African Safaris, Ecotourism & Accommodation in
South and Southern Africa
 

4 Day Drakensberg Mountain Tour:
Durban to Durban

Day 1: Durban - Himeville
We will collect you from your overnight accommodation in Durban or from the King Shaka International Airport. We will travel on the edge of the "Valley of 1000 Hills" and then past the capital city of Pietermaritzburg onto the “Midlands Meander”. The Midlands Meander is what weavers, potters, woodcrafters, leather workers, artists, metalworkers, box makers, herb growers, cheese makers, beer brewers and pianos have in common. You will find them all, and a great deal more on the Midlands Meander map - South Africa's first, largest and most popular art and crafts route. From a very small beginning, the Midlands Meander has grown to well over a hundred stops on four routes. Originating with the arrival of the first settlers in the early 1800’s the area boasts many wonderful homes and barns, an attraction to lovers of architecture. As you tour the Midlands Meander you will also notice that this area is home to a number of the country’s most famous schools.
From here we travel inland, to the foothills of the Drakensberg Mountains on the scenic route through the frontier towns of Bulwer, Underberg and Himeville, where we overnight at Moorcroft Manor (or similar). Moorcroft Manor offers classically decorated rooms all with bathrooms en suite. Lose yourself in the sheer comfort of their king-size beds, crisp vanilla scented linen and finest quality Makoti down duvets and pillows. Selected satellite television, ceiling fans, hairdryers and robes are available in all their rooms. All their bathrooms have under floor heating to keep away the midnight chill and in winter, a covered hot water bottle in your neatly turned down bed is a welcoming treat. Freshly brewed tea or coffee with homemade biscotti is delivered to your room each morning and can be enjoyed whilst marvelling at the uninterrupted views of the Giants Cup from the private patios which adjoin each room. The remainder of the afternoon you are at leisure.

Day 2: Himeville – Sani Pass
(Breakfast)

This morning we transfer to our 4X4 vehicles for the ascent up the Sani Pass and into Lesotho. Breathtaking scenery and alpine conditions dominate this truly magnificent corner of this province. The Sani Pass is a spectacular mountain road that is a well-known entry point into Lesotho from South Africa’s Natal Drakensberg Park. It is the gateway to the ‘Roof of Africa’ scenic route that links the spectacular scenery of the Drakensberg with the mountains of northern Lesotho. The Sani Pass is the only border post between Kwazulu-Natal and Lesotho. The Sani Pass was once a rough mule trail descending the Eastern Highlands of old Basutoland into Natal. Tough drovers brought wool and mohair down the Pass on donkeys and mules to be exchanged for blankets … clothing … maize meal … the essentials for life in a remote, impoverished country. And a young man had a dream … of operating a motor vehicle service up this fantastic Pass, using the 4-wheel drive vehicles he had seen on service in World War II. The Sani Pass was born. Once we have entered Lesotho we will stop off at a Basutho village where one can learn more about the life of these very friendly people, in this, one of the world’s poorest countries. Lunch will be at the “highest pub in Africa”, the Sani Top Chalet, for your own account. We will also have some time here to walk along the edge of the escarpment for stunning views into KwaZulu Natal, before descending the pass to Moorcroft Manor. *NB. Warm clothing is a must, no matter the season of the year! You will also need valid passports for the crossing into Lesotho. The ascent of the pass is subject to the prevailing weather conditions.

Day 3: Giants Castle
(Breakfast, Dinner)

After breakfast, we travel to the Giants Castle which is the home of the eland and the majestic bearded vulture and lies in the Central Berg region of the Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park, a World Heritage Site and takes its name from the silhouette of the peaks and escarpment that resemble the profile of a sleeping giant. The camp is situated on a gassy plateau among the deep valleys running down from the face of the High Drakensberg, offering glorious views for hikers and mountain climbers.
This afternoon you are free to explore some of the shorter hikes at your leisure.

Day 4: Giants Castle – Durban
(Breakfast)

This morning after breakfast, we follow the signposted path to the Main Caves and approximately 2,5 km from the hutted camp the path enters a beautiful forest below the cave sandstone overhangs, which shelter the new Bushman museum. Several deep clear pools are to be found in Two Dassie Stream which runs through the forest along this route and swimming is a pleasant activity on a hot day. We continue on up the boardwalk into the Main Caves Bushman Museum. The guide on duty opens the entrance gate and he will give us an interesting talk of the early inhabitants of this area. We leave the museum and head to "Rock 75" which indicates the site of Col. Durnford's camp. It was here that members of the 75th Regiment camped in 1874 during the Langalibalele rebellion. It is believed that during their stay (June-September 1874) the regimental cook carved into this rock the figures "75" indicating that the 75th had occupied the spot. Upon arriving back at the camp we will depart for Durban arriving late afternoon where we drop you off at your overnight accommodation or at the King Shaka International Airport for your flight.

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