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Relax at the (amphi) theatre ...
Northern Drakensberg hiking trails

Hiking trails in Royal Natal National Park

Amphitheatre to Cathedral
4 to 5 days (62kms)
The route passes parts of the Drakensberg including the Amphitheatre, Mbundini, Mnweni and The Rockeries, The Saddle and The Cathedral range.

Devil's Hoek Valley
A fairly easy hike of 1hr(3km)
The path gets progressively steeper and the views more spectacular. Royal Natal National Park. The route takes you from the Tugela River Carpark along the the Tugela Valley and then up the Devil's Hoek tributary

Mckinley's Pool, Gudu Falls, The Grotto
Moderate distances, the route is well marked and fairly easy to hike and explore. There are many clear rock pools where you could enjoy a swim. Royal Natal National Park, numerous trails leading off from the Mahai Campsite up the river valley to Mckinley's Pool.

Mont-Aux-Sources via Basutho Gate and The Chain Ladder
10hrs (20kms)
The hike starts from the Mahai River Campsite, follows the Mahai River Valley, passes the Witsieshoek Mountain Resort, to the Sentinel carpark and up the Chain Ladder to the escarpment.


Otto's Walk & Bushman Paintings
An easy walk of 1hr (2kms)
The path leads up the Sigubudu Valley to some fine examples San rock paintings. Royal Natal National Park, begin at the visitor's centre and takes you along the Tugela River and continues towards the park gate.

Rugged Glen to Mahai
5-6hrs (14kms)
Rugged Glen is a nature reserve connected by road to the Mahai Campsite.

Sigubudu Ridge and Valley
A moderate hike of 4-5 hrs (12km)
The path takes you through Protea Veld, past Sunday Falls to Fairy Glen. Royal Natal National Park. This is a round trip from Mahai Campsite via Sigubudu Valley.

Tugela Gorge
A moderate hike of + 2 hrs (7km)
The route goes through alternative stretches of protea veld and forest, and the scenery beyond the gorge is rivaled only by the view from the top of the Tugela Falls.

Vemaan Valley
A fairly easy hike of 1hr. 45mins (4.3km)
A rare species of protea, known as protea nubigena has been found here. Royal Natal National Park. Follow the same route as for Devil's Hoek Valley, but 1 km after turning right at the junction leading up to Devil's Hoek, the Vemaan Path leads off to the left over the Devil's Hoek River

Hiking trails at Mnweni

Icidi Pass
An extreme round trip of a minimum of 3 days. The hike starts at the Isanlwana Police Post in the Mweni Valley and follows the Icidi River to the escarpment. It requires serious, potentially dangerous rock scrambling, and should only be attempted by experienced, competent mountaineers. In the Icidi Valley which is in upper Tugela area of the KwaZulu-Natal Northern Drakensberg area.

Ifidi Pass
Ifidi Valley, Mnweni.
An extreme round trip of a minimum of 3 days. From the Isandlwana Police Post follow the Mnweni River to its junction with the Ifidi River. The route then follows the Ifidi River and up Ifidi Pass. This hike should be led only by competent mountaineers with able parties, as it requires rock climbing. It is a potentially dangerous route.

Mbundini and Fangs Passes
An extreme hike of 2 days (27 kms)
Two steep passes in the Mnweni area leading to the top of the escarpment and enclosing Mbundini Abbey Peak. These passes are steep and dangerous and should not be attempted by the inexperienced. 

Mnweni via Rockeries and Mnweni Passes
An extreme hike of 4 days (48 kms)
An extremely long and difficult hike which begins at the Isandlwana Police Post in the Mnweni area. The first day would take you to the base of the Rockeries Pass, the second to the top and Mponjwane or Ledgers Cave, the third down the base of Mnweni Pass and the fourth back to the police post.

nTonyelana Pass
An extreme round trip of a minimum of 2 days. A long route to the top of the escarpment from the Isandlwana Police Post, following the Ntonjelana River.


Acknowledgements: South Africa - Discover our Drakensberg