Trek to the 3482 metre summit of Thabana Ntlenyana, the highest mountain in South Africa and Lesotho
2012 Standard Itinerary
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1 night Comfortable Guesthouse
2 nights Standard Traditional hut
1 night Simple Hut
4 nights Simple Hotel
1 night Standard Hotel
Bus/4WD vehicles/On foot in Lesotho, Drakensberg and Wild Coast.
Approx 6 -
Explore Tour Leader, driver(s), and Basotho mountain guide(s) with ponies used to move food and luggage.
This is a 4 day trek with an average of 4 to 8 hours walking each day. We reach the highest point at 3482m. We have graded this trek as moderate to strenuous.
Walking Tour In South Africa And Swaziland
Details may vary depending on departure date. Please choose
This trekking adventure takes us along coastal trails, mountain peaks and into the tribal villages of South Africa. We explore Drakensberg and walk to Thabana Ntlenyana (3482m) – the highest point in southern Africa. We also trek along the Wild Coast, an untouched wilderness of undulating hills, verdant forest and sandy beaches.
Kruger - Game viewing on foot and vehicle in the most iconic park in South Africa.
Kosi Bay - Hiking, kayaking and snorkelling through pristine beaches, mangroves and coral reefs.
Drakensberg - Trek in the famous amphitheatre.
Swaziland - The great wildlife of Mlilwane and spectacular rock formations.
Dundee - Walk in the battlefields and learn about the Zulu history.
Situated in the district of Ficksburg within viewing distance of Visierskerf (2407m), the third highest mountain range in South Africa, Moolmanshoek Reserve comprises more than 3,000 hectares of the breathtaking Moolmanshoek valley and is home to a variety of plains game that include springbuck, black wildebeest, blesbuck, zebra, ostrich and many other that are historically indigenous to the area. Our highlight today is a close encounter with wild but habituated meerkats, part of a project aimed at research and conservation. During our time with them we’ll learn more about the intricacies of their social system and interaction with their surroundings. We will then head south into the fertile heart of South Africa and enter the Free State. It is one of nine provinces of South Africa and is considered the “granary of the country”. It has been likened to an immense rolling plain as far as the eye can see. It is a place of extraordinary cultural and natural diversity. This diversity is reflected in place names and building styles from grand sandstone buildings of a bygone era to beautifully decorated Sotho houses. The areas of the Free State that we travel through range from the heavily cultivated north to the highlands of the east. It is in the east that we enter the mountain kingdom of Lesotho. Lesotho is a country where all of it lies above 1000m making for, arguably, some of the best trekking on the African continent. As we ascend further into the mountains, we drive through vast rolling grasslands, unbroken by fences and scattered with livestock and tiny Basotho settlements. After ascending a rough track, we finally reach our first rustic mountain base at Malealea (1970m), nestled in the aptly named “Valley of Paradise” in the foothills of the Thaba-Putsoa range where the air is clean and pure.
Overnight Standard Traditional hutIncluded meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Trek through Basoto country, Lesotho
From our mountain base, several circuits are possible, varying in levels of intensity, difficulty and duration (if staying at Malealea). A pony can be booked upon arrival at Malealea if you decide to ride the route as an alternative to walking. We are escorted by a Basotho guide and our ponies carry our luggage as we plan to make a 2-day round trek to Ribaneng and its waterfall through a remote and beautiful area of Lesotho, walking approx. 45km in total. During our trek it’s not unusual to meet a Basotho horseman, clad in a kobo, his traditional cloak or blanket, who’ll raise his hand in the traditional greeting of ‘Khotso’ which means peace. At nightstops we stay in typical thatched Basotho huts, built from the local stone or clay and mud. At our stays here, we sleep on the mattresses as the villagers do. Our village stays provide an excellent opportunity to meet, interact and learn more about these largely rural mountain people. Approx. 7-8 hours walking.
Overnight Standard Traditional hutIncluded meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Trek through Basotho country
We continue our trek to Ribaneng and its waterfall through a remote and beautiful area of Lesotho. We return to Malealea lodge for our last night in the region and have the chance to watch a local childrens Basotho choir. They have a band that uses home made instruments and they perform some traditional dancing and singing. Approx. 7-8 hours walking
Today’s spectacular drive takes us through the mountains of Lesotho, the views en route are simply breathtaking and excellent for photography. We check-in to Sani Top Chalet located on the very edge of the Drakensberg Escarpment where the views of the surrounding landscape are beautiful. Before the Sani Pass from South Africa was built, the bridle path was the only means of trade between South Africa and the interior of Lesotho. It was only on 26 October 1948 that Geoffrey Edmunds, an ex-RAF Spitfire pilot and adventurer, and a labour gang and their ponies, pulleys, plenty of rope and many jerry cans of petrol later, drove to the top of the pass for the first time! Our nightstop here is home to the highest licensed pub in Southern Africa at 2874m and with its unique setting and colourful history, it has an atmosphere all of its own! The location and the unique atmosphere of the chalet alone, make this nightstop a truly unforgettable experience. It is from here that we make base for walking in the area.
At 3482m,Thabana Ntlenyana is the highest peak in Africa south of Kilimanjaro. If you feel up to the challenge, you can join our local Basotho mountain guides on the strenuous day-long attempt of the summit. Making an early start, the route will take you across hills and moorland. It is approximately 12km in each direction from Sani Top Chalet and all above 3000m. Approx. 8-10 hours walking. Other easier hikes are possible in this scenic heart of the Drakensbergs, including a hike to the very beautiful Hodgson’s Peak (3257m) or Phinong.
Today we head to the Indian ocean. This stretch of South Africa’s eastern coastline is known as the Wild Coast, one of the country’s most unspoilt areas with undulating hills, lush forest and spectacular beaches. We reach the small settlement of Coffee Bay perched high on dramatic cliffs dropping to sandy beaches speckled with black pebbles.
Overnight Simple HotelIncluded meals: Breakfast
Trek Wild Coast via Bulungula to The Haven
We spend today trekking the coastline south, passing by a wealth of scenery from lakes and lagoons to beaches and forest. Our first stop is at basic village huts at Bulungula and there should be time to meet the locals and see the fishermen bringing in their catch. Approx. 7 hours walking.
Continuing south we cross the Xora river and head inland through Cwebe Nature Reserve and Mbashe river. The reserve contains a dense subtropical forest brimming with flora and fauna as well as sections of grassland and a long stretch of wonderful dune-filled shore lying in the shadow of Mbashe lighthouse. Our final destination is our coastal hotel the Haven, its grounds regularly grazed by zebra and wildebeest. Approx. 7 hours walking.
Overnight Standard HotelIncluded meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Drive to East London where the tour ends
Included meals: Breakfast
Please note that from time to time our itineraries may be amended, either for operational reasons or in response to feedback from customers. Please ensure you have read the latest Tour Notes before booking or travelling on your tour.