Here is my Drakensberg Mnweni Hike report in the stunning Drakensberg mountains. I am sure most guides in the Drakensberg have a favorite part of these magnificent mountains. I am also sure that most of them will say Mnweni is their favorite. Why? Well I think most people like to visit mountains to enjoy the peace and quiet and of course incredible mountain scenery.
There are some stunning places to camp at Mnweni on a hike with Drakensberghiker
Mnweni has it all.
Mnweni is situated between Royal Natal in the North and Cathedral peak in the South. The nearest town is Bergville in KwaZulu natal province. While exploring Mnweni we often see people from Lesotho walking down the mountain passes to shop in Bergville.
Don’t worry though, they are completely harmless. In fact some guests have been known to do a bit of shopping with them.
So this 4 day Drakensberg Mnweni hike starts at the Mnweni cultural center. Please check out my video of the Mnweni center. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVHqwPSrLkg&t=29s There are 3 major passes at Mnweni namely, Ntonjelana, Rockeries and Mnweni but of course there are a couple more rather extreme ones. My favorite route is a 5-6 hour saunter to the base of Rockeries pass. We start at around 1800m asl with a few river crossings to arrive at the ‘station’. I call this camp the station because the locals change over their sweet mary jane loads from donkeys coming from Lesotho because there is a quite steep part that donkeys struggle to go down.
Here we are at 2200m altitude with huge cliffs towering above us.
Day 2 is a short but sweet/steep stroll up Rockeries pass. There are 2 mountain streams handy to fill up your bottle and then we arrive on top in time for lunch. Here we are at 2950m high so feel the lack of oxygen a bit. As we summit Rockeries pass we enter Lesotho.
This is one amazing place you all should visit. Anyway our overnight camp is nearby so off we go.
Of all the places I have been to this is certainly my favorite ever.
We camp near a huge Cape vulture colony. At different times of the year we can watch them lay eggs, sit on their eggs and eventually watch the babies fly away.
On my Drakensberg Mnweni hike we camp near a Cape vulture colony
I like to arrive here by mid afternoon to have lots of time to enjoy looking way down onto the foothills of Mnweni and of course watch these amazing birds fly around. By the way they have a wingspan of over 2m.
Right, it is time to move on. Today is the longest day of the Drakensberg Mnweni hike.
We walk behind the Saddle and pop in to swim in one of the best pools you can swim in.
Then it is a walk up a valley to a magnificent view spot. Here we look directly over the well known Cathedral peak range as well as North to see the Devils tooth at the Amphitheatre and Cathkin peak near Champagne castle. This will change your views on life.
Lunch is had at the top of Ntonjelana pass. My porters call this pass SS because it twists and turns all the way down the valley. Plus I am sure it is the most used pass from Lesotho. After about 3 hours heading down the pass we arrive at our camp for the night.
The last day is very enjoyable. I plan it like that so you want to come back for more. Ha ha. It is a 3 hour hike along the Ntonjelana river valley back to our cars. Every season is different. This time we enjoyed the spring flowers just starting to show and lots of summer birds have arrived.
If anyone wants to do a extremely enjoyable 4 day hike in the Drakensberg then this should be the one.
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!