Ben Macdhui Hiking Trail
to know more about hiking in the Eastern Cape?
The Border Outdoor Adventure Association has all the info. Contact them at www.boaa.co.za
1-6 day circular hikes through a spectacular wilderness
If you are seeking
silence, unspoiled scenic beauty and true peace for your soul, you will
find it on the Ben Macdhui Hiking Trail.
Rhodes is situated at an altitude of 1 945
meters above sea level and also boasts the highest mountain pass in
South Africa (Naude’s Neck Pass – 2 500 meters
above sea level). The
hiking trail winds along the foot of the highest mountain peak in the
Cape Province (Ben Macdhui – 3001 meters above sea level),
while the Hooggenoeg overnight hut, at 2 535 meters above sea level, is
the highest on a hiking trail in South Africa.
The rare Bearded Vulture (Lammergeyer), which
is only found in the high Drakensberg and Lesotho, can be seen in the
area. In summer, a
special kind of flower, the Dolos Dobo Lily, can be found on the higher
slopes, where it grows only from an altitude of 2 450 m up to 3 200 m.
The area has a typical highlands climate with
moderate summers and cold winters.
The summer days are warm, but the nights are cool. Thunderstorms occur
frequently in summer. In
winter, the days are cool and the nights very cold.
On the high-lying areas, the temperature can drop as
low as –18 C during the night.
Snow often falls during winter, but can even occur
the summer months.
All hikers using the trail must be well
prepared for foul weather. A
good raincoat, windproof clothing and warm clothes (even in summer) are
the winter months, hikers must also carry a survival bag or piece of
canvas because you can be surprised by snow anywhere along the trail.
The Hiking Route
Although the hiking trail is routed out in
the Drakensberg, it is not very steep.
Parts of the route, however, run over rough terrain,
giving it a moderate to somewhat high degree of difficulty. The trail is not
recommended for inexperienced hikers or unfit people (also due to the
risks arising from the weather). The
route is marked with paint on rocks and fence poles.
Hikers must keep to the marked route, because the
entire route runs over privately owned land.
Also be sure to pay attention to the markers and
look out for changes in direction.
Please take note of the following
Hikers do the trail at own risk.
Although the route passes near the borders of
Lesotho and the Herschel District of Transkei, hikers need not be
worried about this. It
is a remote, sparsely populated area where only a few shepherd boys are
to be seen.
The rivers and streams, which have to be
crossed along the route, can flow very strong after rain. Do not take any chances in
Normally two-way radios will be available at
the workers’ huts near the overnight huts.
These spots are indicated in red on the map. In an emergency, hikers
can call for help from there.
No fires may be lit along the route.
No litter may be left behind along the trail. Farmers can suffer stock
losses if animals feed on it.
Please help us to preserve this sensitive
Hikers must stay on the marked route.
more information and bookings, please contact us on the following
045 974 9305
Elizma den Heyer
045 971 0446
Gideon van Zyl
045 974 9273
045 974 9308
A maximum of 24 hikers per day can be accommodated
Want to know more about
hiking in the Eastern Cape?
Contact them at www.boaa.co.za
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