Destinations Magazine

A Hike to Mafadi, the Highest Peak in South Africa - February 2011

By Spanafrican

A hike to Mafadi, the highest peak in South Africa - February 2011

Sabine and Herbie on the summit. At 3450m, Mafadi is the highest peak in South Africa


Sabine and Herbier from Holland have done some interesting and serious treks in the Andes and Jordan, and were eager to experience the Drakensberg during their visit to South Africa in March. Not surprisingly they were fit and were up for a serious challenge.
Mafadi, at 3450m, is the highest peak in South Africa. It’s really just another round dome shared with Lesotho but it’s the getting there that makes it a fantastic hike. What it so special is the remoteness and the fact that getting there, is challenging. The 4-day trip starts at Injisuthi Camp, one of my favourite spots in the Berg. The elevation at that point is 1450m, 2000m below the peak. While there’s a lot of climbing which isn’t easy with a heavy pack the views are something else. I think you will find that the pictures speak for themselves.
If you would like to do this hike contact us at info@spanafrican-adventures.co.za or have a look at our website www.spanafrican-adventures.co.za for other exciting options.

A hike to Mafadi, the highest peak in South Africa - February 2011

The ever cheerful Sabine and Herbie - We had lots in common including our backpacks


A hike to Mafadi, the highest peak in South Africa - February 2011

Our first campsite by the Centenary Hut. It had been raining most of the night but it looked as though it could clear up for us.


A hike to Mafadi, the highest peak in South Africa - February 2011

And it did! A beautiful and promising day. Note the Centenary Hut.


A hike to Mafadi, the highest peak in South Africa - February 2011

Hesperantha baurii


A hike to Mafadi, the highest peak in South Africa - February 2011

Climbing up the steep Judges Pass


A hike to Mafadi, the highest peak in South Africa - February 2011

Although it's not a rock pass there's some easy scrambing involved


A hike to Mafadi, the highest peak in South Africa - February 2011

Half the way the pass the mist caught up with us.


A hike to Mafadi, the highest peak in South Africa - February 2011

Fortunately the westerly winds kept the escarpment clear of clouds


A hike to Mafadi, the highest peak in South Africa - February 2011

Huge anvil shape clouds developing over Natal


A hike to Mafadi, the highest peak in South Africa - February 2011

A classic sunrise from Injisuthi Summit Cave


A hike to Mafadi, the highest peak in South Africa - February 2011

Herbie posing for the camera


A hike to Mafadi, the highest peak in South Africa - February 2011

Injisuthi Summit Cave used to be one of the most valued caves in the High Berg. Unfortunately, the Basotho have been keeping it a bit untidy lately.It needs a little TLC.


A hike to Mafadi, the highest peak in South Africa - February 2011

Sabine enjoying the first beams of sunlight of the day.


A hike to Mafadi, the highest peak in South Africa - February 2011

Mafadi was our main goal on our third day. Here Herbie starting the ascent shortly after leaving the cave


A hike to Mafadi, the highest peak in South Africa - February 2011

And here we go! top of Mafadi, at 3450m the highest point in South Africa. 2000m above Injisuthi Camp from where we started 3 days before.


A hike to Mafadi, the highest peak in South Africa - February 2011

The wind was quite intense that morning. Here we found a perfect spot out of the wind where to recharge our energy levels.


A hike to Mafadi, the highest peak in South Africa - February 2011

In summer the Basotho bring their animals in the upper reaches of the escarpment: sheep, goats, horses and cows are a common sight.


A hike to Mafadi, the highest peak in South Africa - February 2011

The Basotho shephers are always accompanied by their loyal dogs


A hike to Mafadi, the highest peak in South Africa - February 2011

Another group of young Basotho shephers. This is the cultural element of any hike in the High Berg.


A hike to Mafadi, the highest peak in South Africa - February 2011

A thin layer of clouds prevented us from seeing the finest views that you can usually enjoy during this hike. Here just before the start of our descent of Leslie's Pass.


