Hiking the Drakensberg - a 240 000ha world of sheer cliffs, deeply incised valleys and crystal clear rivers - offers endless experiences.

The Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park is the ultimate hiker`s paradise. This high mountain range is a wilderness where body and soul may be renewed through contact with nature.

In this world of sheer cliffs, deeply incised valleys and crystal clear rivers, the hiking experiences are endless. There are hikes and walks to suit most needs. These range from a gentle stroll to an extremely strenuous hike.

A comprehensive hiking guide is available for purchase at the visitor centres at the camp offices and at the main entrance gates to the various areas. The brochure shows a map of the Park and the network of hiking paths.

A variety of Drakensberg Accommodation options exist.

Popular hiking and walking areas
Royal Natal National Park
The main feature is the world famous Amphitheatre, a rock wall approximately five km in length, and 500m high. Above the amphitheatre is Mont-aux-Sources peak where, as its name implies, the Orange river starts its long journey to the Atlantic ocean and Thukela river cascades down the face of the amphitheatre.

There is a network of hiking paths (about 22) which visit every part of the park from the gentle walk to Fairy Glen (less than an hour) to the challenging hike up the Crack and down the Mudslide taking a day.

Mont-Aux-Sources can be reached from Tendele Camp. It is an outstanding trip, but requires at least two days, with a night being spent at the summit of the Amphitheatre. Booking for overnight camping can be made through the Qwa-Qwa Tourist Officer, telephone +27 58 7134415.

Travelling by car, it is possible to visit the summit in a day by driving around to the Sentinel car park at the end of the road, purchasing a permit en route. This trip is an extremely popular day's expedition.

Injisuthi is in the northern section of the Giant's Castle area of the Park. Visitors may undertake many interesting walks into the Mdedelo Wilderness Area, as well as a guided walk to the Battle Cave, famous for its bushman rock art. Hiking trips (about 10) can be undertaken lasting from 25 minutes to almost 11 hours.

Giants Castle
There is a variety of self guided day walks through the lower parts of the park throughout the year, weather permitting. Routes are available from the camp office. About 6 short walks to the caves and along the river are available lasting from one to 3 hours.

About 13 very rewarding longer hiking trips are available that will take you from 3 to 7 hours to complete.

Garden Castle
The Park reaches southwards to Garden Castle, a 35 300 ha wonderland of dramatic peaks, rolling green slopes and trout-filled streams. Many of the caves and rocky overhangs are decorated with Bushman (San) paintings and the area has enormous appeal for the hiker.

The Kamberg section of the offers hikers an exciting alternative to the busier hiking destinations further north. The area is not that popular with hikers due to its distance from the main escarpment, but this means that the area is still relatively wild and unexplored.

Game is prolific and the area also offers excellent birding opportunities.

Many delightful walking trails are available to suit all ages. For spectacular views of the Drakensberg, the Emadundwini Trail, a 11.8 km circular route crossing a number of small streams and traveling up a steep incline is recommended.

Many of the photos and content by courtesy of and are copyrighted by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife

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