Transport in and around the Drakensberg

23 Oct 2011 17:59 #4479 by Smurfatefrog
It might be worthwhile asking Witsieshoek if they can help you out, not sure you'll find any decent public transport going there
www.witsieshoek.co.za/

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25 Oct 2011 06:19 - 25 Oct 2011 06:21 #4491 by intrepid
Hi jpodgor and welcome to the site.

Transport is unfortunately a bit of an issue for these kinds of traverses where you end at a different place from where you started from. As suggested already, contact some of the local resorts for ideas. You could also contact Amphitheatre Backpackers, where many international tourists stay. One idea is to take the Baz Bus to their Northern Drakensberg drop-off. Amphitheatre Backpackers might be able to fetch you from there. They offer day tours to Tugela Falls from the backpackers, so you could ride with them up the Sentinel Car Park.

You can also use the local public transport, our renowned mini-bus taxis. There should be many going from Harrismith to Phuthaditjhaba. You'll probably pay around R50 maybe (I really don't know for sure), and they might charge you for extra luggage. Ask a local what they would pay before you ask the taxi driver. From Phuthaditjhaba you will have to hire one exclusively to take you up to Sentinel Car Park. This will have to be negotiated and you'll probably be asked a high price initially being a tourist :) but you must argue them down. I don't have a good idea of what a fair price would be, but remember that they have drive back empty part of the way too. I would think maybe R300-R500 for the two of you?

Hope this helps. Enjoy the Berg and please let us know how it goes!

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.
Last edit: 25 Oct 2011 06:21 by intrepid.

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25 Oct 2011 13:37 #4504 by Boerkie
Hi jpodgor

I won't consider using our local public transport i.e mini bus taxis as it could be dangerous in two, no three ways.
1. They drive like maniacs!!
2. They most certainly will try to take advantage of you being a tourist and rip you off with the prices.
3. besides many of them being not roadworthy, the smell will probably kill you before you get to the berg. Remember these taxi's are 18 seaters but they cramp 23 people in for the long trips.

Other than speaking to the local Berg tour operators and hotels I would suggest you post your arrival and departure time on this site as I'm sure you'll be able to get a lift from one of the members.

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26 Oct 2011 05:14 - 26 Oct 2011 06:54 #4510 by ghaznavid
@Boerkie: don't make generalisations, only 95% of the taxis give the other 5% a bad name :)

@jpodgor: I like Boerkie's idead, if your timing works well, for the trip back, quite a few of us on this forum seem to be planning a trip up Thamathu Pass in the foreseeable future, both Splatacat and myself are planning a trip there in the near future, so if the dates coincide, you should be able to arrange a lift from Bushman's Nek back to Pietermaritzburg, and then catch a bus from there back to Jo'burg International Airport, I believe Greyhound Busses stop at the airport.

Getting to the top is nothing, the way you do it is everything – Royal Robins
Last edit: 26 Oct 2011 06:54 by ghaznavid.

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26 Oct 2011 06:52 #4515 by Jimbo
Thanks boerkie for your rational and impartial take on public transport.I'm certain your expert knowledge has been achieved by countless hours spent riding in mini busses.

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26 Oct 2011 14:14 #4536 by Geordie
Hi there
As you probaly have seen, transportation is a
contentious issue in South Africa, but don't let that put you off.
Completeinga Grand Traverse is the most fantastic feeling ever.

Contact a Mr. Odendaal in Harrismith, he may be able to help or advise you.

Odendaal Bus Tours

44 Murray Street, Harrismith, 9880
Phone +27 (58) 623 2071
Mobile 082 783 7710. From overseas +27 82 783 7710
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

When you get to the end at Bushmens nek, phone the Himeville arms hotel, they can collect you and they have some backpacker rooms, and hot water and a good bar and good food.
www.himevillehotel.co.za/


If you need any further advice or help with your planning, then please reply or PM me. I have completed 2 GT's , the last one in April of this year. You are welcome to my GPS track if you want it.
The following user(s) said Thank You: jpodgor

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30 Oct 2011 22:31 #4557 by jpodgor
Thank you all for the tips. The best I've found so far is a shuttle organized by Witsieshoek Lodge from Harrismith for R600 for two people.

We are planning on heading up the afternoon of Thursday, Nov. 3, if anyone with room is going around then. We then have the following 5 days to walk, and we'll have see how far we can get before heading down off the escarpment.

Cheers

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23 Apr 2012 02:17 - 23 Apr 2012 02:18 #53627 by tim994018
We ended up using Golf Got You. See the info that I posted above. It's pricey, but it really is the most convenient method for a one-way self-guided hike from Sentinel Car Park to Cathedral Peak Lodge. They picked us up around 5pm and drove us all the way back to Sentinel that night. Since our flight from JNB was the next day, we didn't have time to spare.

Their service was fantastic. They picked us up in a large vehicle, so there was plenty of room for five hikers and all of our equipment.
Last edit: 23 Apr 2012 02:18 by tim994018. Reason: clear up details.

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23 Apr 2012 12:00 #53629 by Andrew McAughey
I used a local taxi operator, Joel Mbhele - 072 881 1875, about a year ago. He transported three of us from Didima camp to Sentinel car park for R750. He was great... :)

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08 Aug 2012 13:55 #54866 by Jvg
Thanks for this info. Do you know if Jack has an email?

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