Cathedral Peak, Drakensberg
Cathedral Peak Information
Start: Cathedral Peak Hotel
Finish: Cathedral Peak Hotel
Duration: 19 km, 12+ hours (one very long day, if you make an early start)
Fitness: this is an arduous hike; you need to be very fit
Our tip: remember hats, sunscreen and all-purpose weather clothing; and if in any doubt, rather do the hike with a guide
Ntabamabutho (The mountain of the warriors) which we know as Cathedral Peak. Cathedral Peak Hotel is located in one of the most beautiful parts of the Drakensberg, surrounded by mountains on all sides.
Hiking Cathedral Peak
Hiking up Cathedral Peak is what is termed, in hiker’s jargon, as a vertical endeavour. It is not for the faint-hearted and is for seasoned hikers who know the ‘berg.
The Cathedral Peak (3004 metres) was the Mponjwane. The history of the inhabitants of the uKahlamba (barrier of spears) is rich and colourful.
The 19,5 km was grueling…It involved a lot of pain and sweat, and is definitely not for the “first timer”.
The constant changing Panorama leaves you in awe. You have to endure the pain and sweat, in order to scale the grandeur.
The path is steep – expect a fair amount of rock scrambling – and there are sections where you walk on knife edge ridges with 360 degree views of the surrounding mountains.
Initially the trail winds through the lower berg, follows the Mhlambonja River for a while past Sherman’s Cave before heading along Bugger Gulley and up a formidable ridge (for those breathtaking views) before descending down Bugger Bulley to Orange Peel Gap – regarded as the gateway to the peak.
One usually breaks just below the summit, before descending to return more or less along the same path.