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Drakensberg day walks and walking trails

Walking trails in the Drakensberg offer something for everyone. Whether you prefer to stroll along day walks through secluded, shaded valleys, walk the rolling foothills, hike the upper reaches or take on the challenge of man against mountain, the Drakensberg is certainly a day walkers paradise. The nicest thing about walking trails in the Drakensberg is that there are so many fascinating landmarks that can be reached with a comfortable day walk and the minimum of climbing.

 - Northern 'Berg
 - Southern 'Berg
 - Central 'Berg
 - Giants Castle
 - Royal Natal
 - Champagne Valley
 - Injasuti
 - Kamberg
 - Sani Pass
 - Bergville
 - Winterton
 - Ladysmith
 - Estcourt
 - Weenen
 - Mooi River
 - Greytown
 - Nottingham Road
 - Rosetta
 - Howick
 - Underberg
 - Himeville
 - Kokstad

Most resorts, hotels and camps in the Drakensberg can recommend a wide variety of day trail routes, from a short easy amble through indigenous fern forests to admire a nearby attraction, to more strenuous one-day walks  that trail over river and hillside - or head for the more imposing high ground. There is nothing to beat walking or hiking in the high country. You will breathe clean, crisp mountain air as you revel in the sights and sounds of nature.  I have compiled a comprehensive list of the available Drakensberg walks and trails . Try one and you can have sensational memories of finishing an outing with an exhilarating dip in a clear crystal pool hidden in the sandstone bedrock. 

Our recommended Drakensberg Hiking Trails For first time visitors to the Drakensberg see my list on Drakensberg day trails for tourists with limited time.

Drakensberg hiking trailsWalking and hiking in the Drakensberg is safe and secure - provided that a few simple ground rules are observed:

In winter, the higher reaches become spectacular snow-scapes, with the valley and peaks transformed into a wonderland of white. But if you are adventuring at this time of year, you need to be aware that glorious sunny days can quickly turn into misty, snowy conditions. So it is essential that you sign the hiking register at the beginning of the trail, before heading out.

In summer the Drakensberg is idyllic with bird-song, luxuriant grasses and wildflowers, and cool streams cascading through gorges and rock pools. But if you are setting out on a walk on even the most benign summer afternoon, be alert for sudden thunderstorms that seem to come from nowhere followed by short spells of unseasonal cold. So in addition to a camera, carry a jersey or rain jacket, preferably with a torch and some chocolate in the pockets

Overnight in a cave while on a Drakensberg hiking trailThe most popular starting location in the Drakensberg is Monks Cowl. However Giants Castle offers just even more beautiful scenery without being so touristy. The Southern Drakensberg is without a doubt best experienced at Kamberg where added to the stunning trails spectacular Bushman Paintings can be viewed. 

If you are interested in more information about the Drakensberg or accommodation in the Drakensberg then contact us and we will be glad to assist.

Recommended day trails for beginners and tourists with limited time.

The Drakensberg Mountains present three very different perspectives to its hikers. And I recommend you see each of these aspects. I have selected the following as recommended trails because of their ease, spectacular scenery and last but not least they are well off the beaten tourist track. You probably will not even see a single other visitor while walking. And the place to stay while do all this is the Antbear Guest House which is also my favorite B&B in South Africa

1. Day trail through the lower reaches of the Drakensberg (Northern / Central 'Berg)
Walking the lower reaches below the Drakensberg escarpment is the reason you came to this area. This is the most impressive the Drakensberg has to offer and I recommend Giants Castle Nature Reserve. Try "Worlds View" an easy 3,5 hour hike (14 km) and ends with a spectacular 360 degree view.  More of this walking beneath the escarpment can be found at Injasuti, Monks Cowl, Champagne, Cathedral and Royal Natal. Its similar but the scenery is different and all spectacular.

2. To the top of the Escarpment and the 950m Tugela Waterfall
There is only one place you can reasonably get to the top of the Drakensberg escarpment and back down again in one day and that is at the Sentinel. The drive alone is spectacular. The walk is 5 hours 2,5 hours each way. You ascend the last 20 meters using a chain ladder and are rewarded with a view overlooking the Royal Natal Reserve. Also you are at the source of the Tugela river where it falls some 950m. 2nd highest in the world.

3. San (Bushman) rock art in the Southern Drakensberg
Kamberg offers the most spectacular examples of rock art to be found in South Africa. There are many places where Bushman rock art can be found but this is one of the few sites where your imagination is not a prerequisite. Kamberg is situated in the southern Drakensberg (More sandstone and valleys than the spectacular basalt of further North) which gives you another opportunity to experience a different aspect of our Drakensberg.



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