Drakensberg Hiker Reviews

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  • positive review  The Drakensberg is a place like no other. It’s beautiful mountains look impossible to conquer. Ian is an exceptional guide in that the mountains that look so imposing to us have been his home for years. Whether it is a four day hike up Mafadi, or an overland trip through of Lesotho, Ian knows the land better than most people know their suburb. He goes to great lengths to expose his clients to the raw beauty of the world around them. The overland trip through Lesotho I went on was enriched not only by the delicious food, comfortable transportation and a staggering views, but also Ian’s genuine passion for the country and the people he surrounded himself with. Lesotho is a definite must-see, and I can’t think of anyone more capable of guiding people through it than Ian.

    Georgia Harvey Avatar Georgia Harvey
    26th July 2019

    positive review  I have done a few hikes with Drakensberg Hiker and can really recommend them. Ian is very passionate about what he does. He is very knowledgeable and his knowledge about birds is especially amazing. His porters are excellent; it is a real perk to have you tent and food carried! The tents are pitched, food is cooked and even the dishes get done for you! Ian is very organised and safety conscious. If you are looking for an awesome Drakensberg hike experience, I can really recommend Drakensberg Hiker.

    Hilde Minster Avatar Hilde Minster
    28th June 2019

    positive review  Drakensberg Hiker offers an invaluable and unforgettable experience to anyone interested in hiking the Drakensberg (amongst the mountain regions across the world, the picturesque landscape of the Drakensberg in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, is of incomparable beauty and outstanding topographies). Ian, who is both the guide and owner of this company, personally treks alongside clients providing them with an intimate understanding of the outside world without sugar-coating it with unnatural luxuries. Not making it harder or easier than it is he offers hikers a true taste of camping in an awestricken and isolated setting, which is a rarity in modern day society. There are no quick drives to a comfy hotel, hot showers to hide the scents of humanity or fancy toilets to spoil the views of nature, which is more of a relief than a discomfort. Yet, on occasion there is the opportunity to take a swim or soap free shower in the cleanest mountain water streams which give an icy and refreshing blast of wholesomeness (note, soap free implies that not even biodegradable shampoos are to be used in the streams). Hikers have the chance to be who they are without excessively worrying about their daily appearances, unlike the everyday requirements of society that leaves little room for a natural look. In effect, bare humanity rather than superficiality and cosmetics is valued without making people feel uncomfortable about themselves. It is even possible to break free from the shackles that compel people to communicate with the outside world during hikes, yes, this refers to mobile phones, since Ian has communication covered in case of emergency. At the hand of this, hikers have access to a daily abundance of breathtakingly pleasing views, including the milky way during cloudless nights, which forms cherished memories of a lifetime. It goes without saying that these hikes are not for the fainthearted, since there are no easy ways of going about the steep hills or harsh descents with a heavy backpack other than walking it one step at a time. For those who yearn to carry the weight of their own backpack and get a taste of camping as one would experience it at your own accord, without people pampering you unnecessarily when the going gets tough, this is definitely a must or worthy bucket list item. However, this does not imply suffering. Ian with his team of Zulu porters are mastered hikers with a lifetime of experience on the Drakensberg mountains. Despite his porters’ lack of understanding English, they are gentlemen and whiling to assist anyone who struggles with excessive fear or unaccounted dilemmas that arise during the hike. Even though the hike may become tiresome and hard, they always put even the weakest hiker in a group at ease with their confidence, laughter and friendly attitudes, making the trip even more worthy of appraise. The hike may be tough, but one never feels in danger or isolated alongside Ian with his skilled group of assistants who never leaves anyone behind. After each day’s sweat from stumbling between boulders, pathless territory and level to unlevel terrain, occasionally crossing small and slippery streams, Ian provides hikers with a hearty meal of real hikers’ food. Although this is not hotel food, considering the conditions in which the food must be carried to the top of the mountains and prepared with the minimum of utensils, Ian deserves applause for his cooking initiative and efforts to make one feel at home in the uninhabited areas of South Africa. A true Drakensberg chef with unbeatable skills! And just wait until he sends the chocolate decks around after each dinner, what a surprise! With this, the warm coffee, tea or hot chocolate on cold mornings, and Ian’s witty wake-up songs, takes the edge off and makes every hiker feel comfy, ready and excited for another day’s hiking. Personally, we hiked the Bell’s Traverse with Drakensberg Hiker. This is definitely the most spectacular route and can be accounted for as a unique experience to be found nowhere other than the Drakensberg. However, a word of warning, do not book this hike if you are afraid of heights and an amateur hiker. It is labelled as an advanced hike for a reason; despite being the experience of a lifetime, consider this statement carefully. The hike was worth every penny and absolutely delivers value for your money, but also sent my heart racing at times. Truly exiting one’s comfort zone to experience an appreciation for life when your feet are on sound solid ground again. If luxury and comfort is your preference, do not consider these hikes, but if you are an adventurous person who loves the outside world and want a true experience of self, one that is not set in an ordinary and standardised hotel, this is a must do.

