Need help planning a trip to Drakensberg

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Need help planning a trip to Drakensberg

Post by Jocelyn » Tue Oct 11, 2005 6:56 pm

Hello, I am Jocelyn, an un English girl (late 30s, but fit) from London. I am coming to SA in February to attend a friend's wedding and want to use the opportunity to do some trekking/camping/climbing in the Drakensberg. I would like to avoid joining a group of English people. Would love to hear about local groups, operators, enthusiasts with whom I might be able to organise something fun!

Thank you.


Re: Need help planning a trip to Drakensberg

Post by Gadget » Wed Oct 12, 2005 9:33 pm

Your best (and probably safest) bet is to take a look at the programmes of the different MCSA sections ( in particular Kwazulu Natal, Johannesburg and Magaliesberg sections - they visit the area most often) and see if you can join one of their meets. You do not need to be a MCSA member. In general it would be difficult to go to the 'Berg and try meeting up with someone when you are there.

There are many worthwhile areas. If you do want to get to the top of the escarpment and are restricted to 2 days try the Witsieshoek / Sentinel area, there are a number of good 3-4 day options in the Cathedral Peak area (including scrambling up Cathedral Peak itself). Expect to be rained on.

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Post by Gonzo » Wed Oct 12, 2005 10:48 pm

Hey Jocelyn

I think Gadget has it right, the MCSA are your best bet.
Drakensberg boasts some long adventure routes, however due to the poor and flaky quality of rock it is only done by a select and brave few. (Most of which are MCSA members)

Otherwise the berg is great for hiking, January will be quite hot. If you are fit and enjoy mountain passes, check out for a desciption of some os the passes. If you are just interested in hiking/camping and not climbing you can also get in touch with some of the local hiking clubs.

Post by » Thu Oct 13, 2005 12:58 pm

If you don't find an large group to go with, don't go aloan or in a small group. There have been quite a few attacks & robberies over the years. Its not worth taking a chance. Seriously!


Post by Bro » Thu Oct 13, 2005 7:00 pm

If u don't find anything with the MCSA then there used to be a very active hiking club operating out of Durban called \"Mountain Backpackers\". They had at least 2 meets in the 'berg every weekend. I don't have contact details at the moment, if they aren't googlable then aske the MCSA.
As for the 'berg being a dangerouse place...personally I think the opinions expressed in this regard are somewhat exagerated - particularly if one stays in well frequented areas and don't venture onto the escarpment for long (if at all).

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Post by Gonzo » Thu Oct 13, 2005 9:32 pm

Unfortunately when coming to Africa, you can not avoid crime, even in the mountains. That said crime should not deter you from visiting the berg. Crime is fairly low, in the berg and the local and Leostho police have apprehended a number of people. As Bro said, the high escarpment, where the berg borders Lesotho is the main problem areas.

Go in a group of 4 or more and you should be ok.
Always asks the rangers for the latest information.
Do not leave tents/campsites unattended as petty crime and theft is a bit more common.

I've been to the berg a number of times and never had a problem at all. It is really beautiful, go and enjoy.



Post by Stij » Fri Oct 14, 2005 7:22 am

Bro - I agree that it's a little exaggerated and that, *with a thorough knowledge and experience of the area*, the berg escarpment can be just as safe as any other area. Just be sure to camp in valleys without much Basotho activity. All the recent incidents occured in the valley between Mount Durnford and Giant's Castle. This is right on a Basotho highway so hence, camping is not recommended! If you don't provide the temptation in the first place, the problem wouldn't be there..

And Jocelyn, if you want some cool pics of the berg, pass descriptions, GPS co-ords, and some stories of our longer trips there, check out my site on


help with that trip to the Drakensberg

Post by jocelyn2 » Thu Oct 20, 2005 9:41 pm

Thank you so much to you all for your helpful responses, will let you know how I get on !


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