Exploring The Sorrento Peninsula
Combine leisurely walks on the Sorrento Peninsula and in the Lattari Mountains and enjoy visits to the myriad of local world class sites.
Take a guided holiday hiking in South Africa s Drakensberg Mountains and experience the incredible panoramic views that such amazing surroundings provide.
Special Selection Hotels
What does this mean?
Tour codes: 48000
Full day walks with appreciable amounts of ascent and descent.
These walks are in more remote areas such as Andorra or northern Portugal.
Similar to Grade 5, but with most of the walks at the upper level of ascent/descent, time and distance.
As you approach the Drakensberg the view sends tingles down your spine. The great rock wall which the Zulus call the Barrier of Spears rises up before you, awe-inspiring jagged peaks rising to 3300m. Its scale is overwhelming, leaving even the most seasoned traveller speechless.
You are spending two weeks inside this walkers’ paradise, based in two very different centres - Cathedral Peak in the Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park and the family run Cavern Berg Resort on the edge of the Royal Natal National Park. Each centre has its own distinct beauty and character but both share the magnificent mountain views.
Cathedral Peak nestles into the hillside and is one of our favourite hotels. It is a small ‘oasis’ set in the most stunning scenery. Your walks can start directly from the hotel and head out onto the surrounding peaks and hills to the Doreen Falls, Neptune Pools and Rainbow Gorge to name but a few. On the walks keep your eyes open for at least some of the 121 resident bird species.
At Cavern Berg you walk amongst fantastic flora and fauna, indigenous forests and equally spectacular scenery. The walks here have evocative names such as ‘Camel’s Hump via Cannibal Cavern’ and ‘The Silent Woman via Jackal Ridge’. You will see baboons roaming over the hills close to the Cavern and there are over 200 species of birds. We spend much of our time in the Royal Natal National Park where the San Bushmen have lived for over 5000 years. You will come across some of their ancient rock paintings on your walks.
On a couple of the days the walks may be nearer a grade 7. However there are alternative walks for those who do not wish to participate at this level.
Click the button below for a detailed Holiday Information Sheet containing all the particulars about this trip.
NOTE: Itineraries and Holiday Information Sheets can vary by a specific date chosen
Itinerary & Travel
Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.
Depart London Heathrow on the overnight British Airways flight to Johannesburg.
Transfer Time = 4h 30m
On arrival in Johannesburg, we travel by road to the Cathedral Peak Hotel in the Central Drakensberg region, where we shall spend our first week.
We'll explore and walk in the beautiful Mlambonia river valley surrounded by the majestic Drakensberg for the following six days.Some of the walks that we hope to include whilst discovering the Cathedral Peak National Park are as follows:
BLUE POOLS’ (WITH AN EXTENSION TO ‘NEPTUNE’S POOLS’)- This is a great walk to ease us in on the first day, and serve as an acclimatisation walk. The path follows the course of the Tsheketshe River toward the Nyosi Falls on the Nyosi River and offers beautiful views, the opportunity to bathe in the cold mountain streams and perhaps the chance to see baboons. We may combine this walk with an extension to ‘Neptune’s Pools’ in the umlambonja Valley. Access to Neptune Pools involves crossing the river.
RAINBOW GORGE AND THE HANGING BOULDER-The views on this walk towards Cathedral Peak, Baboon Rock and over to Didima Rock Art Centre are spectacular. The route follows the course of the endumeni River. Once in the Rainbow Gorge there is much of interest to see: indigenous forest, wild flowers, fungi and beautiful waterfalls. Our aim is to reach the Hanging Boulder! This walk offers the opportunity for some members of the group to return to the hotel without having to attempt the rougher terrain in the gorge if they wish.
MUSHROOM ROCK’, THE ‘TARN’ & DESCENT VIA ‘RIBBON FALLS’ OR OVER ‘TRYME- On a clear day this walk is one of the highlights of the holiday as it affords spectacular views of the higher peaks and gives the sense of being alone in a vast landscape.
