Hike Cathedral peak Drakensberg mountains South Africa

Drakensberg Cathedral Peak Hike

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 4:30 hour drive from Johannesburg and 4 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

Cathedral Peak
Base of Cathedral Peak

Day 1

Our tour departs from Johannesburg at 5am from your designated hotel/meeting area. we then take the 5 hour drive down to Cathedral Peak Hotel, stopping for breakfast on route. Upon arrival the first activity is to check the gear, introduce you to the rest of the hiking team and enjoy a briefing session on the terrace of the hotel before we head on up into the mountains. Looking at starting then hike by 12H30. The first part of the hike will see us heading 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.

Start: Cathedral Peak Hotel (1,400m)

End: Shermans Cave 1,710m / 5,610 ft.
Elev gain: 310m
Time: 3 hours on average
Distance: About 4 km

Day 2

After breakfast, we set off for a pretty challenging and long day to the summit of Cathedral Peak. We start hiking at 07:30am. 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.

Cathedral Peak summit/Sherman’s Cave 3005m
Elev gain: 1200m /  Elev loss: 1200m
Time: 10 hours on average
Distance: About 14km

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. We then take the 5 hour journey back to Johannesburg.


  • Return transfers from Johannesburg to the start of the hike
  • 2 Nights in camping in the mountains
  • 3 days hiking in the Drakensberg
  • 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 and dinner, as well as hot drinks on the mountain
  • Hiking equipment including 4 season tents, sleeping bags, sleeping mats, backpacks and eating utensils
  • Water for washing up daily
  • Dedicated Drakensberg Trip Planner
  • Certificate for your successful summit attempt
  • Local Taxes


  • 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
  • Snacks, personal medicine and water purifying tablets
  • authentic wild camping experience in South Africa
  • sleeping in a cave
  • summiting South Africas highest non technical free standing peak