Drakensberg, South Africa
Destination
3 Days
Duration
5/10
Physicality
12-65
Age recommendations

Best Cathedral Peak Drakensberg Hike Adventure Tours

Experience the wild, crazy, beautiful odyssey of a guided trek into the Drakensberg Cathedral Peak Mountains. Cathedral Peak is situated in the Central Drakensberg about a 4 hour drive from Johannesburg and 3 hours from Durban. This part of the Dragon Mountains is home to some of the most incredible scenery out of all the mountains in South Africa.

The hike takes us to the summit of the Drakensberg Cathedral Peak which soars into the African sky to an elevation of 3004m. It is one of the only ‘free standing’ mountains in the Drakensberg that can be climbed without any technical experience needed.  Most of the other ‘peaks’ in the Drakensberg are not technically peaks as the top of the climbs top out on the escarpment of Lesotho. In fact, the Drakensberg Mountains are the highest mountains in the world without another side to them.

Due to the rise of over 2000m into a flat plateau of the escarpment. Our guided hike of the Drakensberg Cathedral Peak starts at the quaint hotel at the base of the range where there are some pretty awesome views of the peak and the surrounding Drakensberg mountains. Over the next 3 days you will get to see on the most spectacular areas of the Drakensberg and will get to experience the magic and solitude of these incredible mountains.

This Hike through the Drakensberg Cathedral Peak Mountains is a must in South Africa

Drakensberg Cathedral Peak Hike – Download Quote

Drakensberg FAQ

1

Day 1

Our tours begin and end in Johannesburg (self-drive options also available)

Drakensberg Cathedral Peak Hike start to finish:

Distance: 20km / 12 miles in 3 days.
Elevation Gain: 1,845m / 6,050ft. Elevation Loss: 1,967mm / 6,453 ft.

Day 1 is travel day.

Our scheduled tours leave from Johannesburg at 05H30. Travellers are picked up from any hotel by your mountain guide who will accompany you for the duration of your tour. The drive down to Cathedral Peak takes 5 hours. We will stop en route for breakfast.

Once we arrive at the Cathedral Peak Hotel, our starting point for the hike, we will check the gear, introduce you to the rest of the climbing team and have briefing session on the terrace of the hotel before we head on up into the mountains. Looking at starting then hike by 13H30.

We will make our way up on a relatively easy path to Sherman’s Cave where we will set up camp for the night. For the more adventurous and if you have the energy left, the guide will set up an abseiling (rappelling) section which you can indulge in. Dinner is served at about 19H00.

Drakensberg cathedral Peak Climb Summary: 

End: Shermans Cave 1,710m / 5,610 ft.
Elev gain: 320m / 1049ft.
Time: 3 hours on average
Distance: About 4 km, 2.5 miles

2

Day 2

After breakfast, we set off for a pretty challenging and long day to the summit of Cathedral Peak. We start hiking at 07H30. The route gains altitude pretty quickly until we reach what is known as the Orange Peel Gap.

Once up the gap we have a break and take in the breath-taking views of the valleys and rolling green hills of Kwazulu Natal below.

We then take the relatively flat hike through to the base of Cathedral Peak where we will have lunch before our final summit push. The views from here are mind-blowing with Organ Pipes and Champagne Castle looming in the distance.

After lunch the climb continues.  The most accessible route to the summit involves some rock scrambling and is a little bit exposed in places. To ensure your safety we set up safety ropes and attach you to them. After about an hour of climbing, we reach the summit!!! From here you will get a panoramic view of the entire Northern and Central Drakensberg.

The world-famous Amphitheatre and Sentinel can be seen to the north over 40km away while the bulk of Champagne Castle over 30km away to the South. After about 30 minutes on the peak, we begin our descent via the same route. We should be back in the cave by about 17H00 where a hearty meal awaits. And maybe a dash of whisky for medicinal purposes.