RIBBON FALLS’ AND ‘TRYME HILL- This is a walk to some attractive waterfalls with a nearby cave, and an extension to go onto the plateau. This walk involves a long descent, but rewards us with superb views over Rainbow Gorge. 8 miles (12kms), ascent / descent 750m, 6 hours.
We travel northwards to the Cavern Berg Resort and the Royal Natal National Park region, our base for the second week.
We'll spend the next six days exploring this breathtaking national park area. The Park acquired the Royal title after a visit to the now demolished National Park Hotel by the British Royal Family in 1947. Some of the walks that we hope to include whilst discovering the Cavern Berg area are as follows:
THE SILENT WOMAN’ VIA ‘JACKAL RIDGE’ WITH POSSIBLE EXTENSION TO ‘BISHOP’S INKABA’ AND ‘ECHO CAVE- This is a fairly easy walk, and a good short option to be combined with a free afternoon. Alternatively it can be extended by crossing the river just below the Silent Woman and following a well-trodden path which swings round anti-clockwise to Bishops Inkaba (river crossing), and then along to Echo Cave to make this a great grade 6 walk. 4-7 miles (6-11kms), ascent / descent 250m or 700m, 4 or 6 hours.
SUGARLOAF’ VIA ‘LONE ROCK’ AND ‘COLD HILL’ RETURN- Sugarloaf is the rounded peak high up behind the hotel at 2,085m above sea level. The view from Sugarloaf is spellbinding over the Little Berg and the Great Escarpment. The views of the Amphitheatre from here are marvellous. This walk requires a very slow pace especially as there is no shade on this route but with an early start you can be back at the hotel in time for tea and cake! It can be very windy on top of Sugarloaf and along the ridge.
THE TUGELA GORGE- The path is easy to follow and climbs very gradually. The only part which may present difficulties is the last 2 kms in the gorge itself as this requires us to climb a chain ladder and some boulder hopping. This walk ends at the chain ladder. Members of the group not wishing to boulder hop may wait in the shade at the end of the trail and have their picnic here, whilst waiting for the remainder of the group to return.
THE AMPHITHEATRE- A real highlight of the trip! There are stunning views on this walk as well as beautiful flowers in the Spring/early Summer. For those not wishing or unable to go up the gully/ladders, there are options to return back to where our transfer bus will be waiting. 8 miles (12kms), ascent / descent 412m to Tugela Falls or 700m to Mont-aux-Sources, 5 hours.
We return to Johannesburg for our overnight flight back to London.
Arrival in London.
Departure dates for your selected tour
27th Feb 2020 - 14th Mar 2020 (16 Nights)
9th Apr 2020 - 25th Apr 2020 (16 Nights)
14th May 2020 - 30th May 2020 (16 Nights)
11th Oct 2020 - 27th Oct 2020 (16 Nights)
Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday across all departure dates. Please refer to the Itinerary for more detail about each nights' accommodation for each departure date.
The Cathedral Peak Hotel is a long-time favourite and one of the finest hotels in our portfolio. The hotel is situated inside the Cathedral Peak National Park, showcasing some of the most beautiful scenery anywhere in the Drakensberg. Rooms are equipped with either twin or king-sized beds, an en-suite bathroom, tea/coffee making facilities, television, fan, heater, telephone and a private veranda. There are plenty of facilities to keep you occupied when you are not walking including an outdoor swimming pool, indoor wellness facilities, a games room, various walking trails, a variety out outdoor sports, a gym and a golf course. Wifi access is available and is free to use.
A very close runner up has to be the Cavern Berg Resort, located in the foothills of the Northern Drakensberg, surrounded by towering mountains, forests and streams. The rooms are set in a lush garden landscape, and rooms are equipped with a hairdryer, tea, and coffee making facilities. They have a small spa area situated on the edge of the Fern Forest, an outdoor pool and various sports activities that can be organised at reception. Wifi access is available and is free to use.
