Hiking Mweni area

11 Sep 2017 09:18 #72110 by hartmrol
hartmrol created the topic: Hiking Mweni area
Hi all -

We are planning a hike in Mweni area over the upcoming long weekend (22 - 25 Sep) for a party of 6. I have been through the previous threads on the site for the area which have been hugely helpful.

Our plan is to leave cars at the Mweni Cultural Centre and summit via Fangs pass and descend via either Mweni pass or Rockeries pass.

Would appreciate any updates on:
- the current state of the caves in the region and whether they are worthwhile staying in
- whether there should be water in the rivers / streams en route after the winter
- general security in Mweni
- which is the preferred descending pass - Mweni or Rockeries?
- I saw that wef 1 Jan 17 permits are required for hiking in the Royal Natal park - where can we get these?

Also I have the downloads for the passes, but does anyone have GPS tracks to get to the base of Fangs pass and then back from base of Rockeries and Mweni to the road to MCC?

Thanks
Rolf

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11 Sep 2017 09:38 #72111 by HenkSeevinck
HenkSeevinck replied to: Hiking Mweni area
This is our trip report we did in July.

www.vertical-endeavour.com/forum/drakensberg-trips/56321-fangs-rockeries-trip-report.html#71902

You are in for a treat!!!!

- the current state of the caves in the region and whether they are worthwhile staying in

We didn't sleep in any caves but there is quite a variety to choose from.

- whether there should be water in the rivers / streams en route after the winter

You'll have water up to about 50% up Fangs pass, there is a health river if you decent into the valley behind Fangs pass. If I recall correctly your first water after that will be in the Mnweni Cutback which is a hike of about 12 km

- general security in Mweni

From the base of Fangs I would push to get to the cutback, in 2016 there was incident in the Fangs valley.

- which is the preferred descending pass - Mweni or Rockeries?

If you do Mnweni you will have to double back on your route to get out of the mountain, we did Rockeries and I would suggest that.

- I saw that wef 1 Jan 17 permits are required for hiking in the Royal Natal park - where can we get these?

No permit required for Mnweni Area as far as I know, if that is what you are revering to.

PM me if you would like our GPS Track.

Regards

Henk
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11 Sep 2017 12:26 #72117 by Magan
Magan replied to: Hiking Mweni area
Hi.
I hiked in Mnweni previous weekend.
5 Star cave was taken over by the shepherds. Shepherds Cave was unoccupied but had some litter around. There's some good camping area before Shepherds Cave. I would suggest you walk further up the Mnbundini valley and camp by the waterfall at the split of the passes.

Rockeries Pass is extremely worn out, frustrating hiking down with all the loose rock. Higher up keep a look out for a 'straight' descent on the grassy left hand slope. A local was using this line on his ascent as I slid my way down the zigzags.
Lower down it has the best view from the valley of all Passes...views of the Rockeries, Needles and Saddle.
There is a side stream high up. The next being the stream at Nguza crossing.
You will also have to contend with the long walk out on the dirt road.

With Mnweni Pass the path is much more comfortable to hike. Stunning views higher up. It also involves a walk out on dirt road.
I would recommend you descend via Mnweni Pass.
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11 Sep 2017 15:07 #72118 by ghaznavid
ghaznavid replied to: Hiking Mweni area
I also would suggest going down Mnweni rather than Rockeries. Rockeries is quite far down my preference list of passes - but it is definitely easier than the other passes in the area (well, I can't comment on Ntonjelana yet, but there are two large ridges between the two, so definitely not easier when paired with Mnweni Pass). As Magan says, it is like walking on marbles.

Mnweni is a nice pass, scenically on par with greats like Mashai and Giants Pass, although not nearly as spectacular as the likes of Thlanyako and Cockade (@Mnweni fans: please put those pitchforks away, I am entitled to my own opinion :P ).

"Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory." - Ed Viesturs
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