The 3 Highest Peaks in South Africa route description..

The 3 highest peaks in South Africa.

The 3 highest peaks in South Africa are Champagne castle at 3377m above sea level. Mafadi is the highest at 3451m and Injisuthi dome is 3410m high. All of these are done over 5 days of incredible hiking.

Day 1 starts at Monks cowl Ezemvelo office at the end of the R600 road driving through the Champagne valley. This is a very busy part of the Central Drakensberg with hotels, a bird of prey center, Drakensberg boys choir, golf courses, camp sites and self catering chalets.

Usually I camp at the start the night before and have a nice braai.

Soon after leaving the car park we pass through a beautiful Indigenous forest full of Yellowwood trees. However we soon get out into the Protea grassland as we head up the mountain. About 45 minutes later we arrive at Crystal falls and then up onto the Spinx.  Here we get to see our first views looking down over the valley below. Still it is up some more.

After 5.5km we have lunch at Blind mans corner. This is 2200m high so about a 700m climb. This usually takes us 4 hours to do so no rush.

Way above us is Sterkhorn and the contour path stretching away ahead of us. The afternoon is spent strolling along the clear path for 3 km. As we come around the corner we get a nice surprise. We can see all the way up the eMhlwezini river valley.

Right at the end of the valley is Grays pass. This is what we will be walking up on day 2.

But first we carry on to our camp near the river about 1km before Keith Bush camp. Total distance for day 1 is 12km with 700m of vertical climb. As we enjoy the mountains all around us we have a lovely cup of tea and some cookies.

Please check out my video of this hike here.

We must wake up in time to see the sun shine orange on the cliffs above us. Then breakfast as we prepare to walk up Grays pass. The top is 3050m high so we have some altitude to gain.

The saying goes that the best views come after the hardest climbs.

As we get higher and higher we are rewarded with stunning mountain scenery. Lunch is served on top of Grays pass after 5km and 900m of walking. This afternoon is just relaxing near the iNkosazana stream. Also from the top of Grays pass we look straight over to the top of Cathkin peak and Monks cowl that has been hiding behind Cathkin.

Of course some tea goes down well and then supper. Day 3 is when we summit the first of our 3 highest peaks in South Africa. Champagne castle probably has one of the best views in the whole Drakensberg. It is kind of on the corner as the Drakensberg does a bend so we can see more of the escarpment from here than anywhere else.

You will just have to get there to see what I mean.

From our camp site we walk 2km and rise about 350m to arrive on top of Champagne castle. Soon after we leave Champagne castle we walk past Ships prow pass. This is not the easiest pass for sure and is at 3300m which makes it the highest pass in the Drakensberg. Now it is downhill for about 4km to have lunch at the Moremoholo river. After some refueling we head up the valley to camp near Leslie’s pass. Today ends up being about 9km of mountain walking with around 500m of up and down. Usually we arrive at 2.30pm so time for another cup of tea while enjoying the views from the top of Leslie’s pass.

Day 4 is the longest day as we walk up Mafadi about 5km away and 400m higher. Once up there we are the highest people in South Africa.  700m away is Injisuth dome which is the 2nd highest peak in SA and 3 on our list.

Now it is all downhill to lunch near a lovely stream.

Another 3km sees us on top of Judges pas. We descend here to camp on the contour path below. today we walk up to 13km and descend 1200m. The camp site is great as we can now look up at the huge cliffs. Day 5 is the last day and we walk along the contour path past Centenery hut. Then down the valley to arrive at the cars waiting for us at Injisuthi camp. Today is 14km and we finish at 1pm. However your cars are at the start so we are driven for 1 hr to arrive at your cars left at Monks cowl. And that people is the 3 highest peaks in South Africa. Certainly a bucket list hike.

The 3 highest peaks in Southern Africa
Mafadi the highest peak in South Africa
The 3 highest peaks in Southern Africa