This is a Grade 6 moderate holiday which includes full day walks with appreciable amounts of ascent and descent with walks in some remote areas. Paths are mostly good, but there may be some steep and rough ground. Walks will last up to 6 hours and could involve as much as 750m of ascent and descent. See the 'Proposed Itinerary' section for more information.
This holiday is grade 6 and entails some energetic days mainly on well-made paths to peaks, ridges, and sites of beauty and interest. There are a couple of walks in the programme at the top end of grade 6. The daily walking time rarely exceeds 6 hours. Some of the walks might involve scrambling over rocks and stream-crossings. The streams should be at a low enough level for you to walk through with the water at ankle height, but, after very heavy rain, we do not attempt the fording of streams and rivers. Waterproof sandals are useful for this holiday when crossing the streams, but not for the general walking programme.
The hotels in the Drakensberg are at about 1,500 metres above sea level. There are walks which form part of the programme, where we shall walk in valleys below the 2000 metres level; the rest of the walks are all between 2,000 and 2,500 metres with one possible walk to the ‘Amphitheatre’ (which most consider above the grade as it involves climbing metal ladders) taking you to above 3,000 metres. (This walk is sometimes offered on a free day.)
Local Transport Costs
All local transport costs in conjunction with the advertised activity programme are included in the holiday cost. There may be occasions where additional visits or excursions are added to enrich your experience, these will be paid for locally by you if you choose to participate. Local transport can be a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses and ferries depending on the itinerary.
A range of local excursions and activities may be available to book at your destination through a local operator. We have no involvement in such activities or excursions which are not run, supervised or controlled in any way by us. Your contract will be with the local activity supplier and we accept no responsibility for their actions or omissions.
All organised excursions mentioned in the itinerary are included in the holiday cost.
There is very little additional cost to be paid locally in regards to the noted itinerary, however if you wish to take any optional excursions, or visit sites not mentioned, these will be at your own expense.It is difficult to estimate an allowance for spending money, however about £250-£300 for the trip should be sufficient for lunches, drinks, any optional excursions.
Please also see our section on tipping which will be in addition to this.
Hotel drinks, particularly imported spirits can be more expensive, but local spirits, beers, ciders and African wines are very good value for money. You will need to allow extra for souvenirs and gifts. Major purchases can often be charged to a credit card account.
Currency in South Africa
The currency used in South Africa is the South African Rand (ZAR).
Although entirely at your own discretion, tipping is an important aspect of tourism and hospitality life and expectations are fairly high. In order to simplify tipping, we strongly recommend that you allow your leader to take care of making sure tips are given to hotel and restaurant staff & to local guides and drivers. This will be done using some funds provided by us together with, if you wish, a contribution from you, which he/she will collect during the holiday.
Your tour leader makes the world of difference to your holiday and ours are as passionate about discovering the world on foot as you are. They're resourceful, organised and widely travelled. They will handle all the local administration and other needs that might arise to ensure that you don't have to worry about planning your days and you can enjoy your holiday. Although leading group holidays, they won't forget that every group is made up of individuals. Each tour leader has their own individual style, talents and professional backgrounds and all are trained, qualified, experienced and dedicated to making your holiday as enjoyable, interesting and inspiring as possible.
Leader's Evening Briefing
Each evening, your tour leader will discuss with you the programme for the following day. This will be your opportunity to discuss the details and ensure the planned activities suit your walking ability. If you have concerns on clothing or equipment, this can be discussed then also. If you do not wish to join the organised group programme, please let the leader know.
Flights are from London Heathrow to Johannesburg and return with British Airways.
The transfer from Johannesburg Airport to the hotel will take approximately 5.5 hours, with a 45 minute stop for lunch en route. Travel within South Africa is by road.
Booking Your Own Travel Arrangements?
If you wish to organise your own flights from a non-UK or provincial airport or travel by rail or car to your holiday destination, 'land only' reductions are often available. Please contact us for details.
Before finalising any independent travel arrangements, please check with us first - especially if doing so 12 weeks or more before your intended date of travel. If you do intend to join your holiday locally please do tell us at least 14 weeks in advance.