    Pieter Willem Conradie Avatar Pieter Willem Conradie
    29th May 2019

    positive review  Just done my first hike with Drakensberg Hiker - makes a huge difference to your load when someone else carries the food and tents on overnight hikes - highly recommended. Ian is very knowledgeable about the berg - he sure can tell a few good stories. Great way to explore the berg.

    Alison Chadwick Avatar Alison Chadwick
    27th May 2019

    positive review  5 ✨ for Ian Shooter and his strong porters - you were our hero’s ons our Northern Traverse between 25-30/4/19!! Thank you for sharing your love for the mountains and nature with our group, we will definitely join you on one of your adventures again!!!

    Lidell Botha Avatar Lidell Botha
    5th May 2019

    positive review  Great adventure/great approach, 'all inclusive', pick up from airport, food, porters, tents. and Drakensberg is an amazing area to hike.

    Kristin Waeterloos Avatar Kristin Waeterloos
    24th April 2019

    positive review  Ian and his team delivered a highly professional (and fun) service that ensured a great experience was had by all on the Northern Drakensberg Traverse. We made good friends, learnt a lot and saw the most amazing views South Africa has to offer.

    Leigh Mann Avatar Leigh Mann
    3rd April 2019

    positive review  Best guide in the country

    Ann Bishop Avatar Ann Bishop
    26th March 2019

    positive review  5 Stars Incredible experience trekking to the summit of Mafadi. Really professional and personal care provided during the course of the entire trip! And not forgetting the amazing work done by the porters Sdudla and Smalie 🙏🏻

    Fiona Langry Avatar Fiona Langry
    6th February 2019

    5 star review  Ian and his team are professional, well organised and plan great hikes according to our needs.

    Grant Little Avatar Grant Little
    24th June 2018

    5 star review  The ONLY way to see the Drakensberg up close! Ian’s experience and know-how is second to none and you couldn’t possibly hike the Berg with a more knowledgeable and entertaining guide.

    Geoff Tennant Avatar Geoff Tennant
    3rd May 2018

    5 star review  Just arrived back from a 5 day hike and hardly know where to begin. Awesome does not do the experience justice enough. The Drakensberghiker team were phenomenal - from start to finish. Thanks to Kim for heaving all the rucksacks on to the roof of the jeep as if they were full of feathers, picking up our "one left behind" and the spot on naming of our group - I take Tiddly Tarts to be a compliment!! Thanks to Robin for the transport and chat - I don't think your Merc will ever be the same again after that drive up to the Sentinel. Thanks to Geoff for that first Braii from heaven, the photos, the company, the chats, the whiskey, the snores, the GPS - can't wait for the video. Thanks to the INCREDIBLE porters, who were so professional and efficient. Seeing our campsite already set up in the distance each day was a Godsend, and to get up each morning, admire the sunrise, fill up with porridge or pancakes and just set off, without first dismantling tents, a real treat. Your help in getting us all off the mountain on that last day was incredible - patient and strong, all the way down, nipping down like mountain goats in your wellies, while we were mostly on our bottoms, inching cautiously from rock to rock! And then there was our leader, guide, chef and all-round entertainer, Ian. What a character - you couldn't make it up! Your love and knowledge of everything we saw - from peaks to plants to animals to shepherds to birds. There was no question you could not answer. Your respect for your team. Your cheery morning welcomes and endless cups of tea. Your culinary skills - producing 39 nourishing meals a day without a spot of bother. You coped incredibly well with us 11 women from all around the globe - no easy task, I'm sure. Thanks for opening up your heart and soul in our evening chats. Thanks for giving me this incredible experience. Thanks for helping me see what I am capable of, however tough it gets. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

