KwaZulu-Natal
Hiking

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Our most recommended KwaZulu-Natal Hiking

Drakensberg Giants Castle Cave Art & Mandela Capture Site

1. Drakensberg Giants Castle Cave Art & Mandela Capture Site

The tour starts off with a visit to Pietermaritzburg, the capital of KwaZulu-Natal. Stop at Pietermaritzburg's City Hall, which claims to be the largest brick building in the southern hemisphere. Visit the Gandhi statue also before heading towards the Drakensberg mountains and Giants Castle Reserve. Giant's Castle is situated on a grassy plateau among the deep valleys running down from the face of the High Drakensberg, offering glorious views. At Giants Castle reserve, there is a large sandstone cave containing prehistoric San rock art. The San and Khoekhoe people were hunters and gatherers who roamed South Africa for thousands of years. This cave is one of the biggest and best-preserved painted sites in southern Africa. This cave is an easy 30 minutes’ walk from the camp office and regular guided tours are taken through this unique exhibition. A visit to Giant's Castle offers the privilege of entering the world of the San as well as the opportunity to study a varied and exciting range of habitats. From there, head to the small town of Howick and visit its waterfall. Howick Falls is approximately 95m in height and lies on the Umgeni River. The Zulu people called the falls KwaNogqaza, which means "Place of the Tall One".   Then visit the Nelson Mandela Capture Site Statue and Apartheid Museum. The Nelson Mandela sculpture comprises of 50 steel column constructions, each between 6.5m and 9.5m tall, set into the Midlands landscape. The approach to the site leads you down a path towards the sculpture where, at 35 meters, a portrait of Nelson Mandela, looking west, comes into focus. The 50 linear vertical units, line up to create the illusion of a flat image. The museum is dedicated to Nelson Mandela’s life and his struggle against Apartheid. After the tour, head back to Durban by late afternoon.

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Drakensberg World Heritage Tour

2. Drakensberg World Heritage Tour

The Bushman cave paintings are almost as old as humanity itself. They date back 2,000 years and are a fascinating look into the history and culture of the Bushmen or San people of South Africa. This full-day sightseeing heritage tour goes through the Drakensberg mountain range, a full 3-kilometer round trip hike. The cave paintings can be seen in the World Heritage Site Giant’s Castle. After the hike enjoy a hearty, well-earned lunch, which is included in the tour. On the return to Durban, visit the Nelson Mandela Capture Site, a significant monument that marks an important moment in South African history. Today it is commemorated as a world-class sculpture, in memory of Nelson Mandela and his heroic role in the struggle against apartheid.

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Drakensberg Kamberg Cave Art & Mandela Capture Site Day Tour

3. Drakensberg Kamberg Cave Art & Mandela Capture Site Day Tour

Your tour starts off with a visit to Pietermaritzburg, the capital of KwaZulu-Natal. There you will stop at Pietermaritzburg's City Hall, which claims to be the largest brick building in the southern hemisphere. Visit the Gandhi statue before heading towards the Drakensberg mountains. Your main stop is Kamberg Nature Reserve which forms part of the Maloti- Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site and is situated centrally in the foothills of the mountains. The reserve was proclaimed in 1951 and is 6,300 ha in extent. This reserve is particularly scenic, with many walks throughout the area. The natural landscape has many rock shelters, containing San rock paintings. These were created by the San people over a period of at least 4,000 years. The rock paintings are outstanding in quality and diversity representing the spiritual life of the San people who no longer live in the region. From there, head to the small town of Howick and visit its waterfall. Howick Falls is approximately 95m high and lies on the Umgeni River. The Zulu people called the falls KwaNogqaza, which means "Place of the Tall One".   We visit the Nelson Mandela Capture Site Statue and Apartheid Museum. The Nelson Mandela sculpture comprises of 50 steel column constructions – each between 6.5m and 9.5m tall – set into the Midlands landscape. The approach to the site leads you down a path towards the sculpture where, at 35 meters, a portrait of Nelson Mandela, looking west, comes into focus. The 50 linear vertical units, line up to create the illusion of a flat image. The museum is dedicated to Nelson Mandela’s life and his struggle against Apartheid.

