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Hike, Kayak and Wild Swim South Africa

An epic ramble from the Drakensberg Mountains to the Wild Coast of the Rainbow Nation, paddling and swimming along the way

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Trip Ref #10639

Hike, Kayak and Wild Swim South Africa

An epic ramble from the Drakensberg Mountains to the Wild Coast of the Rainbow Nation, paddling and swimming along the way

DURATION
9 nights
LOCATION
South Africa
ANNUAL LEAVE
7 days off work
SEASON
Year round
GROUP SIZE
Up to 14 people
MEETING POINT
Johannesburg International Airport
ACCOMMODATION
Classic

Hotel · Lodge · Safari Tent · Homestay

OVERALL RATING

5.0

Based on 3 reviews
DIFFICULTY
Moderate

Meaty days out in the mountains mean you should have a good fitness level, but overall the hikes are very doable while you lap up the views

Tackle amazing trails through the iconic rock formations of the Drakensberg, including Sentinel Peak and Amphitheatre

Paddle down the Tugela River and explore the valley on foot, stargazing and wild swimming from your riverbank eco-camp

Hit the stunning Wild Coast for hikes through dunes, beaches and forests to reach secluded waterfall swim spots

Bed down in a village homestay, where tourism is a form of activism in the community’s fight against mining proposals

Day 1

Touchdown in Jo'burg

Drakensberg Mountains road, South Africa. Photo: GettyImages-936440972

Driving

4hrs · 346km

Arriving at Johannesburg's O. R. Tambo International Airport, you'll meet your transfer driver. Settle into the van with your fellow adventurers for a 4-hour road trip through South Africa's interior, to reach the base of the Drakensberg Mountains. Check into your hotel, stretch your legs on a nature trail through indigenous forest, or some gentle pilates, with your local host. Regroup at dinner, where you’ll chat about the adventure to come.

Day 2

The hike begins

Woman overlooking amphitheatre in Drakensberg, South Africa. Photo: Host/Active Escapes

Hiking

5-6hrs · 12.5km · 930m up · 150m down

Load up your trekking pack and leave your main luggage at the hotel as you set off for the wild trails of the Drakensberg Mountains. After a hearty breakfast at the Cavern, hit the path with your local guide and hike up and over sandstone cliffs, via Lone Rock with its displays of San rock art. Continue up through a sloping section to reach Sugarloaf Gap and hike along the ridge, bypassing Broom Hill with sublime views across to the former homeland of QwaQwa, while bearded vultures circle overhead.

Day 3

Hike to Tugela Falls and summit Mont-Aux-Sources (3282m)

Hiker tackling a ladder section on Drakensberg Mountains. Photo: Host/Active Escapes

Hiking

6-7hrs · 14-16km · 510m up · 720m down

Today’s hike starts with a short 4x4 transfer to where the trail kicks off along a well-trodden path which ascends gradually towards the Witches and Zigzags, taking you to the base of the Sentinel massif. From here you’ll follow the contour path below the Western Buttress, with the land sloping steeply to the north and east giving you wonderful views of the Maluti Mountains in neighbouring Lesotho. The action ramps up after 3km when you reach a network of chain ladders to help you navigate a 35m ascent, followed by a short scramble from there to the escarpment top. There’s the option to summit Mont-aux-Sources (the highest peak in the area at 3282m) before hiking across to Tugela Falls. With a 983m freefall over the escarpment, the Tugela vies with Angel Falls as the highest waterfall in the world.

Day 4

From the 'Berg to the River Valley

Tugela River, South Africa. Photo: Host/Active Escapes

Hiking

3.5-4hrs · 10km · 270m up · 800m down

Tuck into breakfast and lap up the last of the views from this epic spot before you set off for the hike down the beautiful Mahai Valley. There are a series of waterfalls and natural swimming pools along the way, so make sure you've packed your swimmers. After around four hours your hike ends, say goodbye to your Drakensberg guide and then transfer to Colenso. Here you’ll be met by your Zingela host and embark on the next chapter of your adventure in the Tugela River Valley.

Keep an eye out for wildlife during your 4x4 transfer into camp. Enjoy a scrumptious lunch on the riverbank before settling into your riverside abodes. The Tugela River program "flows" by the group's desires, and is adapted around weather and seasonality. White-water rafting (or kayaking during lower river levels) down to Warthog Island, is an active offering for the afternoon, but you may also chose to zen-out in a hammock - with the river and birdsong as a meditative backing track. There are also various distanced hiking trails to abseil rock, where a sunset abseil and indelible view with sundowners can be enjoyed from look-out point.

