About Ledges Cave Hike

Start: Mnweni and Cathedral Peak, northern Drakensberg
Finish: Mnweni valley
Fitness: moderate to difficult
Our tip: the source of the Orange river often freezes during winter; take extra water

Ledges cave is set in an overhang about 100 feet below the escarpment top close to Mnweni Pass. It thus gives some of the most spectacular views of the 'berg, and is not a popular cave, because of its inaccessibility.

It is used on the Northern Drakensberg Traverse, a hike over six days that overnights in either Ledges Cave or Mponjwane Cave on the Mubundini Abbey to Ledges Cave day of the hike (usually around day three).

Ledges cave lies close to and below the source of the Orange River, a plateau of such dramatic scenery that often hikers use the following day to explore the plateau, instead of another leg of the hike.

Walks from the cave can head to the top of the Mnweni pass for views out over the Mnweni Pinnacles, or to the Rockeries pass, with views across to the Saddle. Vultures use the upper ledges of the escarpment face as a perch, which makes it interesting up here.

Those who have slept in both Ledges and Mponjwana caves vote Ledges best for the drama – the views are difficult to beat (overlooking the Mnweni Cuback and valley) and the descent from the edge of the escarpment is pretty hairy. You sleep moments from the edge of the cliff.

It is not for the faint of heart, neither is it advisable to try and reach the cave during wet or windy conditions. In mist, finding the top of the gully is very difficult.

A sleep in the cave during bad weather is inadvisable anyway because of its inadequate shelter.

Need to Know

WhereStart at Mnweni and Cathedral Peak, northern Drakensberg and finish in the Mnweni valley.

WhenBest during daylight hours

How muchPrices on request.

OvernightThe closest town is Mweni Valley, in KwaZulu Natal


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