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From Durban: Oribi Gorge & Lake Eland Adventure Private Tour

4. From Durban: Oribi Gorge & Lake Eland Adventure Private Tour

The first stop will be a visit to the Leopard's Rock which is set on a rocky incline with sweeping views over the majestic Mzimkhulu River Gorge. You'll then visit the Oribi Gorge Nature Reserve which is a wonderfully scenic area offering excellent hiking opportunities. The wildlife in the Oribi Gorge consists of many antelope, although the oribi (after which the gorge is named) is rarely seen. A photographer's paradise, Oribi Gorge Nature Reserve encompasses forests, rivers, rapids and ravine. High sandstone cliffs dominate this 24 kilometers long gorge carved out by the Umzimkulwana River. Leopards, troops of baboons, various small antelope and a prolific birdlife, including five species of kingfisher and seven species of eagle inhabit the reserve. Activities at Oribi Gorge include the Wild Swing and the Wild Slide. The Wild Swing is one of the most popular big swings in South Africa and the highest in the world. It entails a heart-stopping leap off the top of the waterfall that leaves you swinging more than 100 meters to the gorge below. You can take a walk on the suspension bridge which is 48 meters – a spectacular opportunity to be suspended between heaven and terra firma, as you hover 100 meters above the gorge floor enjoying views of Lehr’s Waterfall, Baboon’s Castle and the World’s Highest Gorge Swing. Professional instructors are available to assist with all activities and the highest safety standards are adhered to. All safety equipment, including full-body harnesses, is provided.

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St Lucia: Sapphire Falls Hike with Cruise and Creole Lunch

5. St Lucia: Sapphire Falls Hike with Cruise and Creole Lunch

Set sail on a catamaran to Soufriere and enjoy a guided hike to Sapphire Falls. Then, experience the flavors of St. Lucia with a Creole buffet lunch before stopping for a swim in the crystal waters along the coast. Start your hike at Morne Coubaril Estate and pass by a replica Carib village and the historic plantation house dating back to the 18th century. With your experienced guide, follow the trail into the lush tropical rainforest with mineral streams and pools. Then, arrive at Sapphire Falls and capture incredible photos of this 35-foot waterfall. Take in the stunning views and recover your strength with some refreshing seasonal fruit. Once you return to the Morne Coubaril Estate, sit down for a Creole buffet lunch at the plantation house. Enjoy fresh ingredients with vegetables grown on the estate followed by dessert. Board the catamaran and sail along the coast. Admire the beautiful views of the island before stopping for a swim or snorkel. See the famous Marigot Bay, St. Lucia's hurricane haven featured in movies like "Pirates of the Caribbean" and "Doctor Dolittle." As the day winds down, dance to some of the Caribbean's latest songs before returning to the docks in the evening.

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iSimangaliso: Guided Walking Safari

6. iSimangaliso: Guided Walking Safari

After meeting your guide at the St Lucia Crocodile Centre, you'll begin your 2.5-hour tour of the famous iSimangaliso Wetland Park. iSimangaliso Wetland Park is a sprawling collection of stunningly-preserved natural ecosystems that span over 1,200 square miles; the park is centered around the vast Lake St Lucia, where you’ll have the change to see hippos, crocodiles, pelicans, and flamingos. After learning about crocodile breeding, feeding, anatomy, general ecology, and distribution, you’ll head off across trails through the game park with your expert ecologist guide. Take in information about the park’s famous residents, like blue wildebeest, zebra, impala, and waterbuck.  Continuing into the wilderness, become one with nature as you walk through picturesque trails. Common animal sightings include the red and grey duiker, waterbuck, impala, wildebeest, zebra, warthog, reedbuck, chameleon, and on very special occasions, leopard and hyena. Afterwards, you’ll head back to the starting point, having been enriched by the beauty of South Africa’s diverse ecosystems.

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Durban: Drakensberg Rock Art & Mandela Capture Site Tour

7. Durban: Drakensberg Rock Art & Mandela Capture Site Tour

Get picked up bright and early at your hotel at 6 AM and start your trip toward the mountains. Make your way to Kamberg, part of the Northern Drakensberg mountain range and home to the Rosetta Stone of SAN (Bushman) rock art. Upon arrival, meet your anthropologist guide, Dr Jeremy Hollmann, a specialist in early civilization rock art in Southern Africa, and watch an introductory video to understand the context of the people who inhabited this area. Then, follow Dr. Hollmann through the rugged terrain all the way up to Game Pass Shelter where he will delve deeper into the anthropology of the SAN people. There are several spots along the way which he will bring to life with historical anecdotes and anthropological theories. At Game Pass Shelter, take in the mystery of Bushman rock art, and explore theories and beliefs that underpin the art and culture of the SAN/Bushmen of Southern Africa. Tuck into lunch at the Nottingham Road Brewery (at your own expense), and try out the local craft beer, if you like. Thereafter, continue along the Midlands Meander and visit the internationally acclaimed Ardmore Ceramics. Watch the ceramicists at work when the studios are open, and maybe even buy a keepsake. Your penultimate stop is at the iconic Nelson Mandela Capture Site for a peek into South Africa's notorious history and a bucket list photograph. Finish your tour witnessing the water gushing or trickling down (depending on the time of year) at Howick Falls as it flows into the Umgeni River. Finally, head back to Durban with your expected time of arrival set for 7 PM.

