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Climb South Africa's Highest Peak - Mount Mafadi - 3451m

Summit the highest peak in the Drakensberg range and South Africa. 5 days.

  • South Africa
  • Year round
  • King Shaka International Airport, Durban (DUR)

Starting in the most remote part of the Drakensberg range, this trek will take you a challenging route to a summit attempt on the highest peak in South Africa – Mafadi (3451m). The peak is not a technical climb, the real challenge lies in the ascent to the top of the escarpment; negotiating passes and steep climbs, you’ll journey to the top of Drakensberg, camping in caves along the way.

Your hassle-free adventure includes

  • 5-days hiking
  • 4 night’s wild camping
  • Local, certified guide
  • All camping equipment (incl. sleeping bag)
  • All meals
  • All taxes, insurances and licenses relative to the trip
  • (Optional transfer arrangement)

Perfect for

Keen hikers looking to summit a notorious peak of a remote mountain range; this trip requires good fitness and a passion for challenging hikes.

Need To Know

The following are not included in the trip price:

  • Flights
  • Travel Insurance
  • Travel to/from start point (optional)
  • Accommodation before and after the hike (optional)
  • Tips for your guides (optional)
  • Personal expenses

This trip will run with a minimum of 3 people, and a maximum of 6. The guest to guide ratio will be maximum 6:1. Please note, if there are not 3 people booked the trip may be rearranged or cancelled. Alternatively, you can also book the trip as a private trip with a minimum of 1 person for a little surcharge.

Sure can! A lot of people do, and it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

This trek requires good fitness and previous experience. You’ll need to carry your own backpack and the route takes some long and short steep climbs.

The hike can be done at any time of year; however, it is commonly done during the months of April or May, as this is usually the most stable weather in the Drakensberg. Doing it in July or August is very cold and snowfalls or deep snow on the ground could hinder progress. In the months of December to March, there can be the possibility of heavy rain and thunderstorms. in the summer (November to March) temperatures can range from 8°C at night to 25°C during the day. In the winter (April to October) temperatures can range from -2°C at night to 15°C during the day.

Your host recommends to pack:

  • Trekking boots; must be waterproof with good ankle support (no hiking shoes)
  • A large backpack (usually about 50 to 80 litres)
  • Outer shell waterproof clothing
  • Polar fleece
  • Down jacket (optional during months May to September)
  • Sunhat
  • Gloves
  • Sunglasses
  • Summer trekking clothes (shirts, long trousers, short trousers)
  • Head-lamp (flash-light)
  • Warm fleece hat
  • Cup, spoon, plate
  • Water bottle/hydration bladder
  • Toiletries and toilet paper

The following gear is already included but feel free to bring your own if you like:
- Sleeping bag (3 or 4 season depending on the time of year) - Sleeping mat - A large backpack (usually about 50 to 80 litres) - Mountain tent (usually provided by Peak High)

Other recommendations are: - Camera - Mobile phone - Earplugs - Head torch - Energy snacks - Personal medicine if required (please inform your guide in case of emergency)

This trek can be done at any time of the year. It must be noted that from June until September are the colder months with night temperatures often below freezing. Snowfalls can also occur. During the southern African summer, the mountains receive afternoon thundershowers and high daytime temperatures. However, cold, wet and windy weather can be encountered at any time of year!

Start point?
Arrive at King Shaka Airport and make your way to the start point. Your host will be in touch before the trip to finalise details.

End point?
At the end of your tour, you are free to make your way back to King Shaka Airport or carry on exploring. Your host will be in touch before the trip to finalise details.

Getting there and away?
From the airport, your host recommends you arrange a hire car to collect at the airport (Budget and Avis are reliable companies), or your host can organise a shuttle transfer to collect you. Your host will be in touch before the trip to finalise details.

For extra financial protection against unforeseen circumstances such as erupting Icelandic volcanoes, we recommend you book your flights using a credit card.

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Water: the water found in the Drakensberg within the national park is very pure and needs no filtering or chemical additives. Hikers and climbers can drink directly out of the streams and rivers.

Sanitation: hikers have to go to the toilet in a wilderness area and all human waste must be buried at least 12cm into the ground. Only use areas of ground where there is no moisture or running water. The guide will usually point out suitable toilet areas near the campsite.

