3 Days

Join us on this incredible

3 Day Drakensberg Slackpacking Trail

You’ve seen the broken, undernourished, backpack laden, pot clanging hikers making their way down from the mountains and you want no part of it. But you have a craving to experience the magic of the Drakensberg. Bring on our 3-day luxury slackpacking hiking tour of the Southern Drakensberg.

The perfect option for hikers who are looking for incredible hiking but keeping the creature comforts. Trade in the poop holes for toilets. And of course….the moaning and whining of your tired and fed-up partner is traded in for the soft purr of contentment as you intimately feed her marsh mellows and listen to the mystical hooting of the owls and the rhythmically melody of the wind blowing gently through the trees.  Now before we get carried away on a poetic roller-coaster of clichés let’s get right into the nitty gritty of this epic slackpacking hiking tour of the Southern Drakensberg.

What area does the hiking tour cover?

Explore the foothills of the Giants Castle area of the Drakensberg. This part of the mountains offers some of the most incredible scenery within a rich biodiverse nature reserve. The Giants Castle area is situated in the Provence of Kwa Zulu Natal on the edge of the Central and Southern Drakensberg mountain range.

This hiking trail provides access to private land, a game reserve and locally forged conservancies. Special places where people normally would not have access. From Durban the drive is about 2 hours. The drive from Johannesburg is about 5 hours.

3 Day Drakensberg Slackpacking Trail

About the Giants Castle Drakensberg Slack Packing Trail

The hiking tour is basically a 3-day round trip. The route we follow is through the curated paths of the Zulu Waters Private Game Reserve and the Lowlands Conservancy. The area has fast become well known by locals and overseas trekkers alike. Partly due its rich biodiversity and incredible mountain scenery.

And partly due to the gentle distances covered with no hectic gradients like on other Drakensberg hikes like Mafadi or Champagne Castle. This is the perfect hiking experience for beginners, families and people who have little experience in the mountains.

Fitness is also not a major factor. And as we mentioned, the best part about the Giants Castle Slackpacking Trail is the fact that tents are traded in for luxurious mountain lodges. The lodges offer locally grown, home cooked meals as an added bonus. The daily routes are abundant with rivers and dams for swimming and picnicking.

The third day is a very unique and different hiking experience. The whole day is spent hiking in the Zulu Waters Game Reserve. The possibility of seeing some of South Africa’s iconic wildlife is pretty good. The reserve is home to species such s Rhino, wildebeest, giraffe, buffalo, eland and many more. This is usually the highlight for many hikers.

And of course,…. there are no heavy backpacks to carry. Your luggage is transported for you to the various lodges as you progress through the hike. All you ned to carry is a small day pack with your snacks and binoculars.

In a nutshell, The Drakensberg Slack packing trail is a luxury hike offering comfortable and varied accommodation experiences each night, luggage transfers and delectable catering.

What is the duration of the tour?

The experience covers 3 days and 3 nights.

Where does the hike start and end?

The hike starts at the Antbear Lodge, situated close to the Giants castle conservancy area. The tour ends at the Zulu Waters Shaka Lodge

What are the daily distances covered?

 This Drakensberg Slackpacking Trail covers about 10kmper day. The hike is not difficult and is suitable for all levels if hikers. You will hike from Lodge to Lodge. We will make sure your luggage is transported to each lodge.

Where do we stay?

 We have chosen 3 of the best lodges in the Giants Castle area as our preferred partners for this tour. The selection criteria included their location, comfort, service and sustainability in the Drakensberg in terms of conservation, organic food and low impact to the environment.

Night 1: Antbear Lodge

What makes Antbear Lodge special is that this is quite possibly one of them most sustainable lodges in South Africa. Here you will find homemade cheese from their own milk, own eggs from their own home-grown chickens and a wonderful organic garden. They also offer a luxury cave for accommodation

Night 2: Leopards Lair Lodge

Leopards Lair is one of those lovely places full of family atmosphere offering a real agri tourism experience. Meet Lalie their hand reared eland, their rescue emus and ostriches and the rest of their farmyard menagerie.

Night 3: Zulu Waters Shaka Lodge

Shaka Lodge offers the the lapse of luxury withing the Zulu Waters Game Reserve. Your own private chef will prepare delicacies that will make you want to stay forever.

Additional information

Number of Tickets1 ticket @ R10900, 2 tickets @ R9500 pp, 3 tickets @ R9150 pp, 4 tickets @ R8750 pp, 5 tickets @ R8750 pp, 6 tickets @ R8750 pp, 7 tickets @ R8750 pp, 8 tickets @ R8750 pp

3 nights’ accommodation in the various lodges (Antbear, Leopards Lair Lodge, Zulu Waters Shaka Lodge)
3 breakfasts
3 packed lunches
3 dinners
All hiking permits
All luggage transfers between lodges

Transport to the start of the hike (we can organise transfers for an extra cost)
Alcoholic drinks (available to purchase at the lodges)
Items of a personal nature
Hiking equipment

Hike in the majestic Drakensberg mountains that offers some incredible and awe-inspiring mountain scenery.

Luxury accommodation in the best lodges of the Giants Castle area

No trekking with heavy backpacks. We make sure your luggage is transported to each lodge as you progress through the tour.

Scrumptious, farm style, organically grown meals.

Experience sustainable, eco-friendly Drakensberg lodges.

Hike with wild animals through the Zulu Waters Shaka Lodge.

Fully guided hiking experience.

Suitable for hikers of all ages and fitness levels.

Perfect family experience.


Day 1

Travellers will meet our guide at the Antbear Lodge at 9am. Enjoy a cup of coffee as we take you though a tour briefing. We start the hike at 10am. We cover about 10km today and aim to be back at the lodge by about 3pm. The rest of the day is all yours to take in the splendour and beauty of the area. Dinner is hosted by Andrew, the owner of the Antbear.


Day 2

After a delicious farm-style breakfast, you continue the hike. You will cover about 12km today and will end up at the Leopards Lair Lodge. Your host for duration of your stay is the Buys Family. Experience a real ‘working farm’ that offers all kinds of agri-tourism attractions.  As with day one, we should arrive here by about 2:30pm. Your luggage will be waiting for you in your room. The rest of the day is all yours to experience the magic of this farm. Dinner is served at 7pm.


Day 3

After breakfast, we bid the Buys family a fond farewell and continue our slackpacking hiking journey. We cover about 12km today. This day is sometimes regarded as the highlight of the tour. The trek is through the Zulu Waters Game reserve. The reserve is abundant with wild animals from zebra, giraffe, wildebeest, eland, rhino and more.

Once again, we arrive at about 2pm and the rest of the day is all yours. The lodge today is called the Zulu Waters Shaka Lodge. Today you have your own private chef who will conjure up a meal that is fir for kings. And your queens hiking with you of course.

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