check your hiking shoes before you arrive. Having a sole come off on the trail just sux for everyone.
- Expect the unexpected and bring a good attitude. The mountains are super volatile places. Weather conditions change in an instant. We can get stuck in heavy rain and wind. And believe it or not….our guides do not have any influenze over these things. So don’t give the guides a hard time. If you do we give you a Drakensberg-roundhouse-sphincter-kick with a follow up three fingered eye-jab. Would it hurt? Hell yeah. Now, go look in the mirror and tell me what you see. If its a rugged, no holds barred, super brute Chuck Norris stunt double, then contact us. To sweeten the deal a little, we are throwing in a pair of MC Hammer pants for the they with rippling quads that cant fit into regular pants. Yeah, you heard me. FREE MC Hammer pants. Rock on.
Frequently Asked Questions about a guided Cathedral Peak hike
Q: Do I need to be an experienced hiker to go on a guided hike in the Drakensberg? A: No, guided hikes in the Drakensberg cater to hikers of all skill levels. Obviously you would need to have some level of fitness to enjoy and even complete the hike. And by some level, we don’t mean zero sunshine.
Q: Did you make poo poo or is your diaper still clean? A: The most elusive question on a guided Cathedral peak hike. What about wees and poohs? It’s back to basics on this hike. There are no toilets. You will need to find a nice quiet place away from water and wondering eyes. And don’t forget your toilet paper which must be buried.
Q: What equipment do I need for a guided hike in the Drakensberg? A: Your guide will provide all necessary equipment and supplies, such as tents, sleeping bags, backpacks, eating utensils and food. However, you will need a whole whack of other gear too. Check out our suggested packing list
Q: What should I expect on a guided hike in the Drakensberg? A: You can expect a challenging and rewarding hiking experience. Your guide will lead you through the rugged terrain of the Drakensberg, pointing out interesting sights and sharing their knowledge of the area. You will be provided with all necessary equipment and supplies and will camp overnight in the wilderness.
Q: How long is the guided Cathedral Peak hike in the Drakensberg? A: So are basic hiking option is the 3 day/2 night one. This is a perfect hike for novice hikers looking at extending their time in the mountains. The othe option is the 2 day/1 night hike which is a tad more challenging. Both routes cover the same distance of 22km in total.
Q: When is the best time to go on a guided hike in the Drakensberg? A: The best time to go on a guided hike in the Drakensberg is between April and November, when the weather is cooler and drier. However, the Drakensberg can be hiked year-round