Hiking in the Drakensberg
(These are strenuous hikes)
Our Wingswept Trail is approximately 13km long. Starting from the Zonderntwyfel Barn house, the trail takes the hiker to the highest point of Vergezient and offers some incredible views of the surrounding mountains. From here a dragon-back dolerite ridge leads to Protea Pavement with close-up views of two landmarks: The Kerkenberg and Mpokelana Hill. Lower down an enormous rock, one of Wingswept’s photographic delights, marks the Place of the Hyena. The trail then descends through the beautiful Oom Pieters se Bos. From the forest you will hike along Western Pass Kloof which is easy going. From here the trail continues to Abseil Kranz, over which plummets the 50m high Vergezient Falls. There is a short cliff edge walk before circling back to the hike starting point.
The New Beginnings Trail is 13.5km long and as with Wingswept, begins and ends at the Barn house. lt descends to the very bottom end of the land, marked by one of Vergezient’s most spectacular physical features, The New Beginnings Cave. From the Barn house, the trail follows the cliff edge westwards to Yellowwood Kloof where it drops to the second terrace and to Folly Ridge Falls. A steep zigzagging kloofing section leads to the Old Opstal, an old house built over a century ago and an appealing photographic subject. The trail pick up on an old road which is an easy walk to The Ford, where the Vergezient Stream is crossed with natural splash pools. From here, a short but narrow steep natural passage will take you to the New Beginnings Cave where panels of Bushman art testify to Stone Age use. From the cave starts the long ascent back to the Barn house. The natural staircase to the top takes in two kloofs – the first, at Vergezient Falls with our largest natural pool. Beyond the pool the trail tunnels through dense vegetation along the base of the cliffs before climbing out to above the waterfall. The final kloof is a steep but more or less straight forward bouldering ascent which ends up on a grassy ridge close to the Barn house.
Dumbe Hiking Trail Not for the faint hearted, covering 14 kilometers and 400 meters in elevation, which is part of the famous “Dumbe Trail Run” will certainly not disappoint the single track lover, leading hikers along breathtaking paths. Hikers start off with a steady climb along a ridgeline to the highest point of the day, providing stunning panoramic views of the Central and Northern Drakensberg. Unsurpassed views of the Amphitheatre will continue to mesmerise hikers as they drop steadily down Dragon’s Spine towards Oom Pieter se Bos, a magical forest section. Spectacular views of the Drakensberg and Maluti Mountains remains a focal point as the road
winds on along the lower ridges towards Vergezient Falls. Hikers work their way around the Lost Pools to the beautiful Picnic Rock before a steep ascend up the Cattle Pass takes them to Old Trails View along the beautiful escarpment and back to the race village. http://dumbetrailrun.co.za/
Three Hour Rambles
Razor’s Edge – Please note that certain parts of this trail have become inaccessible so please discuss this with reception. This trail drops down from the Barn house into Vergezient Kloof from where it traverses across steep slopes arriving at Razor’s Edge. On steep slopes, views and highlights of The Wall (a smooth cliff with a bridal fall that drops over the cliff edge into the forest below) and Cussonia Quad(where Keipersol species are represented). Turning north the trail follows the edge of the escarpment and looks into Kwa-Zulu Natal. Further on, at Old Trail’s View, the wagon route pioneered by Piet Retief’s Voortrekkers in 1838 can be seen. From here the trail cuts across Lightfoot Ridge, an easy walk back.
Dragon’s Spine provides hikers with an easy walk. Hugging cliff edges, the trail repeatedly dips into a yellowwood forest before ascending gradually to Heldersig viewpoint with its stunning views in every direction.
Our Easy Strolls
Cliff Edge: This provides a bird’s eye view of indigenous forests and the Berg, and is ideal for the early morning, or late afternoon. You might even see some of the beautiful . This walk is also suitable for children.
Homefields: Rewarding, especially at sunrise. It offers views deep into KwaZulu-Natal. With the seasonal splendour of the Silver Sugarbush Proteas and an abundance of bird life including Sunbirds.
Heldersig: This leads to the highest point on the Dragon’s Spine. At the summityou can just about see forever. A stunning 360 panorama of Kwazulu Natal and the Orange Freestate. Keep an eye out for the famous Black Eagles soaring nearby.