One of the latest tourism trends in South Africa is slack packing. Slack packing is an adventure, exploring beautiful wilderness areas using hiking trails without the burden of a backpack, a hard mattress, and pot noodles for dinner. Your luggage its taken care of and when you get to the next accommodation option you find it already there. You can look forward to a gentle stroll carrying nothing more than a packed picnic, some binoculars and a good birding book. And the Drakensberg is keeping up with these trends. It now offers a spectacular slack packing option that will blow your socks off.
“Giants Castle Drakensberg Slack Packing Trail” is perfect for an easy to moderate hiking packing experience. It includes some of the most scenic and bio diverse parts of KwaZulu Natal with dramatic views of the Drakensberg and Giants Castle. This hiking trail provides access to a the Lowlands Conservancy and Zulu Waters Game Reserve. Special places where hikers simply have not have access to till now. This is a 3 day hike that includes 3 nights of accommodation in 3 very different lodges each offering a 3 course dinner, hearty breakfast and a picnic lunch to enjoy under a shady tree along your way. The daily hikes are gentle in distance and gradient making this hike a perfect beginner’s hike for families and for those less experienced and fit. You are in good hands with your own personal hiking guide. The lodges offer locally grown, home cooked meals as an added bonus. In the summer, there are rivers and dams to swim in and plenty of picturesque picnic spots on route. Your first night is Antbear Lodge, quite possibly one of them most sustainable lodges in South Africa. Here you will find home made cheese from milk from their own cows, eggs from their own home grown chickens and a wonderful organic garden. Hiking starts heading up to the top of the mountain with spectacular views looking out over the Drakensberg Mountains. Then down into the valley in the Lowland Conservancy where you feel far away from everywhere. Your second night is Leopards Lair Lodge. Its one of those lovely places full of family atmosphere on a working farm offering a real agri-tourism experience. Meet Lalie their hand reared eland, their rescue emus and ostriches and the rest of their farmyard menagerie. Your walk from here starts off easy and then drops back down into the Mbogta Valley. And then the highlight of the hike where you enter the Zulu Waters Game Reserve. Shaka Lodge offers the the lapse of luxury and is situated within the game reserve. Your own private chef will prepare delicacies that will make you want to stay forever. Almost your whole day will be hiking inside the Game Reserve. You might see rhino, zebras, buffalo, ostriches, eland, water buck, wildebeest and so much more. Groups are limited to 6 persons and bespoke trails can also be arranged for organised groups with special interests like butterflies, birding, ecology, wild flowers, mediation and star gazing. You can even add an extra few days at one of these lodges at the special slack packing trail rate or add on extra activities like hot air balloon flights, horse trails, a star gazing hammock camp, game drives, butterfly tours and a visit to the Giants Castle Vulture Hide. Its the perfect family Drakensberg experience.
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