    Rachel Geyer Avatar Rachel Geyer
    9th March 2018

    5 star review  Ian, the trip was nommer een ! Loved it ! Thanks again ! See you soon for the Sani Pass trip. J.S.

    Jamal Sahib Avatar Jamal Sahib
    7th January 2018

    5 star review  We went to Mafadi (group of 9 people who did not know each other � �). We had a truly Happy time and Ian's great soul made the group to connect greatly regardless of the diversity in the group. We had a life changing experience. Our souls were transformed. Mafadi is not a child's play, Ian made it more fun and enjoyable to a point that I honestly would do this hike again with Ian. Quality of the tents provided was great, food was enjoyable (I would have liked more food since I am a fat bastard � � ), service was truly tailor-made to the group's overall ability. . . I Loved this hike! I honestly believe that Mafadi is a birthright of every South African with moderate - high levels of vitality and energy.

    Nontuthuko Mgabhi Avatar Nontuthuko Mgabhi
    22nd December 2017

    5 star review  It was the most amazing experience of my life! Could not have had better guides thanks Ian and Jeff for the unforgettable experience.

    Emma van Eck Avatar Emma van Eck
    21st December 2017

    5 star review  Five star service in the wilderness !! Had an awesome hike to Mafadi under the leadership of Ian Schooter and Jeff . I felt safe and taken care off !

    Rofhiwa Irene Singo Avatar Rofhiwa Irene Singo
    20th December 2017

    5 star review  The only way to hike in the berg, all you have to do is hike as everything is taken care of. The best!!!

    Roger Robert Avatar Roger Robert
    20th December 2017

    5 star review  awesome to follow!....very i formative.. nice foto of hikes.for people hoe enjoy mountains!!

    Riana Knouwds Avatar Riana Knouwds
    30th September 2017

    5 star review  Amazing trip! I would recommend it anytime. Ian is a very professional, well organised guide who made our trip unforgettable! It was so nice we booked a second trip, through Botswana on 4x4, 6 months later. If you want to discover the beautiful Drakensberg mountains, you definitely should go on a trek with Ian!

    Ka Tharina Avatar Ka Tharina
    4th August 2017

    5 star review  Best!

    Megan Carte Bedingham Avatar Megan Carte Bedingham
    24th April 2017
  • 5 star review  Most amazing experience & brilliant guides & porters! Thanks to Ian & his team!

    Lesley Carte Avatar Lesley Carte
    24th April 2017

    5 star review  Best team of guides & porters to follow across the mountains!

    Lindsay Carte Du Plessis Avatar Lindsay Carte Du Plessis
    23rd April 2017

    5 star review  I signed up to do the 6 day mini traverse, along with three of my friends in late July. Although the unexpected snowfall altered our route entirely, this trip was so much more than I ever imagined. It was also worth so much more than the price we paid. Ian and Kim are a dynamite team. I loved how Ian came across so nonchalant and fun and goofy, yet you can tell he really plans the heck out of these trips and is prepared for anything that may happen. I also love that he didn't let the bad weather ruin the trip. He made a plan, and revised the plan as we went, always with a smile. Our group was particularly wild and fun and entertaining, so I can't promise everyone can re-create that, but no matter the group, this trip is a life changer. I cannot say enough good about Ian and Kim, the Drakensberg, and the whole experience. DO IT. I am definitely doing this again! Next time, the grand traverse for 14 days!!

    Lisa Jane Lindhorst Avatar Lisa Jane Lindhorst
    13th August 2016

    5 star review  Amazing views I have climbed the chain ladder 3 times, slept in the hut above the falls once.

