The Cathedral of Nature
Cathedral Peak Nature Reserve is arguably the most impressive section of the Central berg and is easily accessed from Amphitheatre Backpackers for the day, the scenic drive to the entrance gate is stunning. The Peak itself is also known as Mponjwana (Little Horn) by the local Amangwane people because of its distinctive shape. In its shadow the Mlambonja River flows through the valley where “Ndedema Gorge” is home to the largest indigenous forest in the Drakensberg. It is considered to be the richest rock art area in the world. There are 3900 paintings in 17 sites. “Sebaayeni Cave” has 1146 individual paintings in it alone! Cathedral Peak is a beautiful free standing peak 3004m in height. It is at right angles to the main range and from its summit it allows one 360 degree views of the high berg and forested valleys.
We offer a guided tour to the summit of Cathedral Peak. Unlike those that remain in the foothills this is a hard trail where a 1500 meter altitude gain is undertaken in one day. The walk is strenuous with exposed scrambling sections. It is not a hike for beginners and especially not suitable for those who do not have a good head for heights. We wake up early for this hike as it is long and tough and you’ll need all the energy you can get!
- The group meets at 06h30 at Amphitheatre Backpackers
- From the lodge we drive directly to Cathedral Peak Hotel where we sign the register.
- The upward hike begins with short rests on steep sections towards Orange Peel Gap.
- By midmorning we break close to Sherman’s Cave.
- We continue heading up Bugger Gulley to where the badly eroded path heads up, up, up towards the peak. Here we negotiate very exposed sections using a safety rope to aid where necessary.
Lunch is consumed on this free-standing peak and enjoy the breathtaking 360 degree views.
Then we descend and head to the car. If it’s winter this will probably be the last bit of sun before heading down the valley towards the Hotel.
We arrive back at the lodge beween 20h00 - 21h00 at night.
Transport, Guide’s fees, Park fees, Community levies, Lunch, Ropes and First Aid Kits.