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4 Day/ 5 Night Slackpacking Trail - Maluti Southern Drakensberg

Traversing the mountainous foothills of the southern Drakensberg on the cusp of the Eastern Cape, KZN and southern Lesotho, the Maluti Trail is a successful community-owned trail into this lesser known part of the Ukhahlamba Drakensberg National Park.

This 4 day/ 5 night trail explores the diverse natural and cultural heritage of this corner of the Maloti-Drakensberg World Heritage Site. On the trail you'll hike along mountainous foothills passing through friendly rural villages, taking in visits to ancient rock-art sites, fording mountain streams, learning about medicinal plants and local culture.

Each night you'll be welcomed by your chalet host into a clean and comfortable trail hut where hot showers, fresh linen and a delicious meal prepared with locally grown vegetables await. The hike is guided by a professionally trained and qualified community guide, and luggage transfers from one chalet to the next can easily be arranged for those who don't wish to carry more than a light daypack.


Trip Duration Standard Hike: 4 Hike Days/ 4 Nights
* Can be customised to fewer days on request
Daily Distances Day 1: 14km/ 6hr      Day 2: 19.5km / 8hr
Day 3: 13km /7hr      Day 4: 12km /6hr      
Trail Grading  
Physical Fitness Grade 3.5 – Relatively long distances on some of the days requires a good level of physical fitness.
Technicality Grade 1-2 – some river crossing / negotiation required
Trail Terrain Mountainous foothills of the Maluti Mountains (classified as 'Little berg'). A fair degree of ascent & descent each day - undulating trail, passing through rural mountain villages, grasslands & indigenous forest.
Accommodation 4 Nights accommodation in well looked after mountain trail chalets. Communal bathrooms & dining area. Not guaranteed own room, may need to share 4-persons to a room depending on group size.
Logistic Support This is a fully guided & catered trail:
* Vehicle luggage transfers can be arranged on request
* Start & End point transfers can be easily arranged
Tour Highlights Authentic cultural exchange, quality guiding, warm local hospitality, supporting a fair-trade tourism product, spectacular mountain scenery & views in an area that's off the well-trodden tourist path. A great value-for-money hike.
Other Activities Birding, Horse-Riding, San Rock Art, visit to Sangoma & Herbalists, flyfishing in mountain streams.
* This trail can also be mountain biked - see Maluti Cycle Tour
Fauna & Flora Drakensberg Montane Grasslands, Yellowood forests (Podocarpus, stinkwood, white candlewood, red pear and assegai trees), Protea Banks and ancient cycads & ferns. Baboons, Eland, Mountain Reedbuck, Grey Rhebok & a number of endemic bird species.
Climate Summer (Nov -May) is wetter and warm, with most rain falling during Oct -Mar. Daily temps can climb to 25 - 30 deg C & rain falls mainly as afternoon thunderstorms. Winter (June to Oct) consists of mainly dry, sunny, clear, crisp days with daytime temp's avg 15-20 deg C & night-time temp's regularly dropping to zero or below.
Seasonality & Best Time Year

All year round. In Summer it is wise to make the most of the mornings, and presume afternoons will be wet. Whilst days are shorter in winter because the weather is more stable, the whole day can usually be used for hiking. Spring & summer are the best months for wild flowers.

Availability: All year round
Group Size Minimum 2 persons & maximum 14 persons.
** Please still enquire if you a larger group as a plan can be made. Also if you are a single - we will check if there are other trips scheduled.
Price / PP 5 Day / 4 Nights / 4 Hike Days: R3600/pp
Price Includes  Includes:
  • 4 Nights Accommodation in Mountain Chalets
  • All Meals: 4 Dinner, 4 Breakfast & Packed Lunch on all hike days
  • Hot showers, linen and towels provided at all trail chalets
  • Qualified Hiking Guide for all trail days
Extra's /Optional:
  • Transfer from Matatiele @ R1500 per group (up to 7 persons)
  • Daily Luggage Support @ R1500/ per group
  • Secure Parking at R20/day

colourfully painted mountain chalets - Drakensberg accommodation which is clean, comfortable, hot showers & mountain views
The three sisters mountain range on the Mehloding Maluti Drakensberg Mountain Hikng Trail