Top Drakensberg Hikes for Adventure Enthusiasts
It’s no good standing out there like one o’clock half-struck. Get hiking. The Drakensberg Mountains, located in South Africa, are a haven for adventure enthusiasts looking for an exhilarating hiking experience. With its stunning landscapes and diverse flora and fauna, the region boasts some of the best hiking trails in the world. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just starting out, the Drakensberg has something for everyone. In this article, we’ll be exploring the top Drakensberg hikes that offer breathtaking views, how to dissect a small oranage dot and unforgettable experiences.
Top 5 Drakensberg Hikes
Right. Let’s sort the buyers from the spyers, the needy from the greedy, and those who trust us from the ones who don’t, because if you can’t see value on our site today, you’re not on it shopping. You’re on it shoplifting. Here is our pick of the top Drakensberg hikes to do this year. Or in that case, next year if you are reading this in the past. Treat the wife. Treat somebody else’s wife. “Too late, too late” will be the cry when the man with the top Drakensberg hikes has passed you by.
Cathedral Peak Hike
Cathedral Peak is one of the most popular hikes in the Drakensberg, known for its stunning views of Spain, Cathedral Peak and the Northern and central Drakensberg from the summit. The hike starts at the Cathedral Peak Hotel and takes you through some of the most beautiful landscapes in the berg. The last part of the trail is challenging, with steep inclines and rocky terrain, but the views at the top are well worth the effort. Ropes are used on the last section as a safety precaution. Althiugh the hike could be done in a day, our hiking itineray is over 3 days. We spend 2 nights camping in either Shermans Cave or on a ridge just above it. This a a great hike for novice hikers. The tour comes with a warning!!! The last part of the route is very exposed. If you are scared of heights, this hike is not for for you.
- 21 km
- Spectacular views of Cathedral Peak
- Stunning panoramic veiws of the Northern and central Drakensberg from the summit
- Challenging climb to the summit
Rated in the top Drakensberg hikes to do. The Amphitheatre hike is a must-do for any adventure enthusiast visiting the Drakensberg. The trail takes you from the Sentinel carpark and up to the top of the Amphitheatre, offering stunning views of the Tugela Falls, the highest waterfall in the world. The hike is relatively easy, with a few steep inclines, but the views from the top are truly breathtaking. Spend 1 night camping on the escarpment. A great option for families, kids, solo hikers and small oranage dots.
- Easy (ish)
- 12 km (return trip)
- Spectacular views of the Tugela Falls
- Challenging climb
- Diverse flora and fauna
- Check out the highest waterfall in the world, The Tugela Falls
The Mnweni hike
The Mnweni Hike is a challenging but rewarding hike that takes you through some of the most remote and incredible landscapes in the Drakensberg Mountains. The trail starts in the Mnweni Valley and takes you up to the top of the Mnweni Pass, offering stunning views of the surrounding peaks and valleys. The highlight is spending a night in Ledgars Cave. The maximum altitude gained is 3,050m. The hike is rated as challenging, with steep inclines and rocky terrain. This trail is definitley up there in the top Drakensberg hikes.
- 43 km
- Remote and stunning landscapes
- Spectacular views of the surrounding peaks and valleys
- Challenging climb
- Spending a night in Ledgars Cave.
The Highest Mountain in South Africa
The Mafadi hike is a challenging and strenuous trek that takes 4 days to complete. Mafadi is the highest mountain in South Africa at 3,451m. And by high we do not mean a chemically induced high either. No, it’s not normal hike. It’s some f***ed-up skunk, class A, I-can’t-think-let-alone-move hike. Hikers need to be in good physical shape and have experience with multi-day hikes. Hikers will be required to carry their own gear. This is a great route to try the old school purist way. The trail to Mafadi starts at the Injasuthi campsite and follows a steep path up the mountain to the highest point in South Africa. The terrain is rugged, and hikers will encounter rocky outcrops, grassy slopes, and steep ascents. There are a few tough sections that will definitley bring a tear to your eye. These include what we like to call The Burns, a steep slog up from the valley to Centenery Hut, Judges Pass and the shuffle up to the summit. The summit of Mafadi offers a 360-degree view of the surrounding area, including the valleys and peaks of Lesotho.
