Mnweni Drakensberg Circuit Route Description.

Here is my Mnweni Drakensberg 4 day circuit route description 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.

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.

Occasionally we see dagga smugglers here.

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 Mnweni Drakensberg 4 day circuit hike starts at the Mnweni cultural center. Please check out my video of the Mnweni Center. 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. Our first day takes up to 6 hours over 13km.

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.

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. Today is 4 km up Rockeries pass from 2200m to 2950m and then a 2km walk to our camp spot.

Right, it is time to move on. Day 3 is the longest day of the Mnweni Drakensberg circuit 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. You can watch a video I made of this hike here Mnweni Drakensberg Circuit Hike

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. Total time spent hiking today is at least 7 hours over 16km and down to 1800m from a height of around 3100m.

Here we look up to see Cathedral Peak change color as the sun sets.

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 the Mnweni Drakensberg circuit should be the one.

Mnweni 3 day hike
Mnweni circuit
Mnweni circuit
Mnweni 4 day circuit