Hiking the Drakensberg – Sarah Zito

Sarah enjoys

Hiking the Drakensberg

Greenfire Drakensberg Lodge:

Incredible setting of cabins with woodfired stoves in the rooms set around a central cabin with a huge open fireplace where the wonderful meals were served.

There were heaps of hikes and climbs available, some long and strenuous, many just around the vicinity of the lodge and quite easy but very worthwhile. We did a number of the closer ones, into the local patch of forest where there was a beautiful stream and waterfalls, we saw a herd of Eland on this hike including a very young baby.

This also took us through a forest of proteas, not flowering at the time we were there but would have been even more spectacular when they were!

We did some walks up towards the escarpment, it was possible to climb it and visit the vulture rookery but the wind was too strong on the day we were going to do this and we didn’t want to get blown off!! Walking down and around the lake below the lodge was also lovely.

Lotheni Camp:

The SAN Parks cabins are situated in quite an isolated but gorgeous place set high into the highlands. There are few trees up here, mostly grasslands. There are some antelope, baboons and quite a few birds. We had quite good sightings and photographic opportunities with birds around the lodge and campsite.

The cottage situated on its own a little way from the main camp and up beyond the campsite is really beautiful and would be a great place to stay with family or a big group of friends.

Some of the hikes into the mountains that we did started from here and wound their way through the grasslands along the river into the mountains. Stunning scenery and some beautiful waterfalls, pretty easy going and a good track to follow.

Other hikes left either from the camp or a bit lower down the road. Most of the ones we did were following the river and this was just beautiful and rewarded us with beautiful waterfalls.

Thendele Camp:

This SAN Parks camp is in a truly spectacular location! The view of the amphitheatre from the cottage was absolutely incredible. Thanks to Jono’s recommendation we booked a cottage which had uninterrupted and spectacular views, was extremely comfortable with a great kitchen, big eating/lounge area with a fire, outdoor area and BBQ looking right onto the view, comfortable bedrooms and bathroom.

So many hikes to do from here! We did some of the local ones, also hiked up to the Policeman’s Helmet which was the mountain in front of the Amphitheatre with the interesting rock formation that we could see from the cabin.

This was a great hike (about 12km return) winding through many different kinds of ecosystem (protea forests, woodland, across streams, into mountain valleys, across main faces, up rocky mountains, through grasslands) with incredible views.

We also did another hike from further down the mountain near the information area and campsite that took us along a river, past some incredible waterfalls and into the mountains.

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Drakensburg, South Africa
Drakensburg, South Africa
Drakensburg, South Africa
mountains-in-South-Africa-drakensberg wide mountain view, drakensberg mountains, mountain climbing in africa
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Drakensburg, South Africa
Drakensburg, South Africa
Images courtesy of staff