Drakensberg Peak to Peak Hike

Explore the South African mountain range as you trek from Cathedral Peak to Cleft Peak and camp in caves along the route. 4 days.

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

This trek will have you on a high as you traverse some of the highest and most iconic peaks of the Drakensberg range. Making a round-trip from camp at the base of Cathedral Peak (1400m), over Cleft Peak (3281m) and on to summit Cathedral Peak (3004m), you’ll traverse challenging passes and steep climbs, camping in caves along the way.

Your hassle-free adventure includes

  • 4-days hiking
  • 3 night’s wild camping
  • Local, certified guide
  • All camping equipment
  • All meals
  • All taxes, insurances and licenses relative to the trip

Perfect for

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

Need To Know

The following are not included in the trip price:

  • Flights
  • Travel Insurance
  • Accommodation before and after the hike
  • 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 a good head for heights. You’ll need to carry your own backpack and the route takes some long and short steep climbs.

To reduce weight, it is possible to hire porters. These strong Zulu men, who live in the Mweni valley area, will carry up to 13kgs of your equipment. Porters have to be arranged a few weeks before departing. Your host can arrange this for you.

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)
  • 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

You will also need the following items, but these are available to rent with prior notice to your host:
- 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 host)

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

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. Your 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

View map

Drakensberg is the highest mountain range of South Africa; rising to more than 3475m and 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 Didima Camp at 09:00 to begin your trek.

Finish point

Your tour will end at Didima Camp at 16:00 on the last day. At the end of the hike, you might like to stay the night at Cathedral Peak Hotel or Didima Camp. Speak with your host if you would like to book one of these.

What to Expect

Day 1: Didima Camp to Ribbon Falls

You’ll start your trek this morning from Didima Camp (1400m) and endure a short but steep, 3-hour climb to Ribbon Falls Cave.

This sandstone overhang is often used as a first base for fellow hikers. The area inside is conveniently divided into three areas by fallen boulders, making the perfect informal camp for a small group.

You’ll spend your first night here, getting to know the group and prepping ahead of a big day tomorrow.

3 hours hiking, 5km

Day 2: Ribbon Falls to Indumeni Cave

After breakfast this morning, you’ll leave Ribbon Falls Cave behind and begin a long steep climb, via Organ Pipes Pass, to the top of Drakensberg.

This hike takes around 4 hours and ends with a dramatic view over the Cathedral Peak area; Cleft Peak, The Column, The Pyramid, and all the way to the Cathedral Peak range.

You’ll set up camp for the night at the top of the pass, or you may decide to camp in Indumeni Cave. Get an early night tonight and rise early for some magnificent views above the clouds.

6 hours hiking, 7km

Day 3: Over Cleft Peak and on to Twins Cave

Today you will take on Cleft Peak (3281m) – one of the highest peaks in the Drakensberg range.

After the astonishing views as you pass over Cleft Peak, you’ll make your way along the escarpment to Mlambonja Pass summit, and on to the Twins Cave.

Tonight, you’ll camp beneath this huge overhang of rock with views of the northern range as your backdrop.

14km hike

Day 4: Summit Cathedral Peak

Today, you’ll end your journey on a high as you summit Cathedral Peak (3004m).

On route, you’ll pass the major peaks of the Cathedral Ridge before making your attempt on the summit of this iconic peak.

At the end of a long day, you’ll take an easy descent as you scramble down to Didima Camp; the finishing line of an epic journey.

8 hours hiking, 16km

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 mountain camp in lightweight mountain tents in various caves along the route.

At the end of the trip, you can arrange to stay at the 4-stay Cathedral Peak Hotel for a separate charge. Your host can help make these arrangements.

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
1 Night - Cathedral Peak Hotel Payable Before Departure
1 Night - Cathedral Peak Hotel ZAR3200.00 Per Night
Transfer from Durban Payable Before Departure
Transfer from Durban King Shaka Airport ZAR1200.00
Transfer from Durban Centre ZAR1200.00

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