Cathedral Peak

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Cathdral Peak borders on the upper Thukela area in the north and east, Lesotho in the west and Monk's Cowl in the south, this section of the Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park is 32 000 hectares in extent. Cathdral Peak contains the magnificient Didima Valley with its many examples of San Rock art, it is a hikers paradise offering routes that range from a few hours to several days.

Cathedral PeakFor the visitors less inclined to physical activity or whose time is limited in the Cathedral Peak National Park, Mike's Pass provides an opportunity to drive to the top of the Little Berg near the head of Didima Gorge for spectacular views of the main escarpment and the surrounding lowlands.

While hiking, a wide selection of plants and animals can be seen in the extensive grasslands and forest patches characteristic of this part of the Drakensberg.

Cathedral Peak are - Inner and Outer HornsOverhead the effortless flight of a Bearded vulture (Lammergeyer) while closer at hand Malachite sun birds flash from protea to protea, a noisy troop of baboons bark at the intruders in their domain and a family of Mountain reedbuck display their white tails as they race up a nearby slope. Cathedral Peak now offers an upmarket 200 bed huttted camp themed to the San People and their rock art and a modern interactive interpretive centre which l allows visitors a glimpse into the lives of these First People.

Accommodation at Cathedral Peak

Hiking Trails at Cathedral Peak

  • Cathedral Peak Hike: An extreme 6 to 7 hrs hike - 10km. A long arduous hike requiring a high level of fitness. Starts from Cathedral Peak Hotel, up the path to the Cathedral Ridge. Rock scrambling is often necessary due to rock slides on the gully below the peak.
  • Contour Path - Cathedral Peak to Ndedema: A moderate to severe drakensberg hike of 3 hours or 3.5 kms A long hard hike. Starts at Cathedral Peak Hotel, up to contour path below Cathedral range and follow it southwards. Hike passes underneath the main escarpment and back down the Ndedema Gorge.
  • Contour Path- Ndedema to Monk's Cowl: A moderate 2 day hike(27.5 kms) A severe hike which starts at the contour path at the upper end of the Ndedema Valley. This is reached via the solar cliffs path in the Cathedral area, or via the Hikes' Pass route up to the contour path. The hike follows the contour path southwards traversing the Mdedela Wilderness area.
  • Mlambonja Pass to Twins Cave A severe 6-8 hrs hike (11 kms) From Cathedral Peak Hotel the path follows the river past the trout hatchery and up to the top of the little berg above the mlambonja river. The pass is consistently very steep and long.
  • Mlambonja Valley (3) A moderate 30 mins - 2 hrs hike (1,5 - 5,2 kms)  There are three hikes, the lower valley 1,5 km, neptunes pool 4,2 km and marble baths 5,2 km. The Mlambonja Pass Route bypasses most of the lower river valley. All hikes begin at the Cathedral Peak Hotel.
  • Mushroom Rock A fair 1 hr hike (2 kms) This is a fairly steep hike, which leads up behind the hotel to a large mushroom-shaped rock.
  • Cathedral Peak area - Rainbow GorgeRainbow Gorge: A fair 2 hrs hike (5.5 kms) This is probably one of the most picturesque hikes in the area. From the hotel skirt the base of Tryme Hill westwards, then eastwards on the path into the gorge. Once in the gorge itself the path follows the river.
  • Two Passes and Cleft Peak Escarpment Hike An extreme 3 days hike (40 kms) The route starts at the top of Mike's Pass near Cathedral Peak Hotel, up the long ridge and the very steep Organ Pipes Pass. Traverse the escarpment and descend via Mlambonja Pass. This hike is classified extreme and for good reason. Not to be undertaken by the unfit or inexperienced. Mike's Pass to Cathedral Peak Hotel via Organ Pipes.