Mnweni is a tribal area found in the Northern Drakensberg between Royal Natal and Cathedral peak. It is my favorite part of the Drakensberg mostly because I think the cliffs are most impressive but also because not many people come to hike here.
There are a lot of amazing and wild passes and valleys to explore but this time we walked up Ntonjelana pass to visit Easter cave, and it was the Easter weekend.
My Zulu porters call this place home and they love to show it to visitors.
We all met at the little town of Bergville and drove to the Mnweni cultural center to sign the register and begin our walk. The day started off lovely and warm. However we had looked at the weather forecast and things weren’t looking great. Oh well, what can you do? We headed up towards the Ntonjelana pass and have a lovely lunch while cooling down in the river. The afternoon was fairly short, only an hour to we we set up tents. Over to our right was the huge Cathedral peak and above was the Saddle.
The evening was spent checking out quite a few stars.
As we woke up on day 2 things were looking good. Nice and clear so off we went. This pass is well used by the locals and they call it ss because it twists and turns. As usual we met some local people going up and down. All very friendly. However the clouds were building and as we got to the top of the escarpment it started to rain. Boy were we fast putting up the tents. I am sure any colder and it would have snowed. We settled into the Drakensberghiker mess tent
and had lunch. The weather outside was frightful so we all had a nap. Yup but then it was time for tea. The weather was not being nice so we decided to stay there. By now it was time for supper and some stories and finally bed.
The next morning was lovely. A sunrise to die for.
We had a great time exploring the area but decided we better head back down because again the weather was getting nasty. On the way back down the clouds certainly made for dramatic scenery. But again it started to rain. I asked my porters to go ahead and put up tents on our nice grassy patch. We arrived rather wet and cold and got warm with a cup of tea in the mess tent. Thank goodness for this big tent. Way nicer than sitting in your own tent by yourself. Some more stories and supper and off to bed.
Our last day was not looking good. Lots of rain so we just put our heads down and walked back to our landy to drive us to the Mnweni center for a clean up. Unfortunately the weather didn’t play ball so we didn’t get to Easter cave but there is always another time. The Mnweni area is waiting for your visit.
Drakensberg Hiker was started and is owned by Ian Shooter.
He knows and loves the Drakensberg mountains as well as meeting interesting people. So what better than to put into practice the philosophy of "do what you love and love what you do". And so, Drakensberghiker was born.
We take people on hikes, treks or backpacking all over the Drakensberg mountains in South Africa; we do what we love and we love what we do!