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Hiking holiday - Drakensberg Amphitheatre Heritage Trail 3 Night, South Africa

The Amphitheatre is the most recognisable and dramatically imposing feature of the entire Drakensberg range, a World Heritage Site of outstanding environmental and cultural significance. A mighty wall of basalt rises over 1000 metres from the Tugela valley to the Lesotho plateau nearly 3000 metres above sea level. Part of its aesthetic appeal arises from its near perfect symmetry, extending as a sheer wall of rock some 5 kilometres in length from the Eastern Buttress to the Sentinel Peak in the west- altogether an area of majestic and incomparable beauty providing some of the finest scenery in the world.
The Amphitheatre Hiking trail has been planned to enable walkers of average ability to reach these heights and be rewarded by awe inspiring, never-to-forgotten views from the top of the escarpment - a feat normally only undertaken by fit and experienced hikers who would normally have to overnight on the escarpment.

per adult from




4 days


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  • What's included :
    • 3x Breakfast
    • 3x Dinner
    • 3x Lunch
    • Accommodation included: 3 nights
    • 1 Night (The Cavern) (optional 4th night)
    • 2 Nights The mountain Lodge - Sentinel
    • Breakfast
    • Dinner
    • Emergency Support Service
    • Food and drinks
    • Hiking Guide - for first 2 hike day (Day 3 is an easy self-guide down to Royal Natal)
    • Hiking Permit - for Hike day 2 from Sentinel Car Park
    • Lunch
    • Private Return Transfer: pick-up from Royal Natal & transfer back to the Cavern on final day
    What's excluded :
    • For Hike Day 1 (Day 2 – you’ll leave main bag at Mountain Lodge): R340/per porter from Cavern
    • For Hike Day 3: R430/per porter from The Mountain Lodge – Royal Natal
    • Hiking Guide for Day 3: R750 per group up to 4 persons
    • Porter Support: needs to be PRE-BOOKED max weight 15kg
    • Price is per person sharing Min 2 person, Max 12
    • Royal Natal Park Fee: R40/pp – payable at the RNNP Visitors Centre (Day 3)
    • This single supplement fee, for the odd person only, will be an extra R600
    • Total Single Supplement: R1300/pp
    • upgrade to a Superior room (on a sharing basis) at Cavern: add R360/pp

  • Day 1: Arrive at The Cavern Drakensberg Hotel for first night before hike

    Stop At: Drakensberg Region, Drakensberg Region, KwaZulu-Natal
    Arrive at the The Cavern Drakensberg Resort and Spa
    Duration: 8 hours

    Meals included:
    • Dinner
    Accommodation included: The Cavern Drakensberg Hotel resort and Spa

    Day 2: Distance: 15km. Avg Hike Time: 5.5-6.5 hrs, 726m Elevation Gain, 1273m Total Ascent

    Stop At: Drakensberg Mountains, Drakensberg Region South Africa
    After a hearty breakfast, you will be met by your guide. Today’s hike commences with a rather stiff climb, to get above the sandstone cliffs. Half-way between the Cavern and the cliff line there is the option of a 25min detour to some San Rock Art at Lone Rock (a worthwhile detour!). The path then continues up through Sugar Loaf Gap, taking you above the Sandstone Cliffs, at which point you’ll wish to catch your breath, and enjoy the spectacular vista across the Northern Drak Valley. From here, the route undulates along the ridge bypassing Cold Hill and Cold Ridge with sweeping views across to the former homeland QwaQwa and Metsi Matsho Dam. Broome hill at 8.7km, makes a good lunch spot, after which point it is approx 6kms/2hours hiking onto Basotho Gate and the Mountain Lodge. You would have ascended 1273 metres on today’s hike, but the good news is that most of the ascent comes in the first third of the hike. Once you above the cliff line, you will straddle the border of two provinces: Free State and KwaZulu-Natal.
    Duration: 1 day

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
    Accommodation included: The Mountain Lodge - Sentinel chalets

    Day 3: Distance: 16km return-trip or 18km if you take in Rainbow Falls. Average Hike Time: 7hrs, 572m Elevation, 985m Ascent

    Stop At: Drakensberg Mountains, Drakensberg Region South Africa
    This is the most eventful day and you will need to make an early start. You’ll be transported to the Sentinel Car Park, which lies in the shadow of the towering Sentinel peak. After completing the mountain register, you start your hike along a well-trodden path which ascends gradually towards the Witches and Zigzags, taking you to the base of the Sentinel massif. From here, you swing right and follow the contour path below the Western buttresses with the land sloping steeply to the north and east giving you wonderful views of the Maluti’s and the Mountain Lodge plateau. The chain ladders are reached after about 3 kilometres. After negotiating the 35m ascent on the chainladders it is only a short scramble from there to the escarpment where you can spend the better part of the day in exploration. For those persons scared of heights, there is also the Gully Option; or up the gully and down the chain ladders (or vice-versa).
    Here is Africa's highest waterfall, where the headwaters of the Tugela drop a sheer 614 metres into the gorge below. Another point of interest, some 2 km inland, is the Mont-aux-Sources peak, at 3282 metres it is the source of four important rivers. A 3-4 km walk along the escarpment requiring some ridge climbing will take you to the Eastern Buttress and Rainbow Falls. This can be undertaken by the fit and eager. With fine weather, a pleasant time can be had for several hours on the summit. The return trip traces your steps back to the Mountain Lodge, where you should aim to be back by mid-afternoon.
    Duration: 1 day

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
    Accommodation included: The Mountain Lodge - Sentinel chalets

    Day 4: 11km to Mahai Campsite Bridge or 12.2km to Visitor Centre Average Hike Time: 4-5hrs, -813m Elevation Gain, 391m Ascent

    Stop At: Drakensberg Mountains, Drakensberg Region South Africa
    Today is an easy day's walk down the Mahai River Valley and into the Royal Natal National Park (RNNP). Along the way you will crisscross the Mahai River several times, passing small waterfalls and pools which invite a refreshing dip. The vegetation and topography changes dramatically as you descend, and you will pass through patches of cool mist-belt forest on the southern facing slopes. The path comes out at Mahai Campsite, from where you will be collected and transferred back to your vehicles at Cavern Berg hotel. For those that don’t have long journeys or planes to catch, we recommend visiting the bushmen paintings which are another 2kms past the visitor centre, and then you take a guided trail up to Sigubudu Paintings (approx 1hr trail, R30/pp – pay guide directly).
    Arriving back at the Cavern, there is an option of a 4th night, and you may like to treat your weary limbs to a massage at the Cavern’s Forest Spa.
    You’ll return home, filled with a sense of achievement for having reached the top of the mighty Drakensberg escarpment!
    Duration: 1 day

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    No accommodation included on this day.
  • Departure Point :
    Unnamed Road, South Africa
    Return Detail :
    Returns to original departure point
    Hotel Pickup :
    • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
    • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
    • Infant seats unavailable
    • Infants must not sit on laps
    • No public transportation nearby
    • Not recommended for people with back problems
    • Not recommended for people with heart conditions
    • Not stroller accessible
    • Not suitable for pets
    • Not wheelchair accessible
    • Remember minimum 2 persons
    • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
    • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund
    • This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate
  • You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.
  • If you cancel at least 7 day(s) in advance of the scheduled departure, there is no cancellation fee.
    If you cancel between 3 and 6 day(s) in advance of the scheduled departure, there is a 50 percent cancellation fee.
    If you cancel within 2 day(s) of the scheduled departure, there is a 100 percent cancellation fee.



Age Req.


Fitness Req.


Group Size


Organised by South Africa Wild Escapes

Activity ID: V-119541P34

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