South Africa’s Drakensberg Trek

South Africa’s Drakensberg Trek


Altitude 3,482m Grade: T4

Ascend the highest peak in South Africa's Drakensberg mountains to the Giant’s Castle, World’s View, Mont-aux-Sources and the Amphitheater.

Known in the Zulu language as ‘The Barrier of Spears’, the Drakensberg Mountains in South Africa form a formidable barrier of sandstone topped with basalt between South Africa and Lesotho. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the region of the Drakensberg trek preserves San rock art as well as a wide variety of birds and animals. With high mountain peaks, dramatic rock architecture, impressive waterfalls and green meadows cut by smooth flowing rivers, this is an ideal area to enjoy a few nights out in the wilderness, camping in some spectacular locations.

Our two-part Drakensberg Trek takes you to all the best places, and with porters to assist you can enjoy this serene wilderness carrying only a light backpack for the nights spent out in the hills. We take you to the summit of Thabana Ntlenyana in Lesotho (3482m), along vertiginous escarpments, across to Sentinel Peak, the Amphitheatre, Tugela Falls and Mont-aux-Sources – and all squeezed into a week’s holiday!

Why not extend your stay by visiting Cape Town and the Winelands, the Kruger National Park or the Garden Route? Please ask for details.

Dates & Prices

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All prices in Euros are guide rates, not live rates
All prices in US Dollars are guide rates, not live rates

Availability

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There are currently no available dates for this trip. Please contact us if you are interested in this trip.

What's Included

  • Estimated International flights from London (flight inclusive package
  • Accommodation - 4 nights B&B, 3 nights camping
  • Meals - 7 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 3 evening meals
  • Park fees as appropriate
  • All road transfers in country (unless indicated in exclusions)
  • Qualified South African guide
  • Local trekking staff to assist (cook and porters)
  • All camping equipment (excl. personal kit)
  • A logoed top will be provided in lieu of a kitbag for all participants on this trip.
  • 24hr back-up and support from our UK staff
  • 15% discount off the RRP on equipment and clothing purchased from Adventure Peaks shop

What's Excluded

  • Personal equipment
  • Travel Insurance
  • Drinks and personal spending
  • Tips for local staff
  • Meals if not indicated in 'inclusions'
  • Visas (if required)
  • Museum and monument entry fees

Itinerary

Days 1/2 Depart UK, arriving Durban the following day. Transfer to Underberg. 3 hours driving.

Day 3 We leave  Underberg after breakfast and travel up the daunting Sani Pass using 4x4's,  gaining an awesome 1300 metres over 22km. We pass through the South Africa border post and enter the mountain Kingdom of Lesotho.  Leaving the Sani Pass area we guide you out along the Sani River contouring around the ridges and onto the Manaung River. We ascend to ka-Ntuba Pass along the Drakensberg escarpment and follow a scenic route to Nhlangeni pass where we’ll set up camp, with views down dramatic cliffs and over the spectacular Mkhomazi Wilderness area. 16km of walking.

Day 4 After breakfast there is a further 200 metres of altitude to ascend to gain the highest point in the Drakensberg, Thabana Ntlenyana (3482 metres) with its commanding views of the Drakensberg escarpment and the Lesotho Highlands. The return walk takes us across the Sehonghong and Mangaung Rivers back to Sani Pass and South Africa's highest Pub for lunch. After lunch we descend the Sani pass in 4x4's arriving back in Underberg in the late afternoon. 16km of walking.

Day 5 A truly scenic drive of about 2 hours takes us across to the Giant's Castle area of Drakensberg. We will make a day hike in this magnificent region. The walk takes place at the base of the Drakensberg Mountains climbing to World's View (1842 metres) which offers the most spectacular views from Giant's to Champagne Castle. During the walk you may see Eland, vultures and other wildlife. The trail leads round the base of Sugar loaf kop and along the Bushman’s River Valley. World's View is the highest point above the Wildebeest Plateau and it is from here that you can enjoy one  of the most extensive views  the Drakensberg has to offer. 4 hours walking.

We now embark on the Northern Drakensberg's Amphitheatre Trek, a scenic 3-day and 2-night circular trek on the Escarpment incorporating the summit of the highest point in the Northern Drakensberg - Mont-aux-Sources (3282 metres). The spectacular Amphitheatre escarpment towers above Natal at 3000 metres above sea level, with the steep walls, great valleys and pinnacles facing roughly east and the Lesotho Highlands filling the horizon to the west. From the edge of the Drakensberg, you will have spectacular views of the Amphitheatre, the Sentinel & the Tugela falls disappearing into the vast valleys below as well as the peaks that make up this awesome world heritage site. If luck is with us, we will be able to see the endangered Bearded Vulture, Jackal buzzards, Mountain Rhebuck and perhaps some baboons. This sensitive and pristine wilderness area is an absolute must in the Drakensberg.

