Drakensberg, Lesotho and Wild Coast Hiking Tours & Packages
Hikes with Drakensberg Ventures offers you a variety of hiking tours from the Drakensberg and Lesotho down to the magnificent Wild Coast of South Africa!
Tours and hikes vary in distance and toughness, from hiking with children to the more adventurous and serious hikers.
Drakensberg Ventures welcomes you. Here you will be able to find out more about Drakensberg, the Wild Coast and Lesotho Drakensberg Ventures fantastic tours & packages in and around the Mont-Aux-Source Amphitheatre can be arranged for you and your group.
Among our wide variety of great hikes you can experience a large variety of other tours as well. Drakensberg, Lesotho and Wild Coast Hiking Tours & Packages
We are a hiking company that is passionate about the mountains and coastlines, and creating guided experiences that suit your needs. We use our knowledge of the local natural and cultural resources to inform and entertain. Our guides are well equipped to protect you and deal with any situations.
Our guides will ensure your safety!
Visit the kingdom in the sky with our 5 day tour along the roof of Southern Africa and Lesotho highlands
The Sani pass is a spectacular mountain road that is the gateway to the “roof of Africa” scenic route, which links the breathtaking scenery of the southern Drakensberg with the mountains of the Lesotho highlands, and is the only border post between Kwazulu-Natal and Lesotho. A common truth of this area is that you can have four seasons in one day.
Sani top chalet is located on the border between South Africa and Lesotho at a height of 2874 m and has been described as one of the best-situated hotels on earth with unparalleled views of the pass and surrounding mountain peaks. The only access to the chalet is via the Sani pass and adventure travellers regard the venue as one of the best kept secrets in Africa. Join other explorers at the “Highest Pub in Africa” for their famous gluhwein and a wholesome dinner.
Our journey continues along the black mountain pass at an altitude of 3240m to view the highest mountain peak in southern Africa, that of Thabana-Ntlenyana, which reaches 3482m into the sky. A short climb will take you to the top. This remote part is also a world heritage site, the majestic and stark beauty of the mountains being testament to all that has passed before them over the ages. The pass and surrounds is popular for pony trekking, trout fishing and bird watching while the variety of fauna and flora in the area will keep enthusiasts spellbound. Skiing and snowboarding are popular during the winter months (providing it snows).
Visit Katse dam, on the Malibamat’so River, which is part of the highlands water project and which supplies hydroelectric power to Lesotho and is Africa’s largest double curvature dam.
Enjoy a trip to the past by visiting the age old trading post, where in the past tough old drivers brought wool and mohair down the pass on donkeys and mules to be exchanged for blankets, clothing, maize meal and other essentials for life in this remote unforgiving country. Experience a unique African cultural interaction while you visit the mohair tapestry and traditional dancing in the local village.
En route we stop off at Maletsunyane falls which plummets 192m off a spectacular v shaped rock face. The location is stunning and peaceful and is ideal for a hike up the gorge to the base of the falls or you can abseil from the top. The less intrepid can enjoy the scenic hikes and pony trails for unlimited photographic opportunities in this piece of paradise.
Your accommodation will vary from sheer luxury to the more rustic.
Your Guide has decades of experience in this area, and will point you to the most amazing, off the beaten track places and even to dinosaur footprints and Bushman paintings. You will rediscover the tracks of the original inhabitants of Lesotho – the San as they left us a rich heritage of their rock art.
Seven Day Waterfall Walk.
Our waterfall meander begins in the rolling green scenery of the Magwa tea plantation, one of two tea plantations in the Transkei that were started as an experiment and proved successful.
The nearby Magwa Falls, being part of the Goso Fault are the highest falls on The Wild Coast, falling 146m. The lesser falls in close proximity are Fraser Falls, Visitors, Little Falls and Picnic falls are also all reached with hikes along the fault line, which runs parallel to the coast. This fault has resulted in the formation of precipitous cliffs and narrow gorges which makes for the stunning scenery of the area.
We depart on an early morning walk to see Cathedral Rock, which is a free standing cliff-sided monolith complete with arch which looms out of the sea, we then continue to Waterfall Bluff, a magnificent rock amphitheatre where the Mkozi River runs straight over the cliff face and plummets 60m into the sea below. Here the intrepid hiker can refresh himself behind the falls.
Days Three and Four.
