KwaZulu Natal Hiking Trails

KwaZulu Natal boasts some of the most spectacular scenery South Africa has to offer which can be traversed on challenging mountain hikes

South Africa Outdoor ActivitiesKwaZulu Natal Hiking Trails

KwaZulu Natal boasts some of the most spectacular scenery South Africa has to offer! From the magical mountain range of The Drakensberg to the Wilderness areas in Maputaland, the endless coastline and the beauty of the Natal Midlands. This beautiful area can be traversed and explored on exhilarating and challenging mountain hikes.

The spectacular Drakensberg trails need to be treated with caution. The weather can change dramatically from one moment to the next and especially if you are at high altitudes the strong winds, mist, snow and extreme cold can arrive unexpectedly. It is of utmost importance that you complete the rescue register in full at any entrance to a Drakensberg area, even if you are only planning on going for a short stroll.

The Drakensberg is however a hikers paradise! Hike through shaded valleys, lush forests, under shimmering waterfalls and over looming mountains. There are so many fascinating landmarks that can be reached with a comfortable walk and the minimum amount of climbing. You even have the awesome opportunity to hike up a mountain and sleep over in the most natural accommodation you will ever stay in: a cave. Many hikes give you the opportunity to hire out a cave for the night so that you can cuddle by the fire whilst sipping on hot chocolate and watching the snow fall lightly on the mountain tops. Breathe in the clean, crisp mountain air as you listen to the sounds of nature.

The Northern Drakensberg offers the Royal Natal National Park. This park contains peaks such as the Amphitheatre, Mont-aux-Sources, the Sentinel, Inner Tower, eastern Buttress and Devil's Tooth. The dome of Mont-aux-Sources, which is 3282 metres high, is the source of five major rivers, including the Tugela which plunges 600 metres over the escarpment in a magnificent waterfall.

There are numerous hikes passing these mountains including Devil's Hoek Valley, Amphitheatre to Cathedral; Mckinley's Pool, Gudu Falls; The Grotto Mont-Aux-Sources via Basutho Gate and The Chain Ladder, Otto's Walk & Bushman Paintings, Tugela Gorge and many more all differing in length / days. The central berg offers hikes such as Blue Pool and Nyosi Grotto, The Cathedral Peak Hike, Ganabu Ridge and Baboon Rock Mlambonja Pass to Twins Cave. All differ in days and scenery. The Southern Drakensberg offers hikes such as Mkomazi Wilderness Area, Kamberg Vergelegen & Sani Pass and Cobham & Garden Castle.

The Elephant Coast boasts the most magnificent coastline and differing terrains. The most popular hikes in this area is the Amanzimnyama Trail, Baya Camp Trail, Bhanga Nek Community Tourism Camp Trails, Blinkwater Trails, Cape Vidal Trails, Dengezi Trail, Gwalagwala Trail, Mbhombe Forest Trail, Mziki Trail and Ndumu Game Reserve Trail. All hiking trails offer spectacular scenery and vary in length to suit any level of hiker.

Known as a World Heritage Site, St Lucia Wetland Park is one of the jewels of the South African coastline. It boasts 328 000 hectares of pristine natural ecosystems including swamps, lake systems, beaches, coral reefs, wetlands, woodlands and coastal forests. The park’s wide variety of ecosystems and natural habitats provides for an astounding diversity of species in the area. St Lucia: Msiki Trail, Mfasana Pan, Uvumbo Trail, The Gwalagwala Trail, Emoyeni Trail, Mpophomeni Trail, Dugandlovu Trail and Mt Tabor are all fantastic hiking trails in this exquisite area and offer amazing views and scenery of the park.

Be sure to go hiking in one of the most magnificent provinces in South Africa! KwaZulu Natal boasts the most scenic and beautiful hikes you will ever experience and you will find that Hotels in KwaZulu Natal are plentiful and generally offer a high standard of accommodation coupled with concierge services that can advise you on the best hikes and trails in the region.

Popular Hiking Trails in KwaZulu Natal

Amphitheatre Heritage Trail

Where? Bergville
The Amphitheatre extends five kilometres, its sheer cliffs rising 1 220 metres along its length forming an imposing and solid wall. It extends between the Tugela Valley to the Lesotho plateau nearly 3 000 metres above sea level and the world...

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Igwala Gwala Forest Trail

Where? St Lucia
Known colloquially as 'lovers' lane' because of the otherworldliness of the self-guided trail, Igwala Gwala Forest Trail is named after the purple crested turaco, because of its prevalence in the forest. The trail starts along the main road of...

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Umhlanga Lagoon Hiking Trail

Where? Umhlanga
This walk to the lagoon is an ideal weekend outing. Not only is it not difficult or long, and a great way to get everyone out of doors, but the trail is also right on the edge of Umhlanga so easy to get to. Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve is...

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Primitive Trail

Where? Hluhluwe
Join the Primitive Trail in Hluhluwe for a fun, exhilarating and challenging hiking experience. Backpack for three or four nights and make the most of the trail and the game reserve. Get in touch with nature and enjoy camping under the stars with...

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Did you know?

Please remember to always carry some communication device with you so that you can be in contact with emergency services, family or the managers of the reserve in which you are hiking.

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