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Hiking South Africa’s Drakensberg mountains

Drakensberg mountain range:



The Drakensberg is an Afrikaans word that means the Dragon’s mountain, this mountain range stretches about 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) and the highest point is Thabana Ntlenyana at 3,482 meters above sea level.

I will be going into detail about the Northern part of the Drakensburg, the Amphitheater region which is about 5 kilometers in length (3.1 miles) and it’s summit stands at 3,050 meters above sea level. It is in my opinion one of the most breath taking mountain ranges on earth.

The Tugela Falls:

It is the world’s second tallest waterfall, falling from a height of 948 meters (3,100feet).
There are two hikes I recommend, the first hike is in a gorge where you can see the waterfall from the bottom while hiking through a jungle path and this hike is in the Royal Natal national park, the second is a summit climb to the top part of the amphitheater and it starts from the Sentinel peak car park.


The royal natal national park:

This national park has a wide range of hikes that will accommodate any level of hiker but the one I am recommending is the Gorge trail, it is my favorite hike and is about 18 kilometers long if you start at the car park.

It is best to start early as it takes the hole day, an pack in a small on the go lunch. My bag always has these essentials.

  • A energy bar and one apple.
  • Flask of warm water for a cup of coffee an 2 min noodles.
  • Dry clothing and a towel for swimming.
  • A camera to catch the memories.
  • Sun screen and a hat.
  • About 3 liters of water per person


Sentinel Peak hike:

This hike starts from a car park and it is in a small town called Phuthaditjaba, it also takes the hole day and gives you more than enough time to take in all the views. There are a set of chain ladders that makes the climb a bit easier, but if you have a fear of heights prepare yourself

There are 3 things that make this hike worth while:

  1. The view from the top of the peak.
  2. Swimming in the pools near the edge of the waterfall.
  3. And the amount of life that lives on the mountain from birds to deer and the nature that grows there.


Amphitheater Backpackers vs Royal Natal:

For accommodation I will recommend the Amphitheater’s backpackers because they offer a wide range of accommodation types from dorms to family rooms for a cheap price. They have the a self catering area and also a restaurant. there is a swimming pool, hot tub and bar area with a lot of international guests all season round.

But if you are looking for something a bit more quiet there is the Royal natal national park’s accommodation, even if it is a bit more pricey you will be staying near all the best hiking spots and in the hart of nature.

Have a look on their websites if you are planning on hiking in the Northern Drakenburg. I have a photo album on my blog of some of the best photo’s I have taken while hiking in these mountains. Thank you for reading and safe hiking!

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10 thoughts on “Hiking South Africa’s Drakensberg mountains

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