Drakensberg cathedral Peak Climb Summary: 

Cathedral Peak summit/Sherman’s Cave 3005m / 9,950 ft.
Elev gain: 1200m / 3900 ft.  Elev loss: 1200m
Time: 10 hours on average
Distance: About 14km, 9 miles

3

Day 3

After watching a beautiful African sunrise from the cave, we have breakfast and start our hike back down to the start of the hike. The trek takes about 2 hours. Once we get down we have a celebratory beer on the terrace of the hotel before making our way back to Johannesburg. We aim to be back by 17H30.

Drakensberg cathedral Peak Climb Summary: 

End: Cathedral Peak Hotel 1450m / 4,757 ft.
Elev gain: 0 Elev Loss: 320m
Time: 2 hours average
Distance: About 4 km, 2.5 miles

Pristine, unspoilt and secluded mountain scenery

Panoramic view of the entire Northern and Central Drakensberg

We have an over 90% success rate on this route

Sleeping in a cave

Summit the only free standing peak in the Drakensberg

5 star camping experience

INCLUDED

Return transfers Johannesburg to the start of the hike return
2 Nights in camping in the mountains
All Drakensberg National Park gate fees, camping fees and climbing permits.
Rescue fees (Mountain Rescue Team)
Basic first aid kit
Qualified mountain guide, assistant guides, and cook
Salaries for mountain crew
Breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as hot drinks on the mountain
Camping equipment (tents, & sleeping mat)
Water for washing up daily
Dedicated Drakensberg Trip Planner
Certificate for your successful summit attempt
Local Taxes

NOT INCLUDED

Flights and airport taxes
Items of a personal nature
Tips for guides, porters and cook
Porters ( can be hired on a daily basis for an additional fee)
Visas for South Africa
Health requirements (if any)
Optional but highly recommended travel and medical insurance.
Personal hiking/trekking gear – you can rent some of the gear from us once in South Africa
Snacks, personal medicine and water purifying tablets
Meals & drinks not specified

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Tour Reviews

4.90 based on 10 reviews
October 17, 2016

Majestic scenery that is out of this world. I went on the 3 day hike to prepare for Kilimanjaro. Thank you SA Adventures for making my Drakensberg hiking tour one of the best experiences ever

October 19, 2016

Awesome hike, will definitely recommend this hike. Beautiful scenery and great company. An Adventure not to be missed!

October 19, 2016

Cathedral Peak is a great hike. Day 1 gets you going and is a good prep for day 2 that will be a bit more challenging but so worthwhile every step you take. The views are spectacular pretty much all the way to the top and the overnights in the cave is definitely a unique experience. Thank you so much for a excellent trip, great service, food and good company.

October 20, 2016

What an awesome hike. The views were unforgettable. Like touching a piece of heaven. Such great service. Thanks Darren. Will definitely be using your company soon.

October 20, 2016

What an unforgettable weekend hike in the Drakensberg with Soul Adventures! It was truly an experience of a lifetime. A special thanks to our awesome guide Darren for keeping us entertained and motivated the whole time! Can’t wait to do our next trip with Soul Adventures!

October 23, 2016

Climbing Cathedral Peak has been a long-time goal of mine. The trip was as exciting and rewarding as I had hoped. An added bonus was the opportunity to sleep in Sherman’s Cave. Without Darren’s expert advice and encouragement, as well as physical support at times, I doubt that the group would have made it. Thanks Darren for an awesome experience.

April 19, 2017

Hi Am interested in joining you for the upcoming 3days hike on the 28 April please provide me with all the registration requirements

February 23, 2018

I’d love to join you on the upcoming 2days hike on the 19th April. Pls provide me with all the details

February 24, 2018

Please send me all the details about the 2days hike that’s gonna take place on the 19th- 21st April. I’m very much interested.

April 26, 2018

Hi Darren,

I hope you are well and had a restful weekend.
I just wanted to thank you and Emma (and the guides who were so encouraging and supportive) for such an amazing hiking trip.

It was truly an amazing adventure and I loved every minute of it, even falling in the river.
I will definitely be back to complete the hike to the peak and I will be training harder as I now know how fit I need to be.

Thank you for the jokes and entertainment.

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