South Africa Adventures Guided Drakensberg Hikes
Our guided Drakensberg hikes are extremely popular!. The Drakensberg Mountains are considered as the best hiking destination in South Africa. The range extends for over 1000km around the mountain Kingdom of Lesotho. Most guided Drakensberg hikes however only cover the 230 odd kilometer stretch from the Southern Drakensberg in Underberground through to the Northern Drakensberg area of the Amphitheatre.
[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_column_text]Within this area there are over 50 various routes that hikers can take. Some of the routes are pretty straight forward day hikes where little hiking experience is needed. And then there are the more challenging multi day hikes like Mafadi and the mini traverse, that cover the ‘Middle Berg’ and ultimately the ‘High Berg’. Many of the routes on the multi day hikes do not have clear paths and a clear understanding of navigation and map reading is essential if you are looking at embarking on these hikes.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_column_text]Not only are the paths virtually non- existent but they can be very confusing when they branch off into multiple directions. Now add thick mist to that scenario and hikers can get themselves into a dangerous situation. And then there is the top of the escarpment which averages just over 3000m and takes sometimes 3 days to reach. You can imagine how the risk factor increases because of the remoteness and lack of emergency infrastructure. Does this mean don’t go trekking in the Drakensberg? Absolutely not![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
Here are some things to consider when planning your guided Drakensberg hikes.
Should I organize myself or is it best to go on guided Drakensberg hikes with a reputable company?
The answer to this question is pretty simple. If you are an experienced hiker who has been on multiple hikes before and are comfortable in the mountain environment then you should be fine organizing the hike yourself. Obviously you would need to have extensive knowledge on navigating in the mountains. Just a word on navigation- Hikers should know how to use GPS and preferably should be comfortable with the old fashioned map and compass method. You never know when the GPS may fail. And of course First Aid and the correct equipment is also a crucial factor for survival in the Drakensberg.
The advantage of guided Drakensberg hikes?
We are not looking at scaring you into never hiking in the Drakensberg but there are many things that can go wrong. Mountains can be the most unforgiving places in the world. And if you have very limited experience or do not have confidence in your abilities to survive a Drakensberg hike the best option is to book through a reputable hiking company. Here are some of the advantages of using a guiding company like South Africa Adventures or Soul Adventures:
- They have intimate knowledge of the mountains, the routes and the conditions.
- All of the guides are well trained in Wilderness First Aid and carry the necessary medical equipment.
- They can give you invaluable advice on equipment and clothing needed for the hike
- They know the way. So the chances of getting lost are virtually impossible. And getting lost in the Drakensberg can become very dangerous indeed.
- Our guides have been involved in over 200 guided Drakensberg hikes taking over 1500 people into the majestic Barriers of Spears. Knowledge that is invaluable when it comes to a successful hiking experience.
- We have all the camping equipment necessary for the hike. No need to go and buy expensive equipment like tents, sleeping bags and cookers.
- Our guides have become adjusted to the Basotho culture. A lot of hikers have had incidents of various degrees with the Basotho shepherds on the escarpment. Having spent time with the shepherds and immersing ourselves into the understanding of their world and ways we have very amicable relationships with them. In fact, most of them are really incredible people. One must just understand that they are living in a wild and harsh environment are very isolated from the Western World. Probably one of the most advantageous aspects of guided Drakensberg hikes in this respect is that are group sizes are usually between 6 and 12 people. So the chances of maybe getting harassed are way less.
- Guiding companies like South Africa Adventures offer a full 24/7 pre-hike support structure. You have full access to our panel of experts who will advise you on everything from hiking boots to how to what gloves to buy. We have a passion for the Drakensberg and want you to have the most incredible time ever. And part of that experience is making sure you are prepared for the hike.
- All of our hikes include all the tents, sleeping mats, food, eating utensils and climbing permits. So logistically you do not need to worry about anything. All you have to do is follow the guide.
- When it comes to food on the mountain, we have conjured up the most nutritious and tasty mountain food ever. Yes we have been through some ‘learning curves’ but we are happy to say t (from our client’s feedback of course) that we have the food issue sorted. And not only do we carry it for you but we even cook it for you. Isn’t that what a guided Drakensberg hikes should be about? So you can just focus on walking and taking in the awesomeness of these majestic mounatins?
- Our hiking itineraries have been tried and tested. We have assessed the gradients and determined the average hiking speeds throughout the years to ensure that our preset camps form the night are attainable. A lot of inexperienced hikers fail to plan the hiking logistics accurately and land up walking in the dark. Mostly due to the fact that they either take a wrong turn or have to backtrack and lose time. Or maybe they misjudged the contour lines and didn’t realize the sever gradient. Or they worked out their average hiking speed of 6km/h when in fact it turned out to be 3km/h. A learning curve that guiding company has already been through and planned for.
- We offer ‘hiking’ and mountaineering training sessions prior to your hike. So we can guide you in terms of getting ‘Drakensberg fit’. There is a difference between being treadmill fit and mountain fit. And once again, we want you to enjoy your hike so giving you all the advice on getting you strong is what we do.
Our guided Drakensberg hikes
Best of the Drakensberg hiking tour
Drakensberg Helicopter Hiking Tour
Trekking Photography Tour
Bell Traverse Hike
3 Day Drakensberg Slackpacking Trail
In conclusion, guided Drakensberg hikes are definitely the way to go. Not only does it take the stress away from logistically planning a hike, but you get to meet some incredible like-minded people and may even learn a thing or two about surviving in the mountains.
And all of this is one of the most incredibly beautiful mountain environments in the world. We have hiked, climbed and guided all over this crazy planet of ours and our souls always come alive when we are back ‘home’ in the uKhahlamba of South Africa.
Darren MacDonald, the founder of South Africa Adventures and Soul Adventures, and has guided more than 15 expeditions to Kilimanjaro, over 100 guided hikes to the Drakensberg, 5 expeditions to the highest mountain in Europe, 3 expeditions to Aconcagua and over 10 expeditions in the Himalayas including Island Peak, Cho Oyu, Lobuche and Pumori. South Africa Adventures offers guided treks and climbs to iconic peaks and mountain ranges around the world.