Day 6 Leaving the Sentinel Car park late morning, we head up to the Mont-Aux-Sources-Plateau, climbing the famous chain ladders to reach there. We set up camp along the bank of the Elands River, relax and prepare dinner with awesome views of the sunset over the Maluti Mountains. 5 hours walking.

Day 7 We climb (non technical) to the highest point on the Northern Drakensberg Escarpment, Mont-Aux-Sources (3282 metres) with its commanding views of the amphitheatre and the plateau riddled with streams far below. The plateau is the source of many of South Africa's rivers including the Tugela which winds its way down to the Indian Ocean near Durban. We descend and make our way to our second night’s camp on the Amphitheatre Escarpment. 5 to 6 hours walking.

Day 8 After breakfast we break camp and trek towards to the Famous Tugela Falls and the magnificent views of the Amphitheatre and Devil's Tooth. On our descent to the car park we follow the Tugela River towards its source and pass the imposing Sentinel Peak. In the afternoon we transfer to Bergville for our last night. 5 to 6 hours walking.

Day 9 After breakfast we transfer to Durban to catch flight home. 3 hours driving.

Day 10 Arrive UK.

Photos

Insurance

It is essential for a trip of this type that you are adequately insured. When researching insurance options, please ensure the policy covers you for the following:

  • Cancellation or curtailment
  • Helicopter rescue (most insurance companies will no longer cover for ‘search and rescue’ but providing you stay with the group, they will assist with ‘rescue’)
  • Repatriation
  • The altitude that you are expected to attain
  • The location especially when travelling to Antarctica
  • Grade of trek/climb/expedition
  • Medical cover

Adventure Peaks partners with Global Rescue to offer the world’s leading travel protection services.  Medical and security emergencies happen. When they do, we rely on Global Rescue to provide our clients with medical, security, travel risk and crisis response services. Without a membership, an emergency evacuation could cost over $100,000. More than one million members trust Global Rescue to get them home safely when the unexpected happens. We highly recommend our clients enroll with Global Rescue:
https://partner.globalrescue.com/adventurepeaks/



We are aware the following provide insurance:

For UK based clients:

HCC Medical Insurance Services: LLC sales@hccmis.com  Tel: 1-800-605-2282
Travelex Ins. Services: www.travelexinsurance.com  Tel: 1-800 228 9792
True Traveller Ins: www.truetraveller.com  Tel: 0333 999 3140 for treks including over 4500m
Austrian Alpine Club (UK) www.aacuk.org.uk  Tel: +44 (0)1929 556870
Rothwell & Towler: www.world-first.co.uk  Tel: 0345 908 0161 (under 6400m)
Campbell Irvine: www.campbellirvine.com  Tel: 0207 938 1737 (Not for treks/climbs with ropes – OK for Aconcagua)
J S Insurance: www.jsinsurance.co.uk  Tel: 0844 848 1500
Snowcard: www.snowcard.co.uk  Tel: 01295 660836
The B.M.C.: www.thebmc.co.uk  Tel: 0161 445 6111 (call and speak to Jim. Please note the BMC cannot cover Mt Damavand)
Dogtag: www.dogtag.co.uk  Tel: 0800 036 4824 (Check excess etc)

For non-UK based clients:

HCC Medical Insurance Services: LLC sales@hccmis.com  Tel: 1-800-605-2282
Travelex Ins. Services: www.travelexinsurance.com  Tel: 1-800 228 9792
True Traveller Ins: www.truetraveller.com  Tel: 0333 999 3140 for treks including over 4500m
Austrian Alpine Club (UK): www.aacuk.org.uk  Tel: +44 (0)1929 556870
AXA Worldwide Travel Ins: www.axainsurance.com  Tel: +44 (0)844 874 0360
Ingle International: www.ingleinternational.com  Tel: (USA) 1.800.360.3234
Insure for Less: www.insure4less.com.au (Australian clients)

You do not have to use any of the above, but if you make your own insurance arrangements documentary evidence of your own policy is required.

Please forward the details of your Insurance as soon as you have it: we need the insurance company’s name, their 24 hour emergency telephone number and your insurance policy number – admin@adventurepeaks.com

 

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