Mkambati Nature Reserve consists mostly of open grasslands, dissected by perennial streams and small waterfalls, and is flanked by the splendid forested ravines of the Msikaba and Mtentu Rivers. These two rivers are the only place in the world where the Pondo Coconut ‘Jubaeopsis caffra’ (Mkambati Palm) is found.
By travelling further up the Msikaba Gorge by canoe a colony of rare Cape Vultures can be viewed, breeding on the sheer cliffs of the gorges. Endemics like tree ferns, palms, proteas and erica’s grow along these lush banks.
The nature reserves upper grasslands are home to herds of herbivores such as eland, red hartebeest, blue wildebeest, zebra and blesbok. Carnivores like lynxes, jackals and elusive leopards have been sighted.
The richly forested areas around Port St John’s are a hiker’s paradise with many stunning elevated viewpoints, forest hikes and shoreline routes to explore.
The picturesque Bololo Falls is situated in fairytale surroundings and is an hour’s hike from the picturesque Second Beach, The Gap and Blowhole.
It has been said that the view from Mt. Thesiger of the Umzimvubu River mouth is unsurpassed.
Day Six and Seven.
After experiencing the enchanting charm of Port St John’s we travel south through the round topped hills and past rural communities to Twseleni and the coastal village of Mpande.
This sleepy hamlet is located between the Mpande and Sinangwana Rivers and offers an elevated 180 degree view of the unspoiled coastline and beaches, the ocean a stone’s throw away from your accommodation.
A 5km walk takes you to forested Mpande Waterfall and the return along the river is a birdwatcher and naturalists paradise.
Mpande is a place of pristine natural beauty and traditional rural Xhosa life, it is a place to meet the locals, have beer in a shabeen or visit a Sangoma. The shoreline offers superb snorkelling in protected pools and lagoons and the scope for photography is limitless.
Berg and Beach Tour
A Combination of Drakensberg Hikes and Wild Coast hikes in South Africa
Join us for a journey through the majestic Drakensberg Mountains, the most visual of which extend from The Sentinel to the north and ranging far southwards to Bushman’s Neck. This range forms a natural, soaring boundary between Kwazulu Natal and the mountain Kingdom of Lesotho.
During this journey you will experience the magnificent, rugged beauty of the “Dragon Mountains” and learn the fascinating history and folklore of the area.
Ukhahlamba, which means “The Barrier of Spears” in Zulu, is home to a number of endemic flora and flora as well as reminders of the past in Bushman paintings and relics of warring tribes of the past.
Our venture continues to another of Africa’s gems, through the green rolling hills to the splendour and unsurpassed natural beauty of The Wild Coast, which is the home of the friendly Xhosa nation.
This coast is famous for its rugged topography, unspoiled beaches and the unpredictability of the regions weather, hence its name.
Here the blue Indian Ocean crashes against stark rocky shores and headlands that tower out of the sea like cathedrals.
Rivers born in the Drakensberg flow to this coast through dramatic gorges and valleys with forested waterfalls, two of which fall meters off cliffs directly into the sea.
The Northern Berg
What to expect: Our adventure starts at Golden Gate Highlands Park, nestled in the Maluti Mountains. Dramatic sandstone cliffs, a diverse range of plants and wildlife make this a visually stunning part of the North-Eastern Free State.
An early start gets us to the starting point at the Sentinel above Witsieshoek where a challenging 14km hike begins; we summit the Amphitheatre via the famous chain ladders or the optional Kloof Gully.
The panoramic view from the plateau towards the Natal lowlands is stunning and the beginnings of the mighty Tugela River plummeting 948m into the gorge below is an indelible sight.
From the plateau you can see Beacon Buttress to the north and Devils Tooth and Eastern Buttress to the south.
After the days exhilarating walk we return to Golden Gate Park to overnight. We start on a morning hike in the Tugela Gorge which is an easy 13 km walk up the valley towards the vastly impressive wall of the Amphitheatre.
The path follows the Tugela River through grasslands and woodlands until the Tugela Gorge proper is reached, here the steep rock walls and sandstone cliffs tower above you before you reach the picnic spot. Further ahead the Tugela River flows from a narrow topped, tunnel-like gorge, which when water levels are normal can be entered.
Highlights: Tugela Falls (948m), stunning vistas, view of Amphitheatre face, chain ladder.
Amphitheatre plateau – 8 hours.
Tugela Gorge – 7 hours.