A hike to Mafadi, the highest peak in South Africa - February 2011

A few hundred metres afterwards we would be under the clouds and could enjoy maginificent views of the Injisuthi Valley


A hike to Mafadi, the highest peak in South Africa - February 2011

Leslie's Pass is long but not difficult.  You have to take it easy on some sections of loose rocks.


A hike to Mafadi, the highest peak in South Africa - February 2011

The Injisuthi Valley. Still a long way to the bottom.


A hike to Mafadi, the highest peak in South Africa - February 2011

We were dwarfed by the basalt faces above us


A hike to Mafadi, the highest peak in South Africa - February 2011

The top of the pass was visible at times.


A hike to Mafadi, the highest peak in South Africa - February 2011

At the bottom of the pass there's a great camping spot with room for  a few tents.


A hike to Mafadi, the highest peak in South Africa - February 2011

A glorious morning. At last we could enjoy perfect views of the escarpment. Leslie's pass was clearly visible. IT was quite amazing to realise we had walked down there.


A hike to Mafadi, the highest peak in South Africa - February 2011

A dassie, also known as rock rabbit, but nothing to do with a rabbit


A hike to Mafadi, the highest peak in South Africa - February 2011

Marble baths is one of the most  popular spots in the Injisuthi area. Luckily was in our way.


A hike to Mafadi, the highest peak in South Africa - February 2011

The water has carved beautiful water slides in the Clarens Sandstone


A hike to Mafadi, the highest peak in South Africa - February 2011

A real treat after all the hard work of the previous days


A hike to Mafadi, the highest peak in South Africa - February 2011

Miss Drakensberg.


You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Mafadi with Gilly and Mark - July 2011

    Mafadi with Gilly Mark July 2011

    Brilliant picture on top of Mafadi. You can tell it was “quite” chilly.UK-based Gilly and Mark had decided to spend their honeymoon in South Africa, Gilly’s... Read more

    By  Spanafrican
    DESTINATIONS, OUTDOORS, TRAVEL, TREK, VACATION
  • Training To Be A Safari Guide In South Africa

    Training Safari Guide South Africa

    As many of you know, back in early February I was off to South Africa for a quick adventure. While I was there, I visited the Makuleke Concession, located insid... Read more

    By  Kungfujedi
    DESTINATIONS, OUTDOORS, TRAVEL
  • South African Safari In Kruger National Park

    South African Safari Kruger National Park

    Last week I shared some thoughts on my recent trip to South Africa where I able to watch future safari guides in training under the watchful tutelage of an... Read more

    By  Kungfujedi
    DESTINATIONS, OUTDOORS, TRAVEL
  • American Explorer Prepares To Walk Across Africa

    American Explorer Prepares Walk Across Africa

    American explorer and anthropologist Julian Monroe Fisher is preparing for his next big expedition, one that will see him cross the African continent on foot,... Read more

    By  Kungfujedi
    OUTDOORS, TREK
  • Adventures in South Africa

    Adventures South Africa

    So I've been home from South Africa for nearly a week, and I haven't had much of a chance to share my experiences from while I was there. Read more

    By  Kungfujedi
    OUTDOORS, SEA, SNOW, TREK
  • Where to Honeymoon: February

    Where Honeymoon: February

    Overview Though the northern hemisphere is still in the midst of winter, by February you can begin to expect (or hope for) a few brighter days. Read more

    By  Thehoneymoonproject
    DESTINATIONS, LIFESTYLE, TRAVEL, VACATION, WEDDING
  • Room with a View: Makanyane Safari Lodge, South Africa

    Room with View: Makanyane Safari Lodge, South Africa

    Makanyane Safari Lodge, Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa From £380 per person per night with Rainbow Tours Photo courtesy of... Read more

    By  Thehoneymoonproject
    DESTINATIONS, LIFESTYLE, TRAVEL, VACATION, WEDDING