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Hiking in the Cathedral Peak area, uKhahlamba-Drakensberg

The magnificent Cathedral Peak in the DrakensbergThe Cathedral Peak and adjoining Mlambonja Wilderness area are amongst the favourite destinations for outdoor enthusiasts in South Africa. Home to the Cathedral range, a 4-km-long section of the Drakensberg littered with free-standing peaks, the range has some of the most spectacular peaks in South Africa. These include Cathedral Peak (3004m), Outer Horn (3005m)  and Bell Peak (2930m).

Hiking in this area is available on a 120km network of footpaths, which range from 1km to 18kms in length and span from 30 mins walking to a 2-day, overnight trail.

Ndedema Gorge is only accessible with a guide. This hike along the 8km long gorge includes many caves with sites of historic San rock art.

The Organ Pipes hike is a 13.5km, 7 hour hike that ascends more than 900m in altitude. This route passes the Ridge of Soldiers, known in Zulu as Qolo la Masoja, due to its resemblance of a regiment of soldiers standing to attention.

Rainbow Gorge is a delightful walk that follows the gorge carved by the Ndumeni River. Making your way up the forested valley, you will reach a beautiful pool into which two waterfalls cascade.

The 18km, round-trip ascent of Cathedral Peak involves a C-grade scramble and is not recommended for inexperienced hikers. The hike takes roughly ten hours, but the views from Cathedral Peak are simply stunning.

Trail info: Maps are available at the Reservation Office. Accommodation is available in luxury chalets and campsites at Cathedral Peak. Visit the Didima Rock Art Centre at Cathedral Peak.

Getting there: from Durban, take the N3 going through Mooi River and Estcourt. Take the R74 going to Winterton. Here, look out for signs to the Cathedral Peak Nature Reserve.

Tel: +27 (0)36 488 1880

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