Things To Do in Cathedral PeakShermans Cave Hike
Where? Start in Cathedral Peak, Drakensberg, KwaZulu Natal
When? Booking is essential.
How? Call KZN Wildlife on +27 (0)33 845-1002
How much? Price on request
Start: Cathedral Peak, central Drakensberg
Finish: Cathedral Peak
Duration: roughly 3 km
Fitness: moderate to difficult
Our tip: there is water close to the cave
One of very few caves in the Drakensberg that is easy to reach, Sherman cave is not only popular, but serves as a really good first-night base from which to attempt Cathedral Peak.
Some people use it to overnight both before, and after, scaling the peak, depending on the weather.
It is also used on the Drakensberg Traverse hike, as well as other hikes in the area (so can be double-booked as a result; have an alternative plan, such as Bell Cave or Barker's chalet cave).
You will find the cave roughly 3 km into the classic route to Cathedral peak that starts at the roadside signpost and heads up the Mhlambonja River - a short and rather energetic start to the hike as it gains 500 metres in altitude.
Sherman's Cave, when you reach it, lies above you to your left.
It is a deep cave with a low overhang, that easily sleeps 10 hikers as most of the floor is level, even if the roof is low enough to have to stoop (for this reason it also offers good shelter from the rain).
It is a good place to overnight as the views of the mountain scenery are spectacular, and the initial leg to get there works as a warm-up to the day ahead.
It also lies close to where the path ascends onto the Little 'berg plateau, and is a good place to fill water bottles before heading up the ridge to Orange Peel Gap.
Shermans cave, because of where it lies, is exposed both to wind and the 'traffic' of passersby. At certain times of year, when the peak is popular to climb, you would get more privacy in an alternative cave or in a tent.