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Durban: Mandela Capture Site & Howick Falls Private Day Trip

8. Durban: Mandela Capture Site & Howick Falls Private Day Trip

Start your tour at Pietermaritzburg, the capital of KwaZulu-Natal. Move on to the Mandela Capture Site, where Nelson Mandela was captured and sent into his incarceration. Head to Howick Falls, otherwise known as the place of the tall one. The waterfall is a 95 meter cascade into a broiling restless pool that the locals believe to be the place of the spirits of ancestor. To end the tour, visit the Valley of a Thousand Hills to experience and be mesmerized by the Zulu Culture and Zulu dancing at Phezulu Cultural Village and Reptile Park. Venture into traditional Zulu beehive–shaped thatched huts and learn about various artefacts, beliefs and rituals. Finish your tour with a visit to the Reptile Park where a qualified park guide will intrigue you with interesting facts about the resident crocodiles and snakes.

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Sani Pass and Mokhotlong in Two Days

9. Sani Pass and Mokhotlong in Two Days

Day One:  Depart from Underberg, or be collected along the route, in a 4x4 vehicle and travel via the Sani Pass, with a stop for early tea at Sani Top Chalet. Travel up Black Mountain Pass for a short walk to a vantage point to view Thabana Ntlenyana, the highest peak in Southern Africa at 3482 meters. Continue on to Mokhotlong via the stunningly beautiful Sehonghong Valley and stop at 10 Riverside for an ethnic Basotho experience, including a visit to the Ngaka, a traditional healer, and the artifact house. Afterward, go to Mokhotlong for dinner and your overnight stay. Day Two:  After breakfast, drive through Mokhotlong, which was once billed as the most remote village in the British Empire. Stop for a short walk down the main road to view the rare Spiral Aloe, the National plant of Lesotho. Travel to St James Mission to see the fascinating ceiling of their church. Drive back up the Sehonghong Valley, looking for the rare Bearded Vulture on the route. Reach Sani Top and go for lunch at the Sani Top Chalet before descending the Sani Pass back to Underberg.

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Lesotho: Sani Pass One Night Special

10. Lesotho: Sani Pass One Night Special

Day One:  Meet at 9:00 AM or be collected from your accommodation. Depart at 9:30 AM and trek for approximately two and a half hours to reach the summit, a grand 2874 meters above sea level. Stop at breathtaking lookouts and border posts. Once at the top, visit a living Basotho Village. Here, your experienced mountain guide will teach you about Lesotho and the hardy mountainous Basotho folk. After this interesting cultural experience, drive back to Sani Mountain Lodge, which is the highest pub in Africa, for lunch at your expense. Then enjoy a night at the Lodge for dinner, bed, and breakfast.  Choose to go horse riding or for a guided walk in the mountains in the afternoon or on the following morning. The Lodge will make all the necessary arrangements for you. Day Two: Meet at the Sani Top Chalet at 1:30 PM for lunch at your own cost. Head back down to the famous Sani Pass and arrive in Underberg around 4:30 PM. 

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What people are saying about KwaZulu-Natal

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 8 reviews

Fascinating ecxperience

I was so lucky as I could see beautiful hilly areas and meadows, and unusual shaped mountains. I am from a country with a lot of monotonous mountains and small area of flat land, so seeing such a huge, endless spreading of greenish hills and mountains was breath-taking. San Tribe's paining on walls of caves was also so much interesting. The guide was so nice, Colin, he was so humble and well known about the areas so deep. Although it was over three hours drive one way, I enjoyed myself very much. If you love truly fresh air and walk among meadows and paths with full range of flowers and interesting in ancient human paintings, Drakensburg is the MUST.

I had a really awesome day and Ndu Nene was professional &informativei

My trip was a very interesting and fun one . Ndu Nene tour guide was jolly person and he taught us many interesting things.

Beautiful landscape and hike. Driving overland with real African village life

nice day trip, lots of driving but really worth it.