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Home > Trails/venues > KwaZulu Natal > Drakensberg > Didima

Cultural rock paintings ...
Didima cave trail

Didima and its surrounding area near Cathedral Peak, Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park, is bordered by the upper Thukela area in the north and east, Lesotho in the west and Monk's Cowl in the south. In its midst is the magnificient Didima Valley with many examples of San Rock art. It is a hikers paradise with routes that range from a few hours to several days. For less energetic bodies, one can drive up Mike's Pass provides to the top of the Little Berg near the head of Didima Gorge for spectacular views of the main escarpment and the surrounding lowlands.

While hiking, a wide selection of plants and animals can be seen in the extensive grasslands and forest patches characteristic of this part of the Drakensberg.

Itís a birders paradise with maybe sightings of the Bearded Vulture (Lammergeyer) and the Malachite sun birds flashing from protea to protea. A noisy troop of baboons bark as the hikers intruder into their territory or the Mountain reedbuck hurries up the slope.

San Art - One of the richest rock painting areas in the world where enthusiasts and experts have searched for paintings in the park over the last 40 years. During this time 30 000 individually painted images in 520 different rock shelters have been recorded. The prime destinations in the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park for paintings and their cultural and spiritual significance interpreted for you are the Main Caves Museum at Giant's Castle (an easy half hours walk from the Giant's Castle main camp) and the Battle Cave at Injisuthi. There is a new rock art centre at Kamberg with guided walks to Game Pass shelter and in late 2003 a magnificent San rock art centre is due to be opened at the new Didima Camp at Cathedral Peak.

A hiker's paradise, this high mountain range is a wilderness where body and soul may be renewed through contact with nature. In this 240000ha world of sheer cliffs, deeply incised valleys and crystal clear rivers, the mountain refuge of the bearded vulture, black eagle, grey rhebuck, oribi and eland and last home of the San Bushmen, the hiking experiences are endless. The hikes range from a gentle stroll to an extremely strenuous hike. Popular hikes include the Giant's Cup Trail at Cobham (3,4 or 5 nights - max 59.3 kms) a truly magnificent trail designed to give the hiker as much diversity as possible, the Thukela Gorge hike (2-3hrs, 7kms) at Royal Natal which goes through alternative stretches of protea, grassland and forest with scenary rivalled only by the view from the top of the Thukela Falls and the thrilling Cathedral Peak trail (10kms, 6-7hrs) that affords the experienced hiker a chance to stand on one of the major free-standing peaks in the Drakensberg.

Acknowledgements:† KZN Wildlife