Things To Do in Cathedral PeakRibbon Falls Cave Hike
Where? Cathedral Peak Wilderness Area, Drakensberg
When? By arrangement
How? Call Nico on +27 (0)82 725-8944
How much? Price on request
Start: Cathedral Peak Wilderness Area, northern Drakensberg
Finish: Cathedral Peak
Duration: 3 hours
Fitness: moderate to difficult
Our tip: Ribbon falls waterfall is just 3 km from the Tugela Falls
Ribbon Falls Cave is often used as 'first base' on the hike up to the Amphitheatre from the nature conservation office at the wilderness area, depending on the time of day the group sets out.
To reach the cave takes only a short, but steep, climb of about three hours.
Ribbon Falls Cave is a sandstone overhang, like many of the 'caves' hikers use to sleep in overnight. It is conveniently divided into three areas by the odd boulder that has fallen from the walls and ceiling, which accommodates around six hikers comfortably.
However the best sleeping area is not obvious from the mouth of the cave as it lies to the left of the opening.
Because of its proximity to the conservation office, it is only used as an overnight facility by those setting out fairly late in the day, or those wanting to acclimatise to the Drakensberg.
Ribbon Falls Cave is more often used as a pit stop, or so one gathers from the number of cans, bits of paper and glass that lies in the cave's vicinity. There are those who describe it as unpleasant, and others who regard it as a great warm and safe overnight venue (the discrepancy depends on personal experience).
Ribbon Falls, after which the cave is obviously named, are close by and voted some of the cleanest drinking water in the vicinity. Downstream of the cave are a couple of places to swim, particularly Albert and Doreen Falls.
The cave and waterfall also act as a landmark, for it is the ridge immediately behind the falls that takes one up to the top of the Drakensberg via Organ Pipes Pass.
Conversely one can explore Ribbon Falls waterfall and cave as part of a hike up the Rainbow Gorge, a wonderful combination of water, forest, grasslands and the 'chock-stone' – at the end of the gorge.