If you are joining and leaving your holiday overseas we assume, unless you advise us otherwise, that you will join and leave the holiday at your hotel.
Although airport transfers are not included for those making their own independent travel arrangements, if you wish to join the group at the overseas airport, depending on your flight arrival time, you may be able to be included on the group's transfer. Please contact us at least 5 weeks before departure for more details.
Please note that your flight must arrive within 30 minutes of the group flight to be able to join the group transfer. We also need your flight number, arrival time and departure point so that the group leader is able to meet up with you.
Luggage Allowance & Travel Documents
For all those booking a flight or rail inclusive holiday, details of your travel arrangements and baggage allowance will be confirmed in your travel documents, sent to you approximately 10 days prior to departure.
Personal Details Check
To ensure that we can accurately administer your holiday arrangements, please confirm that the personal details we hold for you are up to date and that you have provided the information we need to secure your holiday travel and accommodation arrangements. Please check your passport details, date of birth and any other important details necessary for us to properly manage your holiday booking. You can view and update information already provided, and add details not yet asked for, by using the Manage My Booking facility on our website www.ramblersholidays.co.uk, or by calling our Sales and Reservations team on +44 (0)1707 331133. When you receive your booking confirmation please check the details as soon as possible.
General Passport Advice
It is a good idea to carry photocopies of the personal details pages of your passport. Should you lose your passport, this may assist with the issue of replacement documents and your return to your home country.
Passport and visa requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements.
Passport Information for South Africa
For entry into South Africa, a passport is required and must be valid for at least 6 months after your planned departure. Your passport should have at least two blank pages when you present it at immigration to enter or leave South Africa. A visa is not required by holders of British passports bearing the inscription 'British Citizen' for holidays less than 90 days. Holders of non-British passports should check with the South African Embassy or their nearest consulate regarding requirements.
Lightweight waterproof walking boots with a good moulded sole (such as Vibram or similar) and a deep tread and which provide ankle support are strongly recommended and may be essential for some walks.
Footwear As Hand Luggage
We recommend that you either wear your walking boots or shoes or pack them and some waterproofs in your hand luggage as in the unlikely event that your hold luggage is delayed, you will still be able to participate in the holiday programme.
General Kit List
Outdoor activities are always safer and more enjoyable if you are prepared.
If you have not travelled with us before the following list might be of use:
This list is not exhaustive and every walker is different and may have their own preference.
Travel Documents Checklist
Documents and Information to take with you:
Electricity in South Africa
In South Africa the electricity is supplied at 220-240V A/C. If you wish to use electrical equipment you will need a three-pin plug with round pins. More information can be found at https://www.power-plugs-sockets.com/
Water To Go
An alternative to bottled water from single-use sealed water bottles is filtered water from a refillable bottle containing its own water filter such as a Water-to-go bottle available from www.watertogo.eu. Just fill up from any water source and save the environment from disposable plastic bottles.
We have negotiated an exclusive 15% discount with our partners Water-to-Go for you as a thank you for helping the environment. Please go to their website at www.watertogo.eu and enter the code RWH17 when ordering. In addition, Water-to-Go will match the discount with a donation to our charity, Heart & Sole, which will allow us to continue to make a difference in the countries you visit on our holidays.
Maps, Guidebooks & More
You might find the following websites useful:
South African Tourism website: www.south-african-tourism.org
Tourism KwaZulu Natal website: www.tourism-kzn.org/tkzn
The Map Shop
Maps and guidebooks relating to your the areas you will be walking in may be brought before your holiday from The Map Shop at www.themapshop.co.uk
Health requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements at least 6 to 8 weeks before departure. Advice on vaccinations is available from your GP.
Health Advice for South Africa
No compulsory immunisations are required for visits to South Africa.
You should be up to date with the usual immunisations recommended in the UK.
Diphtheria and Hepatitis A immunisations are recommended.
You might also like to consider immunisation against Hepatitis B, Rabies, Tetanus, Cholera and Typhoid.
There is low to no risk of Malaria in South Africa, apart from the Kruger National Park where the risk is high.
