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Hiking, Biking & Nature Holidays in a World Heritage Site

In the eastern part of South Africa a lengthy volcanic spine of escarpment lies in prehistoric slumber, a magical place that has drawn humans to its peaks and crevices for hundreds of years. Rising to over 3000m, the Drakensberg mountain range is a super-sized playground of lofty terrain for hikers, climbers, photographers, birders and active families.

The Drakensberg, which quite literally means the Dragon's Mountain, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, having qualified in 2000 for both its natural and cultural wonders. Most of the range encompasses the well managed uKhahlamba Drakensberg National Park which falls under the auspices and protection of Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife.

The range is made up primarily of sandstone with a chunky basalt cap. Centuries of wind, rain, sun, snow and ice took its toll on the basalt, forming the iconic steep-sided blocks and pinnacles of the range that attract visitors from all over the world. Brilliant green in summer and faded khaki in winter, the Drakensberg encompass sweeping grasslands that rise up into steep crevices dark with indigenous forest.

Culturally speaking, with over 40 000 individual paintings and over 550 sites to view San rock art, the Drakensberg are a literal outdoor gallery. It is fascinating to see how history is painted on to the sides of caves that were once homes to the San and due to the process of weathering over time - these paintings will not be here forever.

The Drakensberg Mountains are also the source of the Tugela River. Originating in the Northern Drakensberg, the river rushes into the spectacular Tugela Falls which drops 943m from the top of the Amphitheatre. Reputedly the second highest waterfall in the world, Active Escapes has designed a slackpacking trail which takes you right to the top of the mighty falls without having to be an extreme mountaineer.

While March to May is the best time for overnight hiking using caves and tents, the rest of the year is made perfectly comfortable with Active Escapes slackpacking options. To find out more about slackpacking click here. While we're well versed on where to stay in the Drakensberg, Active Escapes also offer horse back riding, trout fishing, birding, mountain biking, trail running and guided photography orientated walks.

Active Escape's offers the full spectrum of hiking trails in the uKhahlamba Drakensberg. Enjoy the freedom of walking with a small daypack & overnighting in comfy lodges on our Slackpacking tours or join an experienced mountain guide on a multi-day high berg trek.


  • >sunrise from Rolands Cave, Central Drakensberg

    Take on this 5 Day High Berg challenge from the Sentinel to Cathedral Peak Hotel via the famous Bell Traverse. Sleeping in tents and caves, this is a hike for the fit and adventurous.

    A 3 Day hiking trail in the lower foothills of the Southern Berg. With comfy farmstays, catering & luggage support - this is a good friend and family hike for novice-intermed hikers.
  • climbing up the chainladders to see the top of Tugela FallsAMPHITHEATRE TRAIL
    The only 'slackpacking' trail that will take you to the summit of the High Berg, with the luxury of porters, mountain lodges and catering all taken care of.
  • colourful mountain chalets on the Maluti Hiking TrailMALUTI HIKING TRAIL
    Embark on a path of diverse natural and cultural heritage on this community owned fair trade hiking trail in the beautiful Maluti Mountains, near Matatiele.

Drakensberg - Tour Packages


Tugela Falls - 2nd highest waterfall in the world

Summit the Escarpment in Style

Hike to the 'Roof of Africa' and source of the Tugela, where you will stand atop the second highest waterfall in the world. Previously only attainable to experienced mountaineers, we offer a guided slackpacking trail where you can overnight in comfy mountain lodges, have your meals catered & backpack portered.

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snow drakensberg

Luxury Hiking Trail in Southern Berg

Can't face the thought of schleping a heavy backpack or eating toppers and smash? Your idea of hiking involves log fires with a glass of red, a comfy bed, and enough time each day to smell the flowers along the way?  Then the three-day Giants Cup Slackpacker should be right up your alley.

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Community-Owned & Fair Trade

Discover a trail of diverse natural and cultural heritage on this fair trade hike. Traversing the mountainous foothills of the southern Maluti's you'll visit ancient rock-art, learn about medicinal plants and share in local traditions along the way. Overnight in comfortable mountain chalets with delicious meals prepared by your friendly host.

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High Berg Vistas & Sublime Singletrack

Looking for a guided MTB tour with sublime single-track, majestic mountain views, fully catered comfy lodgings, and close enough away for a weekend getaway?  The Northern Berg offers the perfect playground with tour options tailored to suite all level of riders and their families.

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New Slackpacker in the Central Berg

This is a trail for fit hikers, who prefer to travel light & sleep comfy. It would also make a good trail run. Starting at Monks Cowl & finishing at Injisuithi Reserve, with a day's hike to the magnificent Marble Bath's, this 2-3 day trail can be done over a long weekend.

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Red Earth Trail Blazing

Cathedral Peak and Champagne Valley are becoming increasingly popular with mountain bikers, with routes linking the Berg to Bush. Using single-track created by the legendary MTB race, you can ride from the top of Oliviershoek to the flat crowns of Spioenkop in a day of blissful descent.

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