The Loteni 5 day hike is in one of the more remote parts of the Drakensberg mountains. It is found just South of Giants castle. In fact we see quite a lot of the famous giant on this hike. To get to Loteni requires a beautiful drive on a good dirt road from Nottingham road in the KwaZulu Natal midlands. I love camping here before the hike and having a nice braai.
Day 1 starts at the camp site and heads up hill past a magnificent Indigenous forest to join the contour path below some impressive cliffs.
On the way we stop for some lunch among the Protea trees. Soon we arrive at a long but gentle ridge that seems to go on for quite a while.
No worries though because we are thourally enjoying the mountain views. You can read some of my reviews here.
At the contour path which is at 2400m altitude we turn left. Not far to our camp now.
We started the day at 1470m and after 14km we are camping below the mighty Buttress pass.
While sitting in our tents we can look way down into the valley below. Now day 2 arrives and after breakfast we carry on for about 3km to the base of Hlatimba pass. While walking along the contour path we can see Sani far in front of us. However we must pay attention because this path is hardly used and rather overgrown.
At the base of Hlatimba pass is a lovely stream where we must fill up because there is no water going up the pass. We take the South route because the North route is crazy. This pass takes us about 2 and a half hours and then we are in Lesotho.
This is a great spot to just sit for a bit but then lunch is calling and we turn right and just around the corner is a stream perfect for lunch.
Enjoying the views on top of Hlatimba pass at Loteni with Drakensberghiker
Our camp site is not far away so off we go. As we walk Redi comes into view. It’s quite close so we have to climb it. Not a huge peak but it makes us feel like real mountaineers. Now we are basically right above our first camp site. This time above Buttress pass.
Day 3 starts off lovely and flat. We enjoying stretching our legs but take our time because this is quite a short day. As we come around the corner we can see Giants castle in the distance and closer are the impressive Hawk and the mighty Tent.
From the camp site at Loteni we look up at the tent before we started and now we are looking down on it.
But not for long. Now we start down a hill where there is a lovely mountain stream. This is a great spot to relax while the more energetic can climb the Hawk. It is tricky though.
Anyway after about an hour of walking we arrive at our camp site above eNtubeni pass. Nearby is Loteni pass with some really impressive cliffs. We needed a short day today because day 4 is walking down eNtubeni pass.
Our last campsite on the 5 day hike at Loteni is in the beautiful Loteni river valley with Drakensberghiker
eNtubeni pass is wild.
The whole pass is about a 700m decent but there are absolutely no paths so it takes us up to 6 hours to arrive at our camp site in the Loteni river valley. However this valley must be one of my favorites. Best of all there are some pools worth a dip.
Day 5 is a lovely saunter with the path getting bigger and bigger. 3 hours later we arrive back at our cars at the Loteni camp site and that folks is the Loteni 5 day hike. Well worth the effort especially if you love wild places.
Loteni 5 Day Hike Difficulty: Challenging.
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