The Central Berg
What to expect: The Cathedral Peak area is a world of high mountains, massive rock buttresses, towering crags and pinnacles, deep clefts and valleys. From the sundial at Cathedral Peak Hotel we start an easy 5km hike to Mushroom Rock. You can go through the hole in the mushroom and it is a place to pose for a rare photo.
The Rainbow Gorge hike has been described as quite exceptional in its entirety. It is a 15km adventure through forest, grasslands, water and a stunning gorge which narrows towards the end and supports the renowned “chock-stone,” jammed between the high walls of the gorge.
We conclude the exploration of this area with an easy 7km walk to Ribbon Falls that has sections requiring a scramble over rocks, and a ladder, they say that was designed for a giant.
Highlights: High, souring peaks (Inner Horn, Outer Horn, the Bell and Cathedral Peak), Ribbon waterfall and amazing rock formations.
Mushroom Rock – 3 hours.
Rainbow Gorge – 6 hours.
What to expect: Bushman’s Nek is the southernmost outpost of the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park and there is plenty of scope for easy walking trails around the area, there are a number of caves with Bushman paintings that can be viewed.
The Hidden Valley hike is a fascinating, go-where-you-like sort of walk, which winds around grassy ridges and through a conglomeration of boulders along the Giants Cup trail into the Hidden Valley. The conventional there and back route is easy to follow but adventurous hikers can create their own trail variations. The main trail joins the Mzimude stream which you will need to re-cross several times at spots of your choosing along the trail.
Bushman paintings, bird watching, Optional trip up Sani Pass.
Hiking time: 5 hours.
The Wild Coast
Pondoland and Mkambati Nature Reserve
What to expect: We leave the southern Drakensberg and meander through the space-less expanses of Nomansland and rolling hills of the Eastern Cape to the Wild Coast and our base at an Eco friendly lodge located above the Msikaba River in Pondoland, bordering the Mkambati Nature Reserve.
This area is magically spellbinding in its profound diversity of soaring pinnacle-like rock structures, densely forested valleys, gorges and cliffs, with waterfalls that fall mistily into the sea.
The locality is home to a breeding colony of the threatened Cape Vulture and the endemic Pondo Coconut (Mkambati palm) occurs on the rocky cliffs of the Msikaba River.
From this base we explore the waterfall route which begins at Magwa Falls that plummets 146m into a narrow gorge, we visit Frasers Falls, Visitors, Little Falls and Picnic Falls which are all reached with hikes along the Goso Fault which runs east towards the coastline.
The Mkambati Nature reserve consists mainly of open coastal grasslands mixed with wetlands and is flanked on either side by the densely bushed Msikaba and Mtentu Rivers. This reserve is home to herds of herbivores such as eland, blue wildebeest, zebra and blesbok and carnivores like lynxes, jackals and elusive leopards have been sighted.
A number of waterfalls occur within the reserve, the most popular and scenic being the Mkambati Falls, Strandloper Falls, Horseshoe Falls, Misty Falls and Swallow Tail Falls.
A visit to a natural amphitheatre called The Super Bowl is fascinating as the dense forest within is an ideal habitat for shy forest animals.
Highlights: Cape Vulture breeding colony, Waterfall Bluff, Cathedral Rock.
Hiking time: Several day walks the longest being 16 km.
Port St John’s and Mpande
What to expect: From Pondoland we travel over the mighty Umzimvubu River (the only remaining wild river in southern Africa, as it has no dam wall restricting its flow) to the magical little town of Port St John’s.
This picturesque settlement is settled at the mouth of the Umzimvubu River and is reached by travelling through “The Gates”, which are formed by dramatic cliffs between Mts Thesiger and Sullivan.
The densely forested areas around Port St John’s are a day hikers paradise with routes leading to stunning elevated points which allow views for kilometres around, enchanting forest hikes and many shoreline paths to explore. The Bololo Falls is an hour’s hike from the idyllic Second Beach, The Gap and Blowhole.
It has been said that the view from Mt Thesiger of the Umzimvubu River mouth is unsurpassed on a good day.
After absorbing the charm of Port St John’s we travel south through the round topped hills common to this region, and past rural communities to Twseleni and the coastal village of Mpande. Located between the Mpande and Sinangwana Rivers this sleepy hamlet offers an unsurpassed view of the unspoiled coastline and beaches of this stunning stretch of Wild Coast.
A 5km walk takes you to forested Mpande Waterfall and the return trip along the river is a birdwatcher and naturalists paradise.
