Things To Do in Cathedral PeakCathedral Peak Hike
Where? Start and finish at the Cathedral Peak Hotel in the Drakensberg.
When? Please enquire.
How? Call +27 (0)36 488-1888
How much? Price on request
Start: Cathedral Peak Hotel
Finish: Cathedral Peak Hotel
Duration: 19 km, 12+ hours (one very long day, if you make an early start)
Fitness: this is an arduous hike; you need to be very fit
Our tip: remember hats, sunscreen and all-purpose weather clothing; and if in any doubt, rather do the hike with a guide
Hiking up Cathedral Peak is what is termed, in hiker's jargon, as a vertical endeavour. It is not for the faint-hearted and is for seasoned hikers who know the 'berg.
Cathedral Peak is a free standing summit that soars 3005 metres above sea level. Whilst it stands alone it is surrounded by the varied towering peaks of the main Drakensberg escarpment.
Cathedral Peak lies in the Mlambonja and Mdodelelo Wilderness areas. This region is not only regarded as the richest rock art area in the world, with just under 4000 paintings found over 17 sites, but is also home to the Drakensberg's largest indigenous forest.
The path is steep - expect a fair amount of rock scrambling - and there are sections where you walk on knife edge ridges with 360 degree views of the surrounding mountains.
Initially the trail winds through the lower berg, follows the Mhlambonja River for a while past Sherman's Cave before heading along Bugger Gulley and up a formidable ridge (for those breathtaking views) before descending down Bugger Bulley to Orange Peel Gap – regarded as the gateway to the peak.
A short chain ladder, followed by razor edge ridges and some intense scrambling using ropes for safety, takes you onto the summit.
One usually breaks just below the summit, before descending to return more or less along the same path.
You can do this walk guided. Some of the service providers break the hike over two days with an overnight in one of the myriad caves of the area.