Expedition Trekking

 

Peak High offers two fully catered treks with with guides, catering, porters and cook included. (Unlike the other hikes we  offer where clients carry all their own equipment.) Both these hikes start and end with a night spent in the comfort of the Sungubala Mountain Bush Lodge. Sungubala is an eco friendly  Lodge, which is situated in the Northern Drakensberg of KwaZulu Natal. Sungubala lies on 500 hectares of pristine wilderness in the Drakensberg, and directly below Hlolela and Sungubala Peaks (7000ft), just north of Drakensberg Royal Natal National Park. Surrounding the Sungubala Drakensberg Mountain Bush Lodge is approximately 30 000 to 40 000 hectares of conserved wilderness area and Drakensberg mountain environment, to which Sungubala guests have ready access.

Cleft hiking group

Cleft Peak hiking group


Giant's Castle sunset

Giant's Castle sunset


Fang's Pass Summit

Fang's Pass Summit


Basutho man on horse

Basutho man on horse


Thlanyaku summit area

Thlanyaku summit area


Hanging Valleys

Hanging Valleys

Monte-Aux-Sources to Cathedral Peak.

Hiking with full catering and porters inconjunction with Sungubala Mountain Camp. (six days five nights on trail, two nights at Sungubala.)

This hike starts from Sungubala camp at Monte-Aux-Sources in the northern Drakensberg and traverses the high escarpment of the range south to Cathedral Peak and normally takes 5-6 six days to complete.

Day 1: The start of the trip is from the Sungubala camp . This is a 10km kilometre hike on a good path. At the 4 kilometre mark there is a chain ladder that has to be climbed. (The chain ladder can be avoided by ascending a gully.)

From the top of the chain ladder the path turns south to the high plateau which forms the famous Monte-Aux-Sources Amphitheatre. This first night is usually spent in an old hut on top of the Amphitheatre.

Day 2: In the morning one can watch the sun rise over edge of the Amphitheatre. From there the route hugs the escarpment edge for the next 15 kilometres at an approximate altitude of 3000m or 10000ft. To the east the landscape drops away dramatically into the KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa. To the west are rolling mountains of the small land-locked Kingdom of Lesotho. The area to the east is called the Mweni and is perhaps the most spectacular area of the whole range. Most of the rest of the trip is spent walking along this high plateau. Camp in tents at the summit of Fangs Pass.

Day 3: This day starts with a long 2 hour climb (6kms) around the “Mweni cutback” (3212m, highest point of trek) and then a gradual down hill for 9 kilometres to Ledgers Cave. This cave has one of the best views in the entire range, as it is perched right on the edge of the escarpment.

Day 4: An easy walk up past the huge rock peak of “Mponjwana” and then a gradual climb up and over the “Saddle ridge” to Twins cave. Another spectacular view awaits. Total distance of 16kilometers.

Day 5: From Twins cave (2800m ) we descend Mlambonjwa Pass to Cathedral Peak Hotel and the end point at 1400m. Total distance 11 kilometres.

Accommodation is both in small mountain tents and demarcated caves. Caves or rather rock overhangs have long been used by South African hikers and climbers as a useful alternative to using tents.

Alternative route. Depending on time and fitness of the clients the last 1.5 days can incorporate doing the “Bell Twins Traverse and ascending Cathedral Peak its’ self. The route is very spectacular but clients must have a good head for heights as the are steep drop offs below the path. Cathedral Peak (3004m or 9856 ft) is summitted by a one hour long scramble.

When to visit

This trek can be done at any time of year. Ask the guide about what weather conditions are likely at the time you would like to go.

What to bring

Clients need to bring the usual personal trekking items, including breathable shell clothing, polar fleeces, large backpack, hiking boots, hat, gloves, head-lamp , sun-cream and sleeping mat. Due to being on the Lesotho border you must bring along a valid passport.

Transport from Cathedral Peak back to Sungubala is also included. Porters can carry up to 10kgs of client's equipment

Quotations on request.

Sungubala Camp to Monte-Aux-Sources.

Hiking with full catering and porters inconjunction with Sungubala Mountain Camp. Three days two nights on the trail and two nights with meals at Sungubala Camp.

This hike also starts from Sungubala camp near Monte-Aux-Sources in the northern Drakensberg. The route climbs to the summit plateau and the spectacular Tugela Falls. (Second highest water fall in the world, 850m). Then returns to Sungubala down the same trail. The trail is up the spectatcular chain-ladder route to the Lesotho highlands.

Quotations on request.

Gavin Raubenheimer

Gavin is the owner & operator of Peak High Mountaineering. He is a certified Mountaineering Instructor (M.I.A.) endorsed by the Mountain Development Trust of SA. He is a NQF National Mountaineering (level 7), Cultural and Nature Guide (level 4). Gavin is a past President of the KwaZulu-Natal Section of the Mountain Club of SA. He has been involved in mountain rescue since 1992 and since 2005 has been the Convener of Mountain Rescue in the province. Want Gavin and his team at Peak High to guide you on a hike? Put yourself in the hands of the certified and experienced experts in mountain hiking, guiding and climbing. See Gavin's Google + profile