Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mafadi Trek - April 2011

Our campsite by the Centenary Hut. As soon as the sun set the temperature plummeted.

Autumn is usually a lovely time of the year to hike in the Drakensberg as it offers the best weather conditions: cloudless skies and cool temperatures. The air is crispy, the visibility fantastic, the light simply stunning with beautiful sunrises and sunsets in cool pastel tones that provide food for the soul.

Loudina and Arjan, from Cape Town, had visited the Drakensberg in numerous occasions, done a few day hikes but never been far into the mountains. A few months ago Arjan had contacted me to arrange the 4 day hike to Mafadi to be the highlight of their Easter holidays. I believe it really was.

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.

From the Injisuthi Area there are great views of Monk's Cowl Area's most emblematic peak: Champagne Castle, Monk's Cowl, Cathkin Peak and Sterkhorn.

Injisuthi Camp with a lovely Autum feel to it.

Loudina and Arjan, happy to be on the trail at last

The hike runs along a seldom visited bushy valley.

Even though in April the main flower season is over you're still able to see things like this.

Experienced hikers know well about the climb up the long ridge leading to Centenary Hut.

Beautiful afromontane grassland. In April the grass starts drying out.

In Autum the light is at its best.

A sunset with beautiful pastel tones.

In the morning our tents were completely frozen.

The frost melted down as soon as the sun was up. The conditions were perfect for hiking.

The everlasting helichrysums.

The slope in some of the sections along the contour path is really steep.
Judges Pass, our gateway to the High Berg, 700m above us.

A well deserved sunny rest on top of the pass.

Judges Pass is often used by dagga smuglers. They're no danger for hikers.

Sunset at 3300m.

We spent the night at Summit Injisuthi Cave. Loudina and Arjan keeping warm the next morning. Arjan got bad altiude sickness, he wasn't feeling too happy.

The sunrises from the cave are legendary.

Sun, you are a star!

Summit Injisuthi Cave is on a hanging valley overlooking the Injisuthi Triplets.

Loudina and Arjant on top of Mafadi. Mission accomplished!

Head of Leslie's Pass, 900m total elevation from tip to top.

Half the way down the pass.

The pass gets seriously steep at times. Fortunately there's always a bush closeby which offers a good grip.

The final ridge down the pass (on the left hand side).

Sunrise from our campsite, at the bottom of Leslie's Pass.

The campsite is a cosy grassy spot big enough for 2 tents.

Final day!

Typical Berg lunch, beautifully prepared by Loudina.

Marble Baths Cave, the annex.

Wild dagga.

The end of the trip.

Loudina and Arjan all smiles after having spent 4 days in the Drakensberg.

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