There is a risk of schistosomiasis, a parasitic infection (also known as bilharzia) that is transmitted to humans through contact with fresh water. Please seek advice from your doctor or travel clinic.
Further Travel Advice
For further advice please visit:
You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.
You must be adequately insured to join our holidays. We do not insist that you insure with us but we require that you are adequately insured for the nature of your holiday. You will be unable to participate in our local walking and other activity programmes without being able to demonstrate that you have valid travel insurance.
Please ensure that as a minimum your travel insurance policy covers you for travel to your holiday destinations (country and geographical region) and for medical expenses, mountain rescue (including helicopter rescue) and emergency repatriation to your home country in the event of illness or injury. Your policy should also provide adequate cover for the activities, included and optional, you are likely to participate in during your holiday.
See our brochure or website for further advice regarding holiday insurance.
Whoever you insure with, please ensure that you take full details, and ideally the policy itself, with you on holiday and provide our tour leader with your insurer's name, the policy number and emergency assistance contact numbers.
Please note that it is very difficult to obtain travel insurance once your holiday arrangements have started.
The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office provides up to date information on security and local laws for travellers, together with current passport and visa information, at www.gov.uk/travelaware. Please take a few minutes to look at the current advice on your planned destination.
Please be aware of what's going on around you, take sensible precautions with your credit cards and passport and avoid displays of wealth such as wearing expensive jewellery or watches. Do not carry more cash on you than you will need for each day, and we recommend that a money belt is used.
We're committed to ethical tourism in all our destinations. Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups not only gives you an up close and personal experience of your destination, but minimises your impact on the immediate environment. We feel that the most important starting point to protect the environment is to be out in it. For more details visit our website.
The Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust
Unlike many tour operators we have our own trust through which RWH Travel’s profits are channelled back into a variety of outdoor, walking-related or environmental conservation projects in the UK. The focus of the Trust’s financial support is Britain’s leading walking charity, The Ramblers, and their role in promoting the benefits and importance of walking to the British public. In addition the Trust welcomes applications for small grants from local organisations in the UK who need support for walking-orientated activities. This includes the establishment of footpaths and bridleways, funding for rebuilding bridges and renovating huts, as well as bursary funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for children who could not otherwise afford to do it. Please visit the ‘About Us’ section of our website and click on the Charitable Trust link for more details.
Heart and Sole
We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way. See our website for more information and details of some of the projects we support.
The Royal Drakensberg Primary School
On your free day on this holiday, it is possible to visit the Royal Drakensberg Primary School. Heart & Sole, supported by RWH Travel, is proud to sponsor the Royal Drakensberg Primary School, which is situated in the Northern Drakensberg, at the entrance to the Cavern Berg Resort.
The school was established by the owner of the Cavern Berg Resort in 2007 to enable children from poor families to attend school. The school currently has 48 children in grades 0-5, from different backgrounds and with different abilities. To find out more about this fantastic community school, visit the following website: www.royal-drakensberg.org.za
You can also find the Royal Drakensberg Primary School featured on the Pack for a Purpose website, an organisation that encourages travellers to use empty space in their luggage to take supplies to the communities they visit. A couple of children’s reading books, pencils or outgrown sweaters can make such a difference to a local community. If you would like to assist the school, please see the Cavern Berg Resort page on the Pack for a Purpose website for a list of much needed items www.packforapurpose.org/docs/countries/south-africa/the-cavern.shtml
For more information and to see the worthy causes that we are currently supporting, please see our Heart & Sole page on our website at: www.rwhtravel.com/heart-sole-2/
Please do provide us with a mobile phone contact number. We will only use this to contact you with important information relating to your holiday arrangements.
Do keep your mobile phones switched on and readily available when travelling to the airport or if delayed in transit so that we can contact you with any last minute information relating to your travel arrangements.
As a matter of courtesy, please switch off your mobile phone during walks, or endeavour to minimise its use. Please also try to minimise the use of mobile devices during group meals.
No visa required for a stay of up to 90 days
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