First Time Drakensberg Hiker

First Time Drakensberg Hiker…

The impressions I have of my six day hike of the Northern Traverse of the Drakensberg. Strolling along the top of the Amphitheatre towards the Devils tooth with Drakensberghiker is still clear in my mind. A month later it feels like I were still there. The awesome heights of the cliffs and the tremendous views they offer are indescribable, but here is one first time hiker’s attempt.

The hike is an exploration of some of the greatest nature South Africa has to offer.

From the more obvious ones such as the already mentioned cliffs and views, you can also see many rare and beautiful plant species flowering in wide fields. All sorts of condors line the cliffs and it is a fond memory of seeing these remarkable creatures while setting up at camp after a days walking. Even distant cultures are seen in the Basotho Shepherds, kids who spend months in those valleys and plains on the mountain. Truly, a more separate and beautiful contrast to a modern city life – which this hiker enjoys – cannot be imagined by someone who hasn’t hiked a portion of these mountains.

Though the walk can be described as quite a tough physical endeavor, any slightly fit person will find the body’s complaints pale in comparison with the experience. Nothing compares to the first look over the Tugela falls, barely a meter away from the edge of that sheer drop. What tiredness can compare with the rest of the first night, as close to the stars as any city dweller has ever been? No tiredness is present when you meet the Basotho inhabitants of the plains you slowly traverse. Or when you look back on the distance you have covered in the day. Any discomfort the weather allows is immediately justified with the feeling of adventure they inspire

Walking six days with complete strangers might sound daunting.

It did to me, but I became fast friends with my six companions, and Ian and his great crew. Two things came out in the many relaxed conversations of those days, and the stories that Ian recounts.

The first that the people one meets on these hikes are almost always good and honest people. Who one can easily spend the days with, and the second that our group was obviously the best group they ever had.

All in all, I regard crossing the Northern Traverse as one of the most worthwhile and rewarding activities I have completed in my life, and can’t recommend anything more to any reader considering getting to know the Drakensberg for the first time.”

Sentinal to Cathedral peak Northern Drakensberg traverse
Mnweni Circuit Hike
Morning coffee, Drakensberghiker style
Loteni Hike