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Lotheni Nature Reserve Hikes, Drakensberg

Lotheni Nature Reserve Hikes, DrakenbergLotheni Nature Reserve is located in the southern part of the Ukhalhlamba-Drakenberg Park in the Mkhomazi Wilderness Reserve. The scenery is spectacular and the terrain diverse, including rivers and streams, waterfalls, valleys and peaks.

There are six hiking trails in the reserve:

1. Emadundwini Trail begins at the Lotheni Camp Huts and then gains some 760 metres to just below Sheba’s Breasts. The route takes you to the Contour Path and then on to Giant’s Hut where you continue until you reach Taylor’s Path junction. You then turn left and follow Taylor’s Pass. You will then follow the Elandshoek River just below you until you reach the Lotheni River which takes you back to the start.

Quick facts: 11.5 Km long | 5 hours | circular route | make sure you take warm clothes

2. Yellowwood Cave starts at Sime’s Cottage and follows the Lotheni River upstream. You will pass the eMpophomeni Falls and then continue along the Ka-Masihlenga Stream through an indigenous forest to a cave on the right-hand bank.

Quick facts: 10.6 Km both ways | 4 hours | return on same route | make sure you take warm clothes.

3. Gelib Tree Trail begins at the Settler’s Museum and heads toward the Gelib Tree, planted by a soldier, Captain Charles Eustace, who fought in Italian Somaliland. He collected the seed there and planted it on his farm in memory of fallen comrades. The farm later became part of the Lotheni Reserve.

Quick facts: 1.3 Km | 30 minutes | circular

4. Eagle Trail starts at the Lotheni camp site. A trail brochure, which will inform you of 12 points of interest, is available at the park office. The terrain is moderate but there are a few steep gradients to climb.

Quick facts: 12.8 km | 6 hours | circular route | take warm clothes

5. Hlathimbe Pass is a major hike up the escarpment via the historic Hlathimbe Pass which rises over 800 metres in 9 Km where you will meet the Contour Path which links Hlathimbe to the Ka-Masihlenga Pass. You will then gain another 440 metres in altitude. Not for the faint hearted.

Quick facts: 35 Km | 2 days | return on same route | warm clothes and supplies essential

6. Bhodla River Canyon begins at the Lotheni Huts and follows the Gelib Tree Trail and then continues to Ka-Zwelewle game rangers huts. Before you get to the huts the the path forks to the left and continues to the spectacular canyon carved out by the Bhodla River

Quick facts: 12.6 Km | 6 hours | return on same route | take warm clothes

Tel: +27 (0)33 702 0540

More info on the town of Underberg More info on the Drakensberg area

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