The Drakensberg may be the highest mountain range in Southern Africa but it doesn’t mean you have to feel like you’re filming the latest episode of Bear Grylls. The Drakensberg is a wilderness of some extremely challenging hiking routes, but there are many easy hikes for those wanting just a taste of the outdoors, without breaking too much of a sweat. Whether you’re an intrepid explorer, an incurable romantic or an exhausted businessman, here in the Drakensberg, you can take your holiday at your own pace, even if it means using your afternoon to lounge out by the pool, enjoying the views of the mountains.
If you’re up for stretching your legs on one of the area’s tamer hikes, here are some recommendations
- Giants Castle, Main Caves Duration: 2 hours. Giant’s Castle is a hiker’s paradise with trails ranging from 3km to several days. This particular route to the main caves is an easy walk and it includes a visit to a rock art site. With over 6000 different cave paintings, the Drakensberg is the world’s largest outdoor art exhibition.
- Worlds View Duration 3 hours. From the picnic area at Giants Castle take the concrete path down to and across Bannerman Bridge. Follow the path to below Sugarloaf Kop and on up to World’s View.
- Cannibal Cave Duration: 4 hours. In the past, this cave was occupied by the San, as well as refugees from the time of Shaka Zulu. You can start this walk from The Cavern on the road leading into the Royal Natal National Park, following a well-marked trail to an impressive cave that overlooks the valley. A 5km Cannibals Cave parkrun also takes place here at 8:00am every Saturday and starts near the craft shop on the way in.
- The Tugela Gorge Walk Duration 6 hours. Starting from the Royal Natal National Park’s hikers parking near the reception area, follow the Tugela River towards the base of Tugela Falls (the second highest waterfall in the world). Expect breathtaking views, a clearly demarcated trail and a combination of terrain, 7km each way. Be sure to pack a picnic, and to make a few stops along the way, but be careful of baboons who might try their luck for a quick snack.
- The Sentinel Peak (Chain Ladders) Duration: 6 hours. The Sentinel Peak is one of the icons of the northern section of the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park, standing guard at the western end of the Amphitheatre. Starting from the Sentinel Car Park, follow the trail as it zig-zags up the mighty Sentinel and traverses around Beacon Buttress. This 12km hiking route is the easiest to the top of the Drakensberg. The top of Tugela Falls can be reached from here.
- The Giants Castle slack Packing Trail Duration: 3 days. The Giants Castle Slack Packing Trail is a great beginner’s route for slackpackers wanting an extended hike in luxury. Your luggage is transported to the next lodge and you sleep in comfort. Even better you are served 3 course dinners. The the hiking trail passes through the Lowlands Conservancy and the Zulu Waters Private Game Reserve. The perfect hiking trail for a beginner