After the pleasure of a warm outdoor shower, gather around the campfire to reminisce about your mountain escapades or the exhilarating white-water experiences of the day. A delicious 3-course dinner by candlelight, enjoyed under star-studded skies, provides a satiating end to the day.

Day 5

Walk with Giraffes & Fun on the river

Tugela River, South Africa. Photo: Host/Active Escapes

Rafting

1.5-3hrs · 5-8km

Kayaking

1-2hrs · 6km

Wild Swimming

1hr

Take advantage of the cool early morning with a guided walk around Hippo Hill. Embrace the chance for a close interaction with the relaxed herd of resident giraffe. Picking a path from the multitude of bush trails, you are likely to encounter many types of antelope, warthog and birds on this morning’s trail. Return for a hearty breakfast back at camp, before plotting the rest of the day’s activities.

If river levels are right (Jan-Mar) it’s possible to do a longer raft (with return by 4x4), or you can hike to a secret waterfall. Take a refreshing dip in the river, sunbathe, and recharge amongst these tranquil surrounds. A sunset abseil is highly recommended if you didn’t get to this do this the day before. Enjoy a final night around the campfire and open-sky dining before tucking in for the night.

Old Wake up at your camp spot to the sounds of the river and enjoy a hearty breakfast on the banks. Gear up to explore the Tugela River system more today, with an epic whitewater rafting experience if you are here in the summer months (from December to February) when the water levels are at their peak. Outside of these months, the rafting is replaced with river kayaking instead, for a swift but serene descent downstream to Warthog Island. Tuck into a bush lunch before hiking up to the main eco-camp for some well-earned downtime. Relax in a hammock, swim in the river or – if you're keen for more – there are excellent trail runs and you can tackle some more abseiling fun as well. Head to the aptly named Sunset Rock for sundowners and snacks, before tucking in to a 3-course dinner outside, beneath the stars.

Day 6

Road trip to the coast

Wild Coast, South Africa. Photo: GettyImages-540378158

Hiking

1-2hrs · 3-5km

Driving

5hrs

Relish one last bush walk before returning for a refreshing shower and leisurely breakfast. A 4x4 transfer returns you to Colenso, where you’ll bid the Tugela team farewell. Settle back into the van, for a five-hour road trip to the Wild Coast, reaching Port Edward and your overnight lodge on the Mtamvuna River, border of the Eastern Cape.

Day 7

Hike the Wild Coast to a Community Homestay

Hikers on the red dunes of Mtentu, South Africa. Photo: Host/Active Escapes

Hiking

5hrs · 14km · 190m up · 75m down

Time to hit the hiking trail on South Africa's famous Wild Coast. A short boat ride will take you to the river mouth, where you’ll meet your local Pondo guide, and set off along the beach. Following the shore-break, you’ll stop-off at the 'petrified forest' and Mzamba fossils, before reaching the Nyameni River. From here, head inland, over grassy dunes, to arrive with a warm welcome at the Xolobeni community. This is your homestay experience, where you'll gain an insight into local village life and hear how this community uses the income from tourism to fight proposals for prospective mining projects in the area. Enjoy a beer at the local shebeen, or a visit from a traditional healer, before feasting on a traditional Xhosa dinner, and settling down for the night.

Day 8

Xolobeni to Mtentu

Wild Coast, South Africa. Photo: Host/Active Escapes

Hiking

4-5hrs · 13km · 270m up · 175m down

After breakfast, give thanks and bid farewell to your homestay hosts, hiking back to the beach and on towards Mtentu. You will pass through the red sand dunes, whose rich mineral deposits has seen the Xolobeni Community caught in a heated battle against international mining companies. Your guide will offer deep insight into the cultural and archaeological significance of these dunes, with human occupation dating back to the last ice age, and being an excavation site for numerous stone age tools and middens.

Today’s hike ends at a community owned eco-lodge – your final base for the trip. Perched above the alluring Mtentu River estuary, it’s a short stroll down to the beach, for a refreshing frolick in the waves or a gentler dip in the warm waters of the estuary.

Day 9

Chasing waterfalls and swim spots

Mtentu Swimming Hole, South Africa. Photo: Host/Active Escapes

Kayaking

2-3hrs · 7km

Wild Swimming

1-2hrs

Hiking

2-3hrs · 4km

Today’s adventure will alight the explorer in you. A 3.5km paddle up the cliff lined estuary brings you to a small inlet where you secure your canoes and then riverine hike, scramble and wild swim your way up a cascading tributary to reach Swallowtail Falls. This majestic waterfall is surrounded by a natural amphitheatre of rock and plunges into a deep pool which beckons a rock jump and wild swim.

