KwaDuma

10 Oct 2011 11:26 #4289 by rinus
Replied by rinus on topic KwaDuma
Just to report back on this topic, we went there after climbing Mafadi and attempting Namahadi. I had organised with the manager at Ongeluksnek to take us to the top of Ongeluksnek pass with their 4X4, but when we got there their 4X4 didn't want to start. So after going to the police station at the border control, they couldn't help us with a lift either to the top of the pass, so we had to walk up the pass which change our hiking distance from 33.6 km (from start of walk to peak is approx. 16.8km) to being almost 50km which had to be done in 2 days by us. The weather also wasn't very good so we decided to leave kwaduma for later this year. Will report back when we do actually reach the top.

Ps 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.

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10 Oct 2011 11:32 #4291 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic KwaDuma
Always a shame when a hike doesn't result in a Khulu being bagged, I've had 5 hikes this year where we didn't reach out target. But as long as you enjoyed it and got lots of photos, its always worth it...

Getting to the top is nothing, the way you do it is everything – Royal Robins

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10 Oct 2011 11:32 #4292 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic KwaDuma
Thats too bad rinus, thanks for letting us know. These are all realities of the mountains, as much as it may inconvenience us. Just have to keep trying until success.

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.

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10 Oct 2011 11:37 #4293 by Boerkie
Replied by Boerkie on topic KwaDuma
@ rinus

Is it possible to do the pass with a diff lock bakkie, now that you have seen it?

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10 Oct 2011 15:52 #4300 by rinus
Replied by rinus on topic KwaDuma
@boerkie

Maybe if it a company car :)

We hiked about 3km of the pass before deciding to call it quits and from those 3km hike I can safely say I wouldn't do it with my diff lock bakkie.

We asked the police that were there if they can't give us a lift up, but the guy in charge (extremely helpfull and friendly) showed us the previous bakkies hat has been used on the pass two 4X4 with broken axis due to the bad road.

They apparently redid the road a couple of years ago, but at this stage, I would try it without a 4X4.

Ps 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.

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10 Oct 2011 18:19 #4301 by Boerkie
Replied by Boerkie on topic KwaDuma
Thanks :thumbsup:

It's settled then, I'll rent a 1300 Toyota Tazz from Avis for the trip :whistle:

Best 4x4xfar

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21 Nov 2011 06:16 #4920 by rinus
Replied by rinus on topic KwaDuma
So we went back this past weekend and we did it, B)

Feedback and tips for anyone who is considering it:

We organised with the manager at ongeluksnek to take us up the pass, he wasn't there but some of his colleagues took us up. We met them at the border control (we slept in the gateway lodge in ongeluksnek, very nice place!) I was rather surprised to see that they picked us up in an old Ford 2X4 with diff lock. We had to get off once or twice so the bakkie could cross difficult sections of the pass, but about 4km into the pass of about 5km, the bakkie overheated and couldn't get up a very steep spot. So this confirmed that 4X4 would be required. So we had to walk up the rest of the path and hike another flat piece of gravel road to where you start heading into the wilderness. GPS co-ordinate for where you start heading into the wilderness: (S 30°20.298' E 28°13.050' Elevation 2453m). When you get there you head south into the hills. From there it is approx. 17km if your a bird :)

Best advice I can give is to stay as high as possible as it take a lot longer to walk through the valleys. Water was quite an issue for us, we had to waste a bit of time going down each time to fetch some water. So when you get to water, rather fill extra containers and stay on the tops. Also note, there is not a single tree or any form of shade literary on the entire route, so remember the sun tan lotion! :huh:

The only paths you'll find are the ones that the animals walk, so it comes and goes. The position that I got for the peak was a bit misleading, because when we got to the top, my GPS device said it's still 450m south. So here is my GPS position for the peak: (S 30°28.014' E 28°09.356' Elevation 3027m)

It took us two whole long days of hiking, because we had to hike back down the pass to the border control. From our calculations it was about 50km of hiking, so it was quite a walk for just 2 days.

You can organize with the manager at ongeluksnek to take you up the pass and down again (we came down earlier than expected, so we couldn't get the lift back down the pass, but they will come pick you up at the top, but you have to organize with them for a time to pick you up as there is no cellphone signal on the entire path, so you can't inform them of a change in plans :unsure:

ongeluksnek contact info

Welcome to ask questions while the info is still fresh in my mind.

Rinus

Ps 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
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21 Nov 2011 08:29 #4925 by Boerkie
Replied by Boerkie on topic KwaDuma
Please load some pics buddy
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21 Nov 2011 16:08 - 21 Nov 2011 17:20 #4932 by rinus
Replied by rinus on topic KwaDuma
Here's some pics

DSC02483 - On top of the peak it is quit flat.



DSC02481 - The peak in the background before final ascent.



DSC02490 - The general surroundings. In the distance the sharp pointing peak is where the ongeluksnek pass is, so this is a view, from the peak, to the start.


Ps 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.

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Last edit: 21 Nov 2011 17:20 by intrepid. Reason: embedded images
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07 Jun 2016 18:26 #68681 by TheNJdK
Replied by TheNJdK on topic KwaDuma
Well well well! It seems i never ever replied to this thread all those years ago (i'm an infrequent lurker on this forum)

Figured is should post here for the benefit of the next folks who want to do this, even though we hiked this now 5 years ago. we hiked in mid July 2011

We spent first night camped at the entrance to the park. The camp staff dont ever seem to actually ever have guests, as they had to dig quite a lot to find a rather tatty looking receipt book, and had no idea how much to charge us.

We drove up to the police station, and whilst my Tazz, and the Ford Lazer and the 80's Merc with landmine proof steel plate under body managed it quite well, the Honda Jazz (With low profile tires) turned back, and we had to do a car shuffle to get everyone to the border. The border staff were super friendly and helpful, and informed us that they get about 10 people through the border post a month (not sure on validity of this statement) so our party of 11 was a bit of a shock. Needless to say they seemed to take extreme pride in stamping the passports, and showed us some photos of when the police station had been under 1.5m of snow a few weeks prior.

the hike up the pass took most of the afternoon, and we camped not too far after we crossed into lesotho. That night as we ate supper we watched the temperature drop on a digital thermometer. at one point it was dropping half a degree every minute. It was at -10 when we went to bed, and we reckon it bottomed out at about -15, so it was a cold night. (especially for the couple whose tent was billed a "himalaya" model, but turned out to be a 2 season instead of a 4 season (those seasons being summer and summer)) I think this was the coldest night, but the 3rd night on the mountain was very windy and uncomfortable

we basically did as i had planned, out to the peak and back down to the border again. 3 nights were spent on the mountain (i carried the dinner for the 4th night, which was never used, AND an extra kilo of rice for no reason in my pack)

Photos and tracks are here

www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150255900171190.327668.676491189&type=1&l=fb7a239084
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