Sentinel Car Park to Cathedral Peak - Northern Berg Escarpment Traverse

07 Jan 2024 18:25 #78842 by kierareavill
I am looking at doing a 3 or 4 day hike along the Northern Berg Escarpment in April this year. I initially wanted to do the full route from Sentinel Car Park to Cathedral peak but will be driving a hire car and have no way of getting from the start car park to the end car park at the end of the walk. Does anyone have any advice for this?

From reading through this page I can't find any obvious solution, so I was thinking of doing a round circuit instead. My main priority is impressive views/scenery, is there a particular route that anyone can recommend? Is the scenery more impressive around Cathedral Peak/ Bell Traverse, or at Tugela Falls? Are there any possible routes that are more circular (i.e. not just out an back) so we can have full days of different views?

Thanks for all your help!

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07 Jan 2024 19:43 #78843 by Drakie1
There are many circular routes for a 3 to 4 day hike. The most obvious ones that come to mind are Mnweni-Rockeries and Mafadi, going up Judges pass and down Leslie's. If you are looking for scenery Mnweni would be a good choice.

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07 Jan 2024 19:46 #78844 by firephish
It is possible to organise a lift from Cathedral / Didima back to your starting point, but it would be expensive.

That whole area from from Sentinel to Cathedral is pretty spectacular. Nice 3 / 4 day routes for new people new to the berg are:

Rockeries / Mnweni loop (starting from Mnweni Cultural Centre)
Ntonjelana / Rockaries loop (starting from Mnweni Cultural Centre)
Organ Pipes (via old fire lookout)/Malmbonja loop (starting from Didima)

If you don't mind a bit of "exposure" and are a fit and strong hiker can also consider Cockade pass / Bell traverse loop (also starting from Didima)

All of those would take you past some pretty amazing scenery and give you the opportunity to spend the night in some of the best caves from a view perspective - if that is your main priority, ie Ledgers, Mapajwana, Easter, Rowlands etc.

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08 Jan 2024 12:03 #78846 by Riaang
Another option would be to see if you can't get a lift with hikers that will be in the same area with the same finishing dates. Put it ut there and see what happens. You can even have somebody drop you off at your starting point and picking you up at the finish. You do your route, they do theirs and you simply merge dates. I might even be able to help you with this option as I will in all likelihood be doing a hike in the berg during April. Pm me your dates and plans, let's see if we can sync dates and areas. I will be driving from Centurion, and we will more than likely be 3 or 4 people in the car.

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18 Mar 2024 12:31 #78941 by kierareavill
Thank you for your help so far. 

Having talked to my travel buddies, we definitely want to see Tugela falls, so think we will start at Sentinel car park and head up from there. 

I also love to look of ledgers cave - is it feasible to do Sentinel car park to ledgers cave in one day? We are quite fit and happy for hike for 6+ hours if needed. What is this route like? Are there good views along the way or is it just a bit of a slog!

If it’s not possible to do instead, where would you recommend going from Tugela instead? Still thinking for a 3/4 day loop/out and back route, with one night on the top of Tugela falls. 

Thanks for all your recommendations:)

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18 Mar 2024 12:53 #78942 by Smurfatefrog
Sentinel to Ledgers is approx 35km, so a 70km return trip with 90% of that being off path.
It would be a very long day!

Maybe head as far as Ifidi cave, which is about 14km / 28km return

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