Bergfree Adventures

Location: South Africa » Kwazulu Natal » Drakensberg » Northern Drakensberg » Van Reenens Pass » Pietermaritzburg

Drakensberg MOUNTAIN WALKING GUIDE, guided day hikes and guided multi day hikes

Name of hostsDave Sclanders
Cell+27 (0)824434287
Emailbergfree@absamail.co.za
Webwww.bergfree.co.za

Description

MOUNTAIN WALKING GUIDE, guided day hikes and guided multi day hikes.BERGFREE ADVENTURES specialises in walking in the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Mountains, (KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa), a World Heritage Site. Day Hikes When: any time of the year For the first time mountain/berg visitor deciding where to go can be a daunting task. There are easy day walks at all mountain/ berg resorts. However I can guide you to unvisited places at the following mountain /berg resorts: Giants Castle ( see Newsletter 3 – The Giants Castle of Sunrises) Highmoor (see Newsletter 4 – The Valleys of Highmoor) Kamberg (see Newsletter 5 – KambergValley day trip) These resorts are all in easy reach of Pietermaritzburg , the Midlands Meander and surrounding areas . Walks are easy, and vary in distance to suit your and your children’s pace and interests . In summer river walks are great as a dip in a cool mountain stream is an especially “cooling experience”. I can supply backpacks , stoves , hats etc. No special hiking boots required , just good sound walking shoes. 2 – 3 day hikes and sleep in either caves or mountain huts When - any time of the year . remember November- January are our heavy rain months , you will at some time hike in the rain – be prepared There are many 2 – 3 day hikes where we overnight in caves and or mountain huts. For the fitter , hardier hiker , tents can be carried , then the mountain becomes yours and you can go wherever you wish , and for as long as you like. All hikes will be designed around your own , or your groups fitness capability and expectations. I do not mix different groups of people together , your trip is your trip. I plan as you want , easy and slow , or hard and fast and anything in- between . The only limitations are on where the caves and mountain huts are – they determine our ultimate pace as we must get there at the end of each day. This is where my experience comes in , with your information and my knowledge of the mountains we will plan and enjoy a memorable experience in the mountain wilderness together. I will do all bookings , food planning , route planning etc for our trip , but , I don’t cook for you. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ HIKING AREAS: Cathedral Peak - 2 and 3 days hiking - sleeping in caves . (see Newsletter 3 – The Doctors of Cathedral Peak) Many interesting areas to visit including Rock art and the Rock Art Centre , as well as wonderfull mountain views. The hikes from here need good fitness , as well as a full pack of hiking equipment . Not suitable for children. Good accommodation available close by hotels , camp sites B & B’s etc . Things to do – many day walks – easy and hard , trout fishing , river swimming , mountain bike riding , unsurpassed views , good roads and mountain paths. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Monks Cowl 2 – 3 days hiking - sleeping in caves . (see Newsletter 9 - Exploration Hike …) Good caves caves as well as Rock Art . Need to be fit for this area as caves are relatively far from the car park, hike on good contour paths - Many nice easy day walks , hike through natural riverine bush . Good official camp site at Monks Cowl. For those who do not want to stay in the campsite whilst some of the family hike for 2 or 3 days good hotels and other accommodation are close by. There is much to see and do in the surrounding area. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Injisuthi 2 – 3 days hiking - sleeping in caves . There are a number of routes here. (see Newsletter 5 – Injisuthi) Good caves to sleep in , some easy to get to , good for first time overnight hikers , and older children 13 years +. Good views . One of the easier places to overnight hike in. Many day walks including the famous ‘Battle Cave” rock art cave- access only with a game guard or Rock Art Custodian. Good trout fishing and river swimming – like Marble Baths Pools not too far away. There are self catering huts as well as a camp site here . Eland come around the campsite at night. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Giants Castle 2 – 3 days to 4 days hiking – sleeping in mountain huts and caves. (see Newsletter 1 – Giants Castle – Hut Hike , and Newsletter 3 – Moonlight Hike) The hikes from here are on good paths , a fair degree of fitness is needed to walk from Giants Hut to Bannerman’s hut as it is a long 20 kilometer hike . For the rest , by good planning easier overnight hikes can be done . There is a smaller mountain hut much closer by , a great experience for the very first time overnight hiker. One can also get to the top of the escarpment to the famous Carbineer Memorial . There are a limited number of day walks , trout fishing , swimming and the famous Giants Castle Rock Art Museum not far away.. Good bird watching . Eland come around the camp at night . Wonderful views of the “Giant” from here . Very good accommodation at Giants Camp – self catering and restaurant. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Highmoor 2- 3 days hiking – sleeping in caves. (see Newsletter 7 ) Caves are very close by , and easy to get to. An ideal place for families to share their 1st hiking and overnight experience in a cave together ( see my newsletter number 7) Easy hiking from here , the only place where you can drive up to the top of the “Little berg” by car and camp. Good Rock art site , trout fishing dams , wonderfull views , waterfalls and mountain solitude for the not so fit . Small camping area . ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Kamberg - 2-3 days hiking - sleeping in a cave (see Newsletter 6 - The Misty Kamberg) Un-spoilt hiking area , cave is marked , but paths are not easy to follow . Kamberg is known for its trout fishing , as well as the famous Kamberg Rock Art Centre and Rock Art Shelter which you can only visit with a registered Rock Art Custodian. A must visit if you are in the area. Limited number of day walks . Walks are easy with good river swimming – visit Roman Baths for a lovely day of swimming and sun tanning.. Accomodation in good self catering cottages. Good game viewing area not far away. Good B & b not far away. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Lotheni 2 days hiking - sleeping in a cave (see Newsletter 3 – Lotheni Sunrise) Lotheni is one of the more isolated camps in the mountains/berg. Easy walk to the cave with natural bush vegetation and good riverine views and places to swim. Many day walks , some quite strenuous . Good trout fishing , and big river pools to swim in. Accommodation in good self catering huts and a nice camp site , as well as a secluded cottage on a small dam. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Cobham 2 – 3 days hiking - sleeping in caves (see Newsletter 6 – Gxalingenwa Cave) Lovely area to hike in , many caves to sleep in . Very different rock and valley formations to the Northern berg. A number of different hike routes can be done from here as the are a number of good sleeping caves scattered throughout the area . Good Rock Art sites , as well as a National Heritage Site. Many nice day walks , lovely river swimming , especially in the summer. Good trout fishing . Rustic large Camp site at Cobham . Nice area for children . Not far to the famous Sani Pass – need a tour operator or a 4x4 plus a valid passport to drive up the pass . ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Garden Castle 2 – 3 days hiking – sleeping in caves or mountain huts . (see Newsletter 1 – Garden Castle) A number of caves available in the area . Good hiking with many views of mountains and valleys . Good day hikes – with the extra long and difficult day hike to get to the top of the Rhino. Good river swimming and trout fishing . By special arrangement a mountain hut is available depending on circumstances at the time where an easy 2 day hike can be done and overnight in the hut. There is a small camp site at the office , but nearby is a good hotel . ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Bushmans Nek 2 – 3 days hiking – sleeping in caves (see Newsletter 8 – Tarn Cave) A more rugged area to hike in , however there are a number of caves in the area. On the one route there is an opportunity to enjoy a good climb to the top of the escarpment , whilst on another good rock art can be seen. Trout fishing and good river swimming . Good day walks from the nearby private camp site , and not far way a good hotel. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Longer and a bit more difficult hikes When – any time of the year. However the Mini Traverse should only be done at certain times of the year due to possible bad weather conditions . The best time for this trip is April/May , or Late September /October. Giants Cup Trail - 5 days – Southern Berg ( see newsletter 3 – Giants Cup Trail) For those who may want to venture a bit further , maybe 5 days , there is the Giants Cup Trail . this is a self guided trail , however I have led a number of people on this trip , and have had very commendable feedback as they have all seen more , and experienced more by having a guide with them. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Giants Hut to Centenary/Injisuthi trail - 5 days– Central Berg (see Newsletter 11 – Bannerman’s hut to Centenary Hut) This will be an extension of this hike . In parts the trail gets a bit lost , could be exciting in bad weather . Wonderfull views , last day could be a long one depending on the route. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Many 4-5 day hikes Walking from area to area along the contour path , tents needed , and parties of at least 4 people together. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Ultimate 5 day - The Mini Traverse - Northern Berg ( see Newsletter 5 – Mini Traverse) For this trip mountain fitness and hiking experience is a must . The trip is across the top of the berg. Tents and 6 days food must be carried . Weather is unpredictable and a full range of high quality mountain kit must be carried by all in the party. Expect rain , severe cold , ice , mist , sunburn , whatever . However in fair weather the views are without doubt the most spectacular that you could imagine. Here we need at least 6 – 8 people who know each other on this hike . Strong team sense and spirit , as well as physical strength is needed. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Remember, I will plan any hike to suit you and your group or family. Contact me either by e mail , or if that bounces back send me a fax , and I will contact you. Please bear in mind that I may be away on a trip when you email , so give me a few days to get back to you. Good hiking - don’t wait too long to do your first to the mountains . It will be a “not to be forgotten experience” AREAS TO HIKE IN - all areas that we hike ,are in the in uKhahlamba Drakensberg World Heritage Site , and fall under the auspicious of the KZN Wildlife organization , the official custodians of our nature reserves in Kwa Zulu-Natal