THE CRACK AND MUDSLIDE, PLOWMAN’S KOP, Drakensberg

Plowmans Kop, Drakensberg

Start: Mahai camp site, Drakensberg, KwaZulu Natal 
Finish: Mahai camp site 
Duration: 8 km, roughly 5 hours 
Fitness: moderate to difficult 
Our tip: the mudslide is not for children or those with a fear of heights

Combining Plowman’s, the Crack and the Mudslide makes for a day filled with swimming opportunities.

Particularly if it is hot, it is worth remembering that both the detour to Gudu Falls and Ploughman’s Kop jacuzzi-style rock pools offer respite from the heat.

Follow the Gudu Bush route, hiking past Lookout Rock, across the Mai River to Gudu Bush (here one can veer off to the falls).

To continue without the detour take a left before entering the bush, up along the slope of Plowman’s Kop above the Mahai River.

Continue up the valley from Gudu Bush until you reach a path that turns off to the Crack. Roughly 1.2 km. The Crack is literally a schism in the sandstone cliffs.

There is help over the difficult areas via a chain ladder. Once at the top head right towards the top of the Gudu Falls (Ploughman’s Kop rock pools are up here). About 50 metres up, cross the Gudu River.

Head up Plowman’s Kop. The views up here are fantastic and you might want to take a while. Come back by way of the Mudslide from the far corner of Plowman’s Kop.

This gully is the only way down and isn’t called mudslide for nothing. It is very steep and, when wet, can be slippery.

Some suggest climbing up with the Mudslide and descending with the Crack if you do fear heights.

Some might suggest climbing the Mudslide, however it is much easier to do the route with The Crack first.


At the bottom turn right for just short of a kilometre, and then left for an equal distance before crossing a stream. The path now heads left back to Mahai.

Crack & Mudslide Gallery

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