South Africa: Portrait
- Our access takes less than an hour. The morning sky is covered in grey and we want to be early at th wall. Yesterday we drove along a tiny gravel road up to a parking lot, right in front of some mighty towers of the Eastern Drakensberge. We left the car and stayed there for ages wondering the route we want to take the next day. The Sentinel Peak loomed above us and we went inside a small hut only because of the guardian invited us to do so. For the night, we stayed in our tent, besides the car, cooked sitting on a shoulder with view above the flat valley below us, an area that streches to the east against the horizon.
- Usually we climb multipitch routes as a team of two. But Gavin, a local guide, made me curious and we wanted to this – with one problem: there are no descriptions, records or topos where to start and how to climb. Now, we start as a group of three, Gavin leading the way to the crag. We hear the monkeys roar, put the helmets on and touch for the first time into our chalk bags. The route goes steep above our heads, the rock is rough and with a good grip…
- Southern Africa includes the Republic of South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Namibia and Botsuana. The Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean are the natural borders from West and South.
- Long mountain ranges like the Drakensberge and high plateaus dominate the central part of this region. In other parts, large flat areas and hilly landscapes strech mostly in the North.
- The temperatures are hot from December to February (summer) and violent thunderstorms may occur. During winter a dry climate is pre-dominant with night temperatures down to the freezing point in Johannesburg, some snow fall in the mountains.
Southern Africa: Activities & actual conditions
- Trekking is particularly popular in Southern Africa. National parks are obviously the places to go, but may require a guide, dependent of the type of game living there. On the other side, mountainous regions as in Swaziland, the Drakensberge or the southern coast are ‘free’ to move around. Canyons like the Fish River Canyon in Namibia are several days long treks.
- Trekking in Southern Africa is most of the time an overnight affair – camping equipment is necessary, smaller campsites are available in many places.
- as a support, horses or donkeys are used for longer treks
- Rock climbing is still a niche in South Africa, but this doesn’t correspond to the beauty and diversity of rock and rock climbing routes. It’s outstanding!
- Topos and info exist for most climbing spots like Waterval Boven or Kings Throne Canyon.
- Rock is mostly dolorit, basalt, granit and sandstone, less limestone.
- Drakensberge offer many trad climbing possibilities.
- Drakensberge: wild and untamed, from the South African side as within Lesotho.
- During winter, the Drakensberge are covered with snow. In summer, it stays nice warm but not hot, but thunderstorms are a constant threat.
Tour idea – Monte-Aux Sources to Cathedral Peak
- Where: Drakensberge, KwaZulu-Natal
- Itinerary: Witsieshoek – Monte-Aux Sources Amphitheater – Ledgers Cave – Cathedral Peak
- Activity: Trekking
- Season: all year
- Length: 5 days / 4 nights
- additional: shuttle from Durban possible
- Day 1: We start from the Witsieshoek parking and hike two hours up on to the plateau which creates the well-known Monte-Aux Sources Amphitheatre. We will see the mighty Tugela Falls (850m).
- Day 2: We continue our hike along the cliffs of the plateau at an altitude of 3.000m. We stay for the night again in tents, this time at the Fangs Pass.
- Day 3: We climb the Mweni cutback and follow the countryside slowly descending to the Ledgers Cave, which offers a beautiful view at the mountain range of Monte-Aux Sources.
- Day 4 & 5: We traverse the plateau, climbing up and down, and arrive on the last day at the Mlambonjwa Pass to descend to the Cathedral Peak Hotel (1.400 m)
- Base for the calculation: 2 persons
- Costs per person: 750 Euro
- All meals and transport is included
- Camping gear (tents, sleeping mats, cooking stove and gear) included
- Team: Guide
- The prices depend from the booked services and can be arranged individually.
- This tour and the price is given as an orientation to you.
- This tour idea is just one of many possibilities. You don’t need a shuttle, but your own vehicle? Or one extra porter? We can organize everything…
- Send us your request and we can answer your questions immediately.
Want to trek or climb in Southern Africa?
Then drop us a line and we can consult you about your possibilities in this fascinating region of Southern Africa!
Southern Africa Travel Information
- Country domain: .za
- Country phone code: +27
- Emergency: 112