Things To Do in MatatieleMehloding Hiking Trail
Where? Start just beyond the village of Mataliele in the Drakensberg.
When? Daylight hours.
How? Call +27 (0)39 737-3289
How much? Price on request
Start: just beyond the village of Matatiele
Finish: Qacha's Nek border post
Duration: 60 km trail, 1 – 4 days
Fitness: relatively fit
Walking in amongst the peaks of the Twins, Makalane and Three Sisters in hills desolate but for herdsmen, with no neatly marked trails, is the gist of the Mehloding trail.
This Fairtrade, award-winning trail offers between one and four days of hiking in the southern Drakensberg on the borders of Lesotho, the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.
It is a slackpack, local community hike that provides the hiker with overnight stays in traditional huts that sleep 12 with hot showers and flushing toilets. Your meals are cooked for you, and bedding and towels are supplied.
The hike is ideal for families or for those not keen on a tough hike. And by paying a little extra per day you get your luggage carried for you from hut to hut.
The cost of the hike is reasonable and there are other options like a weekend trail, or a self-catering option. You can even do the trail on horseback.
Despite the allusion to 'trail' you do not in fact follow one. Most of the hike is across the veld, not on a footpath of any kind. But the guides grew up around Matatiele.
Every night is spent in different huts – their names all beginning with the letter M - Malekhalonyane, Makhulong, Machekong and Madlangala - all fully equipped, except for electricity.
Breakfasts and dinners are traditional and fit for a king, but it is not a pamper trail. Over four days you walk over 60 km with the average day's walk between 12 km and 20 km.
The trail leads over the mountains into Lesotho through mountainous foothills and rural villages through parts of the southern Drakensberg seldom explored. Local communities, traditional culture, warm showers and African cuisine make this hike far more than simply a trail through a natural heritage.