    Joan Jung Avatar Joan Jung
    26th May 2016

    5 star review  Just returned from an incredible 6 days in the Drakensberg with Ian and his team. The views were unbelievable, but what really made the trip special was Ian's obvious passion for the mountains. He is so knowledgable about the area and so willing to answer any questions you have, however daft they may seem! I'll never forget this last week, it's been such a special time in my life and I can't thank you all enough for sharing this wonderful experience with me.

    Alison du Plessis Avatar Alison du Plessis
    8th February 2016

    5 star review  A fantastic 4 day hike with Ian and his guys. Loved every minute!

    Emma Methven Woolston Avatar Emma Methven Woolston
    19th December 2015

    5 star review  The wild, remote parts of Lesotho become very accessible on a journey with Ian. Amazing time, 3 incredible days.

    Matthew Fraser Avatar Matthew Fraser
    21st March 2015

    5 star review  We had an awesome 2-days-hike with Ian and Jeffrey. The hike was well organised, the equipment top. Ian knows a lot about the Drakensberg and shared his knowledge with us. It was stunning! Guys, thank you sooo much!

    Annika Lipp Avatar Annika Lipp
    11th December 2014

    5 star review  Awesome stuff

    John Giffin Avatar John Giffin
    14th November 2014

    5 star review  Incredible adventure! Professional, experienced guide and... very friendly!!! Even when weather was not so good, I enjoyed hike and will be back- definitely! No regrets! Only amazing memories... Thank You Ian!!! xxx

    Asia Knight Avatar Asia Knight
    24th October 2014

    5 star review  Great choice if your planning an adventure in South Africa's Drakensberg mountains. The price is also very reasonable and the team very experienced.

    Nathan Robert Holderhead Avatar Nathan Robert Holderhead
    14th June 2014

    5 star review  Excellent outfit and highly recommended for Drakensberg trips.

    Grant Melville Avatar Grant Melville
    22nd April 2014

    5 star review  Ian, the trip was nommer een ! Loved it ! Thanks again ! See you soon for the Sani Pass trip. J.S.

    Jamal Sahib Avatar Jamal Sahib
    7th January 2018

    5 star review  We went to Mafadi (group of 9 people who did not know each other � �). We had a truly Happy time and Ian's great soul made the group to connect greatly regardless of the diversity in the group. We had a life changing experience. Our souls were transformed. Mafadi is not a child's play, Ian made it more fun and enjoyable to a point that I honestly would do this hike again with Ian. Quality of the tents provided was great, food was enjoyable (I would have liked more food since I am a fat bastard � � ), service was truly tailor-made to the group's overall ability. . . I Loved this hike! I honestly believe that Mafadi is a birthright of every South African with moderate - high levels of vitality and energy.

    Nontuthuko Mgabhi Avatar Nontuthuko Mgabhi
    22nd December 2017

    5 star review  It was the most amazing experience of my life! Could not have had better guides thanks Ian and Jeff for the unforgettable experience.

    Emma van Eck Avatar Emma van Eck
    21st December 2017

    5 star review  Five star service in the wilderness !! Had an awesome hike to Mafadi under the leadership of Ian Schooter and Jeff . I felt safe and taken care off !

    Rofhiwa Irene Singo Avatar Rofhiwa Irene Singo
    20th December 2017

    5 star review  The only way to hike in the berg, all you have to do is hike as everything is taken care of. The best!!!

    Roger Robert Avatar Roger Robert
    20th December 2017

    5 star review  awesome to follow!....very i formative.. nice foto of hikes.for people hoe enjoy mountains!!

    Riana Knouwds Avatar Riana Knouwds
    30th September 2017

    5 star review  Amazing trip! I would recommend it anytime. Ian is a very professional, well organised guide who made our trip unforgettable! It was so nice we booked a second trip, through Botswana on 4x4, 6 months later. If you want to discover the beautiful Drakensberg mountains, you definitely should go on a trek with Ian!

    Ka Tharina Avatar Ka Tharina
    4th August 2017

    5 star review  Best!

    Megan Carte Bedingham Avatar Megan Carte Bedingham
    24th April 2017
+27 33-396 3906
+27 72-947 1174
ian@drakensberghiker.co.za