About Thamathu Pass Hike

Start: Bushman's Nek border post
Finish: Bushman's Nek border post
Duration: roughly 25 km; a there-and-back hike
Fitness: moderate
Our tip: There are those who regard Thamathu as the easiest pass in the Drakensberg, probably because this part of the 'berg has a less defined escarpment edge

Usually the descent of the Grand Traverse, Thamathu Pass can function as a stand-alone hike for those not after anything terribly strenuous, other than a climb (for it is still a climb, despite being the most uncomplicated route onto the escarpment).

Take the path right up the ridge from Bushman's Nek border post to Thamathu Cave, an 8 km journey that is also steep. From the cave to the top of Thamathu Pass is a further 3 km and you will gain an altitude of 300 metres (so it can feel a lot longer, if you are not fit).

There is a relatively well-defined path from Thamathu Cave along the ridge to the slopes of the escarpment, after which the path flattens out for a kilometre and rounds a bulge. Before you, rather abruptly, lies Lesotho.

You can overnight in Thamathu Cave, which is cavernous, has a lawn outside on which to unwind, and a river that runs alongside it. The rest of the ridge is exposed and not good for overnighting in tents, but you can camp on the escarpment.

Head back down the way you came up.

Need to Know

WhereStart and finish at the Bushman's Nek border post, Bushmans Nek Valley, Drakensberg, KwaZulu Natal

WhenBest during daylight hours.

How muchPrices on request.

OvernightThe closest town is Bushmans Nek Valley, in KwaZulu Natal

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