Litter: all litter and including female sanitary items must be carried out of the national park area and placed in a proper garbage bin.

Location

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Mafadi is officially the highest mountain peak in South Africa rising 3451m above sea level. The summit lies exactly on the border between South Africa and the Kingdom of Lesotho, part of the Drakensberg range.

Drakensberg is the highest mountain range of South Africa; rising to more than 3475m on the Lesotho side of the border, covering 700 miles. Exploring this spectacular ancient area, you’ll find rock and cave art several thousands of years old, sat amongst incredible natural beauty and many game reserves and parks.

The Drakensberg Mountains offer everything from guided walks and fly fishing, to rock climbing and hot air balloon rides over hidden valleys. It also offers unspoilt forests, towering sandstone cliffs, and rich wildlife, including Black Eagle and Eland.

Start point

You will meet your guide at Injasuthi Camp at 10:00 to begin your trek. Your host can also arrange a transfer to your start point upon request.

Finish point

Your trek will end back at Injasuthi Camp at 13:00 on the last day.

What to Expect

Day 1: Trek to the Marble Baths Cave

You’ll start your trek from Injasuthi Camp; a beautiful and remote part of the Drakensberg range sitting at an altitude of 1470m.

After completing a short 4-hour hike, you’ll reach Marble Baths Cave. The river which runs below is renowned for its natural pools formed in the marble-like rock of the river bed.

Take a dip in the marble pools before getting settled in the cave for a good night’s rest ahead of tomorrow’s challenge.

Day 2: Take on Leslie’s Pass

This morning, you’ll set your sights on ascending Leslie’s Pass; this is a long and tough hike that will take several hours to complete.

The path is vague in parts but as you near the top of the pass at 3050m, the huge cliffs of the Molar will be towering over you.

Just beyond the top of the pass is a great spot to spend the night; set up camp and recover after a long day in the mountains.

Day 3: Summit Mafadi

Today is summit day; most of the hard work has been done scrambling to the top of the escarpment so today should be a breeze.

When you reach the summit, you’ll be greeted with a large flat area on which you can roam around admiring the views and appreciating the highest point in South Africa.

You’ll descend slightly to spend the night in the Upper Injisuthi Cave; a well-sheltered cave with a spectacular view out over South Africa.

Day 4: Descend to Centenary Hut

Today, you’ll continue your descent by following the escarpment edge for a couple of hours before the steep drop back down.

The route will take you to Centenary Hut; an old mountain hut in need of a little attention but the area is a great spot to camp and the scenery just keeps on giving.

Set up camp and get settled for your final night in the mountains; enjoy dinner as a group and reflect on your achievement so far.

Day 5: The Final Stretch

Today you’ll hike familiar ground as you descend back to your starting point via Injisuthi Valley.

As you follow the river valley to Injisuthi camp, be sure to look back on views of the high escarpment in the distance, and digest what you’ve achieved.

Note: This itinerary and the duration of the activities are subject to change due to group abilities and preferences, and weather conditions and forecasts.

Accommodation

During the trip, you’ll camp in lightweight mountain tents and find shelter in caves at various points along the route. Please see the picture of one of the caves you’ll sleep in during your trek. All necessary camping equipment is provided.

Dates & Prices

Prices include

  • Accommodation
  • Equipment
  • Guide
  • Meals As Described

Please note: Flights are NOT included and must be purchased separately.

Instant Book Icon Request To Book

Your host will confirm your booking subject to availability. There may be a minimum number of guests required to guarantee that a trip will go ahead.

Large group? Make a private booking
Special requirements? Get a quote for a custom trip

If you can't find a private trip that suits you, try a group trip or ask for a quote.

Optional Extras

Make your life easy. Once you have reserved your space, your host can help you arrange the extras you’ll need. Here are some guide prices which can be confirmed with you during booking.

Porter Services Payable Before Departure
Porter Support (per day) ZAR350.00 Per Night
Gateside B&B - 1 night Payable Before Departure
Gateside B&B - 1 night ZAR700.00
Transfer from Durban Payable Before Departure
Transfer: Durban to Injasuthi Camp (start point) ZAR1500.00
Transfer: Injasuthi Camp (finish point) to Durban ZAR1500.00

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