If you feel like taking this final day a little easier, then take a more gentle amble to a viewpoint with a swim at paradise pools providing the perfect end to your time on the Wild Coast.

Back at the lodge, celebrations are the order of the day, as you toast to an epic, adventure-filled 10 days.

Day 10

So long, South Africa

Durban coastline, South Africa. Photo: GettyImages-535353851

Driving

5hrs

After the last breakfast of the trip, you’ll be collected for a 4x4 transfer back to Mtamvuna River, to collect bags and shuttle 2.5hrs on to Durban's King Shaka International Airport - in time for onward flights departing late afternoon or evening of this day.

Included

Guides

Expert, local, English-speaking guides for each section of the trip

Accommodation

2 nights in hotels, 2 nights in mountain lodges, 2 nights in safari-style tents, 2 nights in river lodges and 1 night in a community homestay

Meals

All breakfasts, lunches and dinners

Transfers

Airport transfers and everything in between

Equipment

All your gear for rafting and kayaking

Permits

All National Park and Reserve entry fees and permits

Not Included

Flights to and from the meeting point

Travel insurance

Personal expenses

Tips for your guides

Some meals as described

Visas where required

Day 1

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2 – Day 3

Lodge · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 4 – Day 5

Safari Tent · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 6

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 7

Homestay · Multi share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 8 – Day 9

Lodge · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 10

Departure day

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

South African braai. Photo: GettyImages-1195997962

Breakfasts on this trip are usually a combination of fresh fruits, yoghurt and granola and/or the option of a full English breakfast with an African twist (such as crumbly pap served with spicy tomato relish). Morning tea or coffee is almost always accompanied by a homemade rusk (much like a dehydrated cookie), so you can perfect the art of dunking it in your tea for just long enough. Trail lunches tend to be what can be easily carried – rolls or wraps with filling, trail mix and most South African’s favourite snack – biltong or droe-wors (meat that has been salted, cured and hung to dry). Dinners are as diverse as they are flavourful, from Cape Malay curries to rich oxtail stews and no doubt a good South African braai or two. At Tugela Bush camp you’ll sample slow-roasted meat such as a wild boar spit. The braai ‘sides’ are just as important: pap (corn grain made into a stiff porridge) served with chakalaka, five-bean salad, braaied mielies (corn on the cob) and roosterkoek (often garlic bread roasted over the coals) are firm favourites. At the homestay, you'll fill up on warm xhosa pot bread (traditionally made in a heavy cast-iron pot with a lid over an open fire) dunked with chicken curry and locally harvested vegetables – such as wild spinach imfino, roasted butternut tops and samp (dried corn kernels), and sugar beans.

Vegetarians are easily catered for on this trip, but fully vegan is a little more tricky in the more rural areas, where dairy and egg alternatives are harder to come by. Other dietary requirements and allergies can be catered for. Please just request this on your passenger info form.

What is the accommodation like?

Cavern Resort & Spa

You'll bunk down for one night at the Cavern Resort & Spa in a spectacular spot, following a road trip through South Africa to reach the Drakensberg Mountains. You'll stay in twin-share rooms with ensuite bathrooms.

Witsieshoek Mountain Lodge

Nestled in the Maloti Drakensberg Transfrontier Conservation Area is the Witsieshoek Mountain Lodge. Sitting at 2285m above sea level, it's the highest lodge in the Northern Drakensberg and overlooks the stunning Sentinel Peak and iconic Amphitheatre. You'll stay in twin-share rooms with private bathroom facilities.

Zingela, Tugela River Valley

Located in between the Drakensberg and the Wild Coast, you'll spent two nights at the beautiful and unique Zingela Bush Camp. Nestled among the diverse ecology of the Tugela River valley, your stay here will be relaxing and restorative, with plenty of hammock time, campfire dinners and stargazing after your active days. You'll stay at the main camp with thatch, stone and canvas dwellings and delightful outdoor showers overlooking the bush.

Xolobeni Community Homestay

On the Wild Coast you'll spend a unique evening at a village homestay, bunking down in traditional mud and thatch-roofed rondavels – a type of African hut. The setup is basic: you'll bed down on single mattresses on the floor (with bedding provided) on a same-sex, multi-share basis, and shared bathroom facilities. This is a real, authentic cultural experience – get to know your hosts, learn about their village life and enjoy a traditional Xhosa dinner.

