DGT March/April 2019 Planning Questions

03 Feb 2019 21:16 #74599 by khristiankowalski
Hi all,
im planning to do the DGT in 12 days at the end of March, and im trying to nail down two things. 1. I would love someone to review the plan we have laid out and 2 im trying to figure out some logistics.  Your insight greatly appreciated. (details of each question below) 

1. Attached is a word doc we have put together with the details of the route.  It is based on security related posts, other trekker's similar routes, and a map-recce using base camp and a number of GPXs downloaded.  
a. is this a safe route
b. are the daily distances manageable,
c. are the proposed campsite areas okay (open to suggestions +/- a km or so)

2. We are trying to arrange a number of logistics elements.
a. we need a ride to Sentinel from Johannesburg, and a ride back from Bushmans Nek to Johannesburg
b. looking for someone to make a supply drop at Organ Pipes Pass on our 4th day (lunch time)
c. we need to make a supply drop at Sani Pass (we could rent a car and drive it down before our hike? or.....)

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04 Feb 2019 06:32 #74600 by Drakie1
Hi
We are also planning a DGT at the end of April ........ less chance for thunderstorms. This will be my second attempt. Please contact me on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Perhaps we can exchange some ideas. Thanks.

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04 Feb 2019 07:49 - 04 Feb 2019 07:49 #74601 by Stijn
In terms of your overnight spots:

Night 1 - the valley at the top of Fangs has had some incidents in the past (particularly near Mbundini Abbey). I would head for Fangs Cave instead to be safe.
Night 2 - if you're referring to the river junction a few km inland of the escarpment, I would avoid camping there. Rather camp closer to the escarpment or use Ledger's/Mponjwane Cave.
Night 3 - near the top of Tseketseke is a great spot to camp in a relatively quiet/safe valley.
Night 4 - definitely avoid camping at the base of the Yodeler's Valley - it's on a major Basotho highway and there are many kraals around there. Rather climb up to the top of the next ridge and use Didima Cave or camp nearby.
Night 5 - camping near the top of Leslie's Pass is ok as far as I know.
Night 6 - I would avoid camping along the Jarateng inland (many kraals, lots of Basotho traffic) - rather get closer to the escarpment or use one of the Giant's Pass Caves instead.
Night 7 - same applies to the Mokothlong, unless you're camping near the escarpment edge. This is a very busy and populated valley.
Night 8 - not sure about camping near the top of Thabana Ntlenyana. Probably ok, just far from water.
Night 9 - a few accommodation options at the top of Sani Pass. Sani Top Lodge is one but there are better options apparently.
Night 10 - the valley north of No Man's Peak is probably ok. You could also use Sandleni Cave nearby.
Night 11 - as soon as you get to the bottom of Isicatula Pass, you will start encountering kraals. I would rather camp in the last escarpment valley before Walker's Peak or use Mzimude Cave.

In general, since you mention the Jarateng and Mokothlong as routes, it sounds like you are using the DGT speed route as a guideline. When doing the traverse as a 12-day hike, I would highly recommend using route choices that keep you closer to the escarpment edge as this is much more scenic. Instead of using the Jarateng, stay closer to the escarpment edge from Mafadi and cross the 3 ridges there to get to the Giant's Castle area. Similarly for Mokothlong, stay closer to the escarpment edge and approach Thabana Ntlenyana from the Mkhomazi Pass side.

I'm sure others can add some more pointers. Have a great hike! :-)
Last edit: 04 Feb 2019 07:49 by Stijn.

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04 Feb 2019 10:24 #74602 by ghaznavid

Stijn wrote: When doing the traverse as a 12-day hike, I would highly recommend using route choices that keep you closer to the escarpment edge as this is much more scenic. Instead of using the Jarateng, stay closer to the escarpment edge from Mafadi and cross the 3 ridges there to get to the Giant's Castle area. Similarly for Mokothlong, stay closer to the escarpment edge and approach Thabana Ntlenyana from the Mkhomazi Pass side.


I second this - especially for the Jarateng. It gets boring quickly and is full of vicious dogs. The escarpment line through there, especially around Mount Durnford, is actually really scenic. Most inland lines have issues with dogs, and the best views are near the edge.

"The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don't." Douglas Adams

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06 Feb 2019 00:13 #74615 by khristiankowalski
Will do.  email sent

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06 Feb 2019 00:19 #74616 by khristiankowalski

Stijn wrote: In terms of your overnight spots:

In general, since you mention the Jarateng and Mokothlong as routes, it sounds like you are using the DGT speed route as a guideline. When doing the traverse as a 12-day hike, I would highly recommend using route choices that keep you closer to the escarpment edge as this is much more scenic. Instead of using the Jarateng, stay closer to the escarpment edge from Mafadi and cross the 3 ridges there to get to the Giant's Castle area. Similarly for Mokothlong, stay closer to the escarpment edge and approach Thabana Ntlenyana from the Mkhomazi Pass side.

I'm sure others can add some more pointers. Have a great hike! :-)


I will take under consideration the points about getting closer to the escarpment in general and specific site references.  Yes, it would appear that my route is the speed route - not by intention however.  I had found a few 12 day GPX files and blogs, and they made sense (at least on a map).  No plan survives first contact with the enemy, hence my post here looking for experienced opinions.  Also, I had read a number of security related posts (here and elsewhere) that kind of pushed the planned route away from the escarpment in certain areas.  I will certainly keep my eye on this thread, and hope to see others commenting on well.  Yes, indeed, amazing views are great, but safety is even more important to us.  Thanks for the insights.  Khristian

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06 Feb 2019 07:30 #74617 by firephish
I would say that, with the exception of the amphitheater area, the escarpment is generally safer (fewer people/dogs), than the more inland route. Although i have at times gone quite deep into Lesotho and never had any issues.
The following user(s) said Thank You: khristiankowalski

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07 Feb 2019 17:28 #74629 by khristiankowalski
Thanks for the input so far.  I will re-jig my plans this weekend and post again.  

In the meantime I would greatly appreciate a push towards a company that can organize transport and supply drops for us.  I have contacted a few random websites for commercial outfits but no responses yet.

Thanks,  Khristian 

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