Mnweni - Rockeries Circuit

12 Feb 2018 16:04 #72795 by Henniederuyter
Henniederuyter created the topic: Mnweni - Rockeries Circuit
Hi
We are a fairly large group (14-18) of hikers with not so much Drakensberg experience amongst us but we have done several other long hikes.
We wish to hike the Mnweni - Rockeries circuit from April 28th to May 1st 2018. - therefore three nights out (with one night on top).

I have done this hike before in 2008 and also did several other major backpack Berg hikes over the years but always with only one other person.

Some advise please:
1. Where is a good spot to camp for a largish group just before Mnweni pass.
2. Are there good camping sites close to the bottom of Rockeries Pass?
3. Can anyone provide me with a GPX file for this route?
4. Does Mnweni Cultural Centre still provide camping and safe parking?

Any other advice please?

Thanks for your help
Hennie

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12 Feb 2018 16:21 #72796 by Riaang
Riaang replied to: Mnweni - Rockeries Circuit
Hi Hennie,

Welcome on VE :-)

Some advise please:
1. Chi-chi bushcamp is the closest camping spot to the base of the pass. Not sure it will accommodate such a large group though. A bit further back (closer to MCC) would give you 5 star cave and dagga smugglers cave, but I seriously doubt you would be able to fit such a large group of hikers into these overhangs. Best spot I know of would be where you get back into the river again (about 14km's from MCC) after passing through the protea forest just after Mlambus's kraal (10km from MCC). Just before the path drops down to the river there is a grassy bank where you can pitch lots of tents.

2. Are there good camping sites close to the bottom of Rockeries Pass? Don't recall seeing any, I've only always gone down Rockeries and wasn't looking for camping spots, just rushing down to get back to MCC.

3. Can anyone provide me with a GPX file for this route? Have a look in the downloads section on this website, else PM me and I will send you a track of the Mnwenin marathon which takes you from MCC, up Mnweni pass and down Rockeries back to MCC. Here you will also find the spot after the Protea forest where the path goes down to the river again at roughly 1700m ASL.

4. Does Mnweni Cultural Centre still provide camping and safe parking? Yes and Yes. Chalets costs R250pppn, camoing in your own tent on their lawn is R90pppn and hiking was R60pppn a month ago.

Enjoy your hike!
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12 Feb 2018 16:23 #72797 by Riaang
Riaang replied to: Mnweni - Rockeries Circuit
Hennie, forgot to mention but if you want to fit everyone in caves at the top then book Ledges cave and Mponjewane cave both for the night you guys sleep on top. The two caves combined should have enough space for your group, else you will have to tent on top - which is not a bad thing, but waking up to the view from Ledges cave is just superb!
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12 Feb 2018 16:30 #72799 by Smurfatefrog
Smurfatefrog replied to: Mnweni - Rockeries Circuit
Rockeries has a camping spot at the base of the pass, just above the rocky scramble section by the river coming down Nguzu Pass

You can't book caves at Mnweni, and don't rely on them being available.
I'll actually be in the area over that weekend too and will probably use Mponjwane or Ledges if available, or we get there first :P
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12 Feb 2018 16:30 #72800 by Espee
Espee replied to: Mnweni - Rockeries Circuit
Hi Riaang, I have not been there myself but here is a .GPX file of the area with all the major locations

Be blessed and enjoy the hike!:thumbsup:

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12 Feb 2018 16:35 #72801 by Smurfatefrog
Smurfatefrog replied to: Mnweni - Rockeries Circuit
@ Espee, Mkhomazi Pass and Icidi Pass are not on this route at all

If you can't find the full route in the downloads section here then check on the Mnweni marathon page
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13 Feb 2018 10:25 - 13 Feb 2018 10:35 #72805 by Henniederuyter
Henniederuyter replied to: Mnweni - Rockeries Circuit
Thank you
I think we will be last. We will most likely camp between the edge and the Senqu river and just walk up to the Mhlambonja cave for the sunrise.
Last Edit: 13 Feb 2018 10:35 by Henniederuyter.

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13 Feb 2018 11:11 #72806 by Riaang
Riaang replied to: Mnweni - Rockeries Circuit
@Smurf,

Even though you can't book escarpment caves I normally advise the guys at MCC that I will be using the caves, so at least when other hikers get there they know at a minimum that a) other hikers will be aiming for the caves and b) how many hikers will utilise the cave/s for the night. Mainly a curtesy thing.
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