Please see Holiday Information Sheet for this holidays individual departures itinerary (located under View Departures & Book tab)
Depart London Heathrow on the overnight British Airways flight to Johannesburg.
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.
Day 3 to 8
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. 5 miles (8kms), ascent / descent 200m, 3 hours.
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. 8 miles (12kms), ascent / descent 200m, 5 hours.
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. 6½ miles (10.6kms), ascent / descent 750m, 5 hours.
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.
Day 10 to 15
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. 6½ miles (10kms), ascent / descent 750m, 6 hours.
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. 7 miles (11kms), ascent / descent 450m, 6 hours.
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.