Mtentu River Lodge

Your final two nights of the trip are spent at Mtentu River Lodge on South Africa's Eastern Cape, which is managed by the local community. Wood-and-thatch accommodation is set in a spectacular natural setting, with wooden walkways meandering around the lodges. You'll stay in same-sex, twin-share rooms with bathroom facilities shared with other members of the group. There is a stunning private beach at the lodge – perfect for evening sundowners.

Upgrades

For solo travellers looking for their own space, an optional private room and tent can be booked throughout the trip for an extra charge, see Optional Extras. Please note this does not apply for the night at the homestay in Xolobeni. Please request this at the time of booking (this is subject to availability).

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Johannesburg O. R. Tambo International Airport

10:00

Ends

King Shaka International Airport, Durban

14:00

Transfers

On Day 1, a group transfer will be arranged from O. R. Tambo International Airport (JNB) to the first night's accommodation in the Drakensberg, which is around a 4.5 hour drive. The transfer time will be coordinated based on the latest flight arrival time, so you should aim for an early morning arrival into Johannesburg in time for meeting your group at 10am. Your host will provide the transfer driver's contact details in your pre-departure information.

On Day 10, after breakfast there will be a 2hr group transfer to return to Mtamvuna River lodge to collect your main kit bags, followed by another 3hr group transfer to Durban King Shaka International Airport (DUR). Estimated arrival at King Shaka is from 14:00. It is recommended to book connecting flights departing from King Shaka from 16:30 onwards.

A group airport transfer is included on arrival on Day 1 and on departure on Day 10. Given the distance and duration of the arrival and departure transfers it is highly recommended to arrange your flights and onward travel arrangements so that you can take the inclusive group co-ordinated transfers. If required, private transfers can be arranged by your host, subject to driver availability, at an additional cost.

Travel options

There are direct flights to Johannesburg from major hubs in Europe and North America, such as London, New York, Washington, Paris and Amsterdam. Travellers from other start points in Europe and North America can transit through any of the aforementioned hubs.

Enjoy 12.5% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 12.5% discount to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What's included?

  • All equipment for rafting and kayaking

What do I need to bring?

BAGS

  • Main Luggage: A Soft Duffel Bag or Suitcase (55-70L capacity /weight guideline: 15kgs)
  • Daypack: Medium-sized Rucksack (35-45L capacity) to give you enough space to pack for Days 2-4 hiking in the Drakensberg and Days 7-9 on the Mtentu Coastline Hike - your main luggage will stay at the first accommodation on each section
  • Waterproof liner for kitbag or rucksack
  • Small drybag for the kayaking and wild swimming

CLOTHES

  • Waterproof jacket
  • Waterproof trousers
  • Breathable wicking layers
  • Fleece jacket or similar for evenings
  • Buff or neckscarf
  • Lightweight trousers/shorts/skirts
  • T-shirts
  • Underwear and socks
  • Swimwear
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunhat
  • Sleepwear
  • Hiking boots (worn-in)
  • Sandals
  • River/beach shoes or old trainers for kayaking, rafting and wild swimming

EXTRA LAYERS FOR WINTER DATES: MAY TO AUGUST

  • Base layers (merino is best)
  • Warm hat
  • Lightweight gloves

OTHER

  • Universal travel plug adapter
  • Power bank or solar charger
  • Headtorch or torch
  • Passports (and visas)
  • Travel insurance documents
  • Ear plugs
  • Insect repellent
  • Suncream
  • Personal first-aid kit (inc. blister treatment)
  • Personal items (biodegradable toiletries, sanitary wear etc)
  • Quick-dry towel
  • Alcohol hand-gel
  • Reusable water bottles 1Lx2 or a 2L Bladder
  • Biodegradable wet-wipes
  • Energy bars and snacks - read our article on Best Hiking Snacks
  • Cash (ZAR) for snacks, bar bills etc. is available from the ATM in O.R. Tambo International Airport Johannesburg
*Requests for optional extras can be made after booking on your “My Bookings” page

Optional Private Room Upgrade - 2023 dates

Payable Before Departure

Optional Private Room Upgrade - 2023 dates

Optional Private Room Upgrade - 2024 dates

Payable Before Departure

Optional Private Room Upgrade - 2024 dates

Sophie L.
Loved this trip - stunning scenery!

This trip was spectacular, it was so good I just wished it was longer!

