In the true spirit of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, this 4 Day Trilogy Of The Rings Drakensberg Hiking Tour was created out of the ashes of our Gandalf looking mountain guides subconscious mind over a camp fire with the help of something amber in colour with intoxicating properties to aid in the creation process.
This kick ass hiking tour incorporates 3 of the most awe inspiring areas the mystical Drakensberg Mountains has to offer. Our clients absolutely love this tour as it is a combination of hiking, camping and some of the best views of the Northern Drakensberg. It is no wonder Tolkien was inspired by these Dragon Mountains in the creation of the Misty Mountains in his book.
The areas we cover on this 4 Day Trilogy Of The Rings Drakensberg Hiking Tour ?
The tour starts in the Royal Natal National Park where we hike to the base of the mighty Amphitheatre to the bottom of the Tugela Falls. The 14km hike into what is known as the Gorge is just amazing to say the least. Although the hike covers 14km, the terrain is pretty flat and winds its way through forests and mountain footpaths and eventually into a narrow Gorge. We have spent many an hour just mesmerized by the views as we peer 1000m up onto the looming towers and spires of rock that make up the Amphitheatre. And of course a picnic and swim in the river is well deserved. Te end of the day sees us setting up camp in the Royal Natal National Park with a roaring fire, traditional South African food and of course a few beers to help with the hiking fatigue-Carbo loading is an important thing in the mountains we say.
The second day sees us travelling about 80km round to the base of the Amphitheatre. We start the hike from the Massive Mountain Soldier who guards the valley below from dragons and wizards-the Sentinel. We kit up and take the 6km hike to the summit of the Amphitheatre via the Gully. Our camp site is at the top of the Tugela Falls-the second highest waterfall in the world. And get this!!! We sit on the edge of the escarpment peering down nearly 1000m into the valley we hiked in the day before.
On the third day we take the 4 hour hike back down to carpark situated at the Sentinel. Then we take a 2 hour drive through the Golden Gate National Park to our campsite situated under a massive, looming bulk of sandstone rock. The Golden Gate is just so incredible-a gem of a spot that we would love you to see. We spend the afternoon exploring the sandstone formations on a 4 hour hike returning to the campsite briefly for a quick shower. Then we hit the town of Clarens for dinner and a few rowdy beers.
The fourth day involves the nursing of a hangover and and a 3 hour hike before making our way back to Johannesburg
What to expect on this Drakensberg hiking tour?
Well a little bit of everything. Your accommodation is in tents. There is about 40km of hiking over some relatively easy terrain. Although a moderate level of fitness is still required to maximise the experience.
The second hike involves you carrying a backpack to the summit of the Amphitheatre as we are overnighting on the escarpment in the mountains. The rest of the days just require day packs and we set up camp in the various Park Board Camp sites.
Our tours begin and end in Johannesburg
(SELF DRIVE OPTIONS AVAILABLE)
Travel day. We pick our guests up at 5am from any centrally located hotels in Johannesburg. We then take the 4.5 hour drive down to the Royal Natal Parks Board in the Drakensberg. Of course there will be coffee and breakfast stops along the way in Harrismith. At about 11am we start our fist hike of the tour. The hike covers 14km over about 5 hours. The terrain is pretty flat. At the base of the Amphitheatre cliff face we stop for a picnic, swim and explore the Gorge. We aim to head on back by 3:30pm so we can make the campsite by 6pm. We set up our tents in the Mahai Campsite-a beautiful and well maintained spot. The evenings are pretty simple. We prepare a traditional South African meal for you called a braai (BBQ for the more less educatedJ). And of course dinner is served under the stars around the roaring fire.
Wakeup call at 6am. Breakfast is served at 07am. After you have fuelled up on our scrumptious meal we take the 1.5 hour drive through to the Sentinal Car Park. This is our first overnight hike. So we kit you up with backpacks, sleeping bags and your favourite teddy bear and start the hike by 11am. The hike covers about 5 km with a few steep sections to overcome. We aim to summit the escarpment viathr Gully and set up camp next to the Tugela Falls-the second highest waterfalls in the world. After we have set up the tents, its chill time as we watch the South African sun set as we peer nearly 1000m into the valley below. A truly memorable experience we assure you!!
Wake up call at 6am. Breakfast and coffee is served and then we take the 5km hike back down via the infamous Chainladders. We should be back at the Sentinel Carpark by about 11am. We then take the scenic and super chilled out drive through the Golden Gate National Park. We set up camp at the Park Board campsite, have lunch and take a 2 hour hike to the top of a massive rock known as the Brandwag Buttress. We should be down by 4pm. Then you have 2 hours to shower and chill out before we take the 20 minute drive in to the town of Clarens. What an incredible town. We will explore the shops and have dinner here. Maybe visit the brewery and local pubs for a beer or 10
Breakfast in Clarens and a 3 hour hike into the Golden Gate National Park. We aim to leave Clarens by 1pm to be back in Johannesburg by 6pm.
- Return transfers Johannesburg
- 3 Nights’ accommodation in tents (Royal Natal, top of the Amphitheatre and Golden Gate)
- All park fee permits
- All breakfasts and dinners (excluding breakfast on day 1, dinner on day 3 and lunch on day 4)
- 14km Tugela Gorge Hike
- Overnight Amphitheatre hike
- Golden Gate Brandwag Butress Hike
- 3 hour Golden Gate hike
- Tents, cooking and eating utensils for camping
- Basic first aid kit
- Guide for the duration of the tour
- Dedicated Trip Planner
- Local Taxes
- Flights and airport taxes
- Items of a personal nature
- Visas for South Africa
- Backpacks and sleeping bags (available to hire)
- Health requirements (if any)
- Optional but highly recommended travel and medical insurance.
- Snacks, personal medicine
- Breakfast on day 1
- Dinner on Day 3 in Clarens
- Lunch on Day 4
- Meals & drinks not specified
- Incredible Drakensberg Scenery
- Action packed activities to suite all types of fitness levels
- Fun-filled adventure with like-minded individuals
- No hassle of organising yourself
- Discover 3 of the most scenic areas of the Drakensberg including the Golden Gate National Park
- A tour and dinner at the quaint town of Clarens
- Authentic South African slackpacking experience