Things To Do in Cathedral PeakNdumeni Caves Hike
Where? Start and finish in the Cathedral Peak Wilderness, northern Drakensberg.
When? Please enquire.
How? Call +27 (0)36 488-1880
How much? Price on request
Start: Cathedral Peak Wilderness, northern Drakensberg
Finish: Cathedral Peak
Fitness: moderate to difficult
Our tip: these caves, for there are 2 of them, are also known as the lower Ndumeni caves, whilst the Ndumeni dome caves are known as the upper caves
The Ndumeni caves lie in the dip between the top of the Organ Pipes Pass, and the Thuthumi Pass.
They are often used as an overnight stay by those hiking in the area on, for example, the Cathedral Peak Two Passes hike or the Bell Traverse.
This area – the top of Organ Pipes and Thuthumi Passes – is reputed to have a fair amount of smuggling activity, and the caves can provide a good alternative to tenting, where one is a lot more exposed to the elements and smugglers (best to do this as part of a fairly big group).
Hikers regard Organ Pipes Pass as the easiest pass in the Cathedral Peak area, as it gets hikers up and onto the escarpment fast enough for weekend hikes, if you start at the top of Mike's Pass and forego the pleasure of hiking there (5 km and 500 metres in elevation).
The lower Ndumeni Caves lie roughly 25 metres apart, about 50 metres down Thuthumi Pass. Another overnight alternative is Roland's Cave, on the edge of the escarpment above Thuthumi Pass, but the narrow ledge into the cave makes it a little daunting for some hikers.
Otherwise, there are camping spots on the escarpment itself.
The caves easily accommodate three people in each, particularly during the dry season.
And a short walk from the caves will bring you to wider views of the escarpment.