The trip is broken down into 3 parts and each a different landscape and all wonderful. The hiking in the Drakensberg mountains was stunning, the Tugela River section was very different scenery but allowed a couple of days of more chilled activities. And the best bit probably was the Wild Coast and Mtentu Lodge....our guide Siya was also brilliant, the scenery especially on the second day was incredible, some beautiful waterfalls and swimming spots, and the food at the homestay and lodge was great too.

It's rated accurately - we were all fit hikers and no day was too tough hiking wise. You do find you set off early and make it to lodges for early afternoon so make sure to pack a book / kindle.

This was my first MBA trip, so I didn't notice the lack of "host". I found the guides and drivers all showed up where they needed to be and everything was very organised, so no problems doing it without one host all week.

The pack list is pretty accurate - you do have to carry your own stuff for a few days, so you learn to be good at packing / repacking bags!

Jen C.
This was a really fun

This was a really fun and varied trip, and I had a fantastic time!

The itinerary is basically split into mountains, river and coast, and I loved all three parts. The Drakensberg mountains were spectacular. The accommodation on the Tugela River was fantastic and the food was amazing there. However, I enjoyed the homestay and Mtentu the most, as I haven’t done much hiking on the beach before. Very tiring on the sand but rewarding! The scenery surrounding the lodge is stunning. We did rafting on the Tugela, which was very fun. Even saw loads of giraffe in the surrounding unfenced reserve, which I wasn’t expecting from the trip!

One thing to be aware of is that unlike some other MBA trips, there is a remote host for the overall trip, and you’re greeted by different onsite guides throughout the experience. This isn’t a problem. They were all lovely, especially Siya at Mtentu. All the transfers ran smoothly, and the trip is very well organised.

A few other things to know beforehand! The transport to Zingela is an open-topped jeep for about a hour and a half in the heat of the day. Also be aware you have to carry a pack for 2 days in the Drakensberg, and another pack for 3 days on the wild coast, otherwise all the luggage is transported. This is outlined in the trip info. In hindsight, I’d have brought a mosquito net for the lodge. And pack plenty of sunscreen if you’re going in summer. More than you think you’ll need!

Overall, a really active and enjoyable trip. Prepare to be exhausted and super fulfilled all at once. Thank you, Sarah, and team, for a wonderful experience in South Africa.

Suzanne S.
Overall a fantastic trip exploring

Overall a fantastic trip exploring 3 very different regions of South Africa

We partner with the World Land Trust to ensure this trip achieves Net-Zero emissions. We also support their Buy an Acre programme, helping local communities to buy and protect natural habitats in perpetuity.

What's the number?
It works out on average at 582kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

But what does the number mean?
Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

  • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
  • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
  • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

What are we doing about it?
Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. We partner with the World Land Trust to ensure this trip achieves Net-Zero emissions. We also support their Buy an Acre programme, helping local communities to buy and protect natural habitats in perpetuity, ensuring the protection of the reserve and its wildlife.

Want to know more?
Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

Overall this is a very manageable trip by anyone with good fitness levels and capable of spending all day on their feet. There's no doubt the toughest section of the trip is at the beginning where you'll be tucking into some meaty elevation and altitude gains to get to the best viewpoints and summits in the Drakensberg, so we suggest doing some warm up day hikes in your local area to make sure you hit the ground running on this trip. The days at the Tugela River and on the Wild Coast are lighter and steadier days, with less elevation to tackle. You won't need any multi-day trekking experience, technical mountain experience, nor previous kayaking or rafting experience.

Sure can! Over 70% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Tips are not included in the trip cost. These are entirely at your discretion but there is an expectation to tip for good service. Your guide will help with advice, however we suggest the below as a guideline per person:

£5/$6/€6 per day.

Of course, you are free to tip more or less, and the amount should be reflective of your perception of service and quality - a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

Your host will provide clean drinking water throughout the trip and the tap water in South Africa is generally safe in most of the areas you'll be visiting. Make sure to bring along a reusable water bottle to keep with you throughout the adventure.

In the Drakensberg Mountains, during the summer months of December to February, temperatures in the lower elevations can range from 20-30°C (68-86°F), while temperatures in the higher elevations can range from 10-20°C (50-68°F). During the winter months of June to August, temperatures in the lower elevations can drop down to 10-20°C (50-68°F), while temperatures in the higher elevations can drop below freezing, with occasional snowfall.