Mpande is a place of pristine natural beauty and traditional Xhosa life, it is a place to mingle with the locals, experience traditional meals or visit a Sangoma (traditional healer). The shoreline offers superb snorkelling in protected pools and lagoons and the scope for photography is limitless.
Highlights: Eagles Nest, The Gates, Second Beach, The Gap, The Blowhole, view from Mt Thesiger and a multicultural town experience. Traditional, rural village life, traditional healer, amazing seascapes.
Various short scenic hikes of about 3-4 hours.
Duration of berg and beach tour: 9 days to 14 days. We can custom tailor the tour to fit your needs.
Know Before You Go
What to pack: Hiking boots with ankle support, a decent daypack, a hat, spare socks, a warm top and waterproof windbreaker (or poncho), sunscreen and camera.
A small first aid kit containing plasters, bandages, gauze, Savlon, painkillers, Deep Heat, eye-drops, mercurochrome and gentian violet.
Your accommodation: Secluded rustic log cabins and Eco-friendly cottages offering safe comfortable accommodation in peaceful scenic surroundings. Guests can enjoy excellent facilities, and warming fireplaces to ensure a memorable and perfect break.
Meals: English breakfast, packed lunch and three course evening meal. Seafood platters, crayfish and barbecue evenings.
When to go: All year round, every season has its own special charm and beauty.
Two Day Birding Tour to Ntsikeni Nature Reserve.
Ntsikeni Nature Reserve comprises 9000ha of pristine flower-filled grasslands 60 Km’s from Creighton and 30 kms from Franklin in Southern KZN. It features a large and very important wetland of some 1200 ha at 1800m amsl (the same height as Wakkerstroom so it can get cold!). It is surrounded by impressive buttresses with evocative names like Mangeni, Tsawule, and Elephant Hill. Visible forever, Ntsikeni Mountain towers above all, with its unmistakable shape making sense of the name.
The central support of a traditional home is an ‘ntsika’.
The reserve has enjoyed natural protection and secrecy due to its remoteness, isolation and inaccessibility.
Yellow Breasted Pipits, Cape and Bearded Vultures, Black and Montague’s Harriers, African Marsh and even the rare Western Marsh Harriers and other exciting large species like breeding Wattled Cranes, can be found.
Ntsikeni Lodge – Hikers to arrive at Ntsikeni Lodge by midday.
After lunch you visit the Vulture Restaurant for Cape and Bearded Vultures. Thereafter head out for the reed-beds and walk 1.5 kilometres carrying your folding chair, binoculars, cameras, telescopes and insect repellent. Here you will sit at the edge of reed beds waiting for the Great Bittern to Boom and show itself.!!!
Dinner will be enjoyed at the lodge listening out for night birds such as Striped Flufftail, African Snipe and Cape Eagle Owl.
Overnight Ntsikeni Lodge.
Early morning Tea or coffee and rusks. Once again head out to the wetlands for the Great Bittern Hunt Return at around 07h00 for breakfast at Ntsikeni Lodge before hiking up Ntsikeni Mountain to look for Barratt’s Warbler, Sentinal Rock-thrush, Eastern Long-billed lark, Drakensberg Rock-jumper and Red-winged Francolin.
Drive out to the grasslands for Pipits, Yellow-Breasted and Short-Tailed (hopefully), and Harriers, African Marsh-, Montague- and Black-.
Back at the lodge you will set out late afternoon for a birders bash searching for the elusive Striped Flufftail and Grass Owl.
Overnight Ntsikeni Lodge.
Horse Trails by Drakensberg Ventures
Visit the Majesty of the Drakensberg Range. It is a mountain chain that divides South Africa in two, forming a natural boundary between KwaZulu-Natal and Lesotho.
On this journey you will ponder this range. You will experience the Maluti’s at Golden Gate National Park and then you will experience the splendour of the Wild Coast, which is one of Africa’s jewels.
The most beautiful rugged coastline boasts some of the most spectacular scenery in Southern Africa. A stunning journey…..
4 Day Horse Trails Rides:
This ride will take you through breathtaking mountain scenery and the most remote areas of Bushman’s Neck in the Southern Drakensberg. Your guide is John Michaux, one of the most experienced endurance riders in South Africa, who has had over 30 years of riding experience in the mountains of the Drakensberg & Lesotho.
Horse Riding experience is essential!