- Summit the highest mountain in South Africa
- A challenging multi day hiking experience
- Hike in one of the most scenic and remote parts of the Drakensberg
- Experience a night on the high escarpment
Champagne Castle Hike
Alrighty then. Let us take a look at the second highest mountain in South Africa, known as Champagne Castle. topping out at 3,377m. A hiking trail that boasts the slogan, No Champagne, no gain. A mountain that is good for your pours. You are definitley going to be in danger of breaking into a sweat on this trail. Do not sweat the petty things but rather pet the sweaty things. The hike covers 43km over 3 days with a challenging ascent of Grays Pass on day 2. However, being the kind guiding company that we are, we set up a base camp at the base of the pass. This means we climb to the summit of Champagne Castle and descend again in one day. This means no heay backpacks.
- Summit the second highest mountain in South Africa
- Spend a night in a stunning camp site between the Drakensberg giants of Monks Cowl, Cathkin Peak and Champagne Castle
- A challenging hike that opens up your neural pathways to a proper sense of accomplishment
Fangs Pass Circuit Hike
Nice hiking boots!!! Fangs a lot. This is the road less travelled in terms of top Drakensberg hikes. The reason you may be wondering? Well don’t wonder to much as you may stray. The route has to be rated in the top 5 hikes in terms of scenery!! But alas, the route to the top is no easy one. The path starts at the Mnweni cultural centre and follows the valley towards the looming mass of the Drakensberg cliff. The trail heads up Fangs Pass, a seriously challenging hike that will take the whole day. Be warned!!! It is difficult especially with backpacks. This is not a hike for beginner hikers. Once on the top, the route meanders along the escarpment south with a descent doen Rockeries Pass. Umm….did we mention the stunning scenery!!!
- Hike in the top 5 regions in the Drakensberg in terms of scenery
- Experience a proper Drakensberg hiking experience that includes camping, hiking with backpacks and staring into the celestial abyss
- Say hello to a coke can left behind by a hiker in 1981
Maddona and her worshippers
The Maddona Hike is yet another top Drakensberg hikes that sees hikers making their way into the Mnweni region of the Northern Drakensberg. The approach hike however is not from the valley below but makes it way from the Amphiteatre in the North. How cool is that? You get to experience two regions in one package. Madonna and Her Worshippers is known for one of the Drakensbergs most incredible basalt features and the campsite for this incredible location is regarded as one of the best in terms of views. You look straight onto the Madonna Spires from your tent.Now that you’re sold on the view, let’s sell you on the hike and possibly a massage afterwards. The hike covers just under 50km over the 4 day period with about 500 meters of elevation gain each day, easy peasy right? Well it would be if it was pathed. Due to the remoteness of Madonna there are only a few kilometres of the trek which are on a defined trail. Notice the wording “only a few”? This means that part of the hike will include of trail working on grass slopes, but don’t be scared, it is a moderate walk.Besides visiting Madonna and Her Worshippers we will also visit Tugela Falls (worlds longest waterfall), Bilanjil Falls, Icidi and The Stimela Ridge as well as a day spent walking through the hills in Lesotho.
- Say hello to one of the most incredible basalt features in the Drakensberg
- Spend 3 nights camping on the escarpment
- Hike in the 2 of the top regions in the Drakensberg
Marble Baths Hike
The Marble Baths hike is a great hike for families, and novice hikers alike. The distance and difficulty is not too hectic. Hikers spend the night in the cave situated at the baths. A great place for unlicenced boxing matches and tickling competitions. The hike starts from the Injasuthi camp site and heads along the river for about 8km to the cave. Spend a night sleeping in the cave, frolicking in the slides of the baths and pondering the answer to why sinks don’t eat pies.
Best time to hike in the Drakensberg?
Deciding on the best time to hike in the Drakensberg is a key decision you will need to make in terms of how enjoyable the hike will be. Hit the link to find out more: When is the best time to hike in the Drakensberg.
What to pack for a multi day Drakensberg hike?
The mountains can be a harsh environment. Making sure you have the correct euipment is vital!! Check out our advice on what to pack: What to pack for a Drakensberg hike.
Why hike in the Drakensberg?
What if you had one shot or one oppertunity to seize every hike in the Drakensberg in one moment, would you take it. Would you hike them or just let them slip away? Would you make a lame attempt at copying Eminem songs on the hike or would you rather lose yourself on one of the top Drakensberg hikes.