The Eastern Cape province of South Africa has a varied climate with different regions experiencing different weather patterns. The coastal regions are generally milder and wetter, while the interior regions are drier and have greater temperature extremes.

The Eastern Cape and Wild Coast area has a temperate climate, with warm summers and cool winters. The summer months of December to February are generally warm to hot, with temperatures ranging from around 20-30°C (68-86°F) in the coastal regions and 25-35°C (77-95°F) in the interior. The summer months also tend to be the wettest, typically with afternoon rainstorms that pass through quickly. The winter months of June to August are cooler and drier, with temperatures ranging from around 10-20°C (50-68°F) in the coastal regions and 5-15°C (41-59°F) in the interior. Frost and occasional snowfall can occur in the high-lying areas of the province during winter.

As this trip starts in Johannesburg and ends in Durban, you won't be able to leave any excess luggage at the start of the trip.

Please read the FAQ titled "Do I have to carry all my stuff for the trip?" regarding how to pack for this trip.

We recommend checking out the country specific information here and also talking to a travel nurse.

Your host has factored in alternative hiking routes in the Drakensberg and Wild Coast area in case bad weather affects any of the planned routes during the trip. At Zingela, the Tugela River Valley section of the trip, the water levels will dictate which activities you'll take part in: when the water levels are at their highest, groups will raft the river; when they are lower, the river is more suitable for kayaking. If the water levels drop so low as to not allow either rafting or kayaking, your host has factored in an alternative hiking day through the river valley.

No. For your main bag, bring a soft Duffel Bag or Suitcase (55-70L capacity /weight guideline: 15kgs). For your day bag bring a Medium-sized Rucksack (35-45L capacity) to give you enough space to carry enough personal items and changes of clothing for Days 2-4 hiking in the Drakensberg and Days 7-9 on the Mtentu Coastline Hike.

On Day 2, you will be leaving your main bag at the Cavern Hotel after the first night of the trip, returning on Day 4 after two nights spent in the mountains at Witsies Mountain Lodge. Also, for the 3 nights of the Mtentu Explorer hike on Days 7-9 you should plan to hike with just your backpack, while your main luggage will remain in Port Edward to be collected on your return journey as you head up the coast to Durban on the last day.

Please refer to the Kit List for specific suggested items to bring with you. If you have any questions before travelling you host will be able to advise you via your booking.

On the Tugela River and Mtentu Estuary you'll use single 'sit-on-top' kayaks, which are very stable and easy to paddle for everyone including new paddlers through to experienced paddlers.

The maximum weight limit for the kayaks is 100kg / 15st 10lb.

Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

Travel insurance is compulsory for all of our adventures and you are required to provide your policy information before departing.

Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure. We also strongly recommend it includes cancellation and curtailment insurance, should you be unable to join your trip for specific reasons such as illness.

We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last-minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

You're always in good company on one of our adventures.

Our trips are typically made up of a mixture of solo travellers and small groups of 2 or 3 friends, with most in their 30s-50s.

Our sociable adventures are solo-friendly by design and naturally attract outdoorsy people with a shared mindset; a love for adventure, a desire to push themselves and meet awesome, like-minded people along the way.

It’s this camaraderie that has so often turned a great adventure into a life-changing one.

Don't just take our word for it:

  • 95% of people rate the group dynamics on our trips 5/5
  • 90% of people recommend joining a trip to make new friends
  • 75% of people have met people on our trips that they would now consider friends

See here for more info about the Much Better Adventures tribe.

Interested in a more exclusive experience? Opt for a 'Private Group' through the dates and prices tab to book this adventure for just you and your chosen companions.

Your trip is led by carefully curated local hosts and expert guides. See here for more info about the guides we work with.

TRIP DEPARTURE DATES

March 2024

Thursday • 7th March 2024

to Saturday • 16th March 2024
2 Booked • 12 Spots left
Guaranteed to run
Last Minute - 2 spots left at 10% off

Thursday • 9th May 2024

to Saturday • 18th May 2024
3 Booked • 11 Spots left
Guaranteed to run

Thursday • 22nd August 2024

to Saturday • 31st August 2024
14 Spots left
Guaranteed to run
Only 2 spots left at 5% off

Thursday • 17th October 2024

to Saturday • 26th October 2024
2 Booked • 12 Spots left
Guaranteed to run

Thursday • 7th November 2024

to Saturday • 16th November 2024
3 Booked • 11 Spots left
Guaranteed to run

Full Financial Protection

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Full Financial Protection

You can choose to pay for this trip in as many installments as you like, with no interest or fees.

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