Trip Planning Advice

25 Jun 2024 21:22 #79123 by Wandelaar
Hi there everyone, I hope you are well. 

I'd like to plan a trip for a student (university) hiking club that I'm involved with. We usually do the Mnweni loop, but I'm looking to switch things up a bit, while keeping things pretty easy and accessible. What I have in mind at the moment is simply doing Tugela falls. We are driving down from PTA though, so I would like to spend two nights in the mountain, so my question is this: Do you have any advice for a route that would mean spending two nights on the maintain, starting and ending at Witsieshoek. At the moment I'm considering sleeping behind Ifidi Butress on night one, and at Tugela on night 2. This would mean a very short hike on day two, but I'd like to spend at least one night at Tugela and be close to the ladders on the last day. 

Otherwise, If you have recommendations for other 2-3 day loops that would be nice for relatively fit but relatively inexperienced students I would be very grateful. I've found that the Mnweni loop is close to the maximum that can be expected in terms of difficulty, and I'd actually like to do something even more accessible this time. The Mnweni loop has proven to be a bit too much for many of the first time Drakensbergers and I'm afraid that it's put them off. So I was thinking that a simple Tugela loop would be ideal to get them hooked without scaring them off. 

Kind regards,
Pierre Muller 

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26 Jun 2024 10:20 - 26 Jun 2024 17:23 #79124 by supertramp
Replied by supertramp on topic Trip Planning Advice
Hi Wandelaar,

I can fully comprehend that the Mnweni Circuit as a 1st exposure to the Berg over 2 - 3 days might inadvertently scare some hikers off (only because I've seen it happen too). There are a few shorter and less taxing options at Cathedral Peak (e.g., Tseketseke/Organ Pipes /Camel loop) and Giants Castle areas but might pose the same issue if you only have 2 - 3 days at your disposal.

The thread below provides some good alternatives on your current Tugela Plan:
Amphitheatre - Tugela Thread

Depending on the size of your group, I can recommend spending the 1st night at Ifidi Cave. On the 2nd day, you can consider taking a short detour to the viewpoint at the Icidi Crown (indicated by the blue dot below) - this is one of my favourite views in that section of the Berg as it allows you an unobstructed view of the Mnweni Cutback, Cathedral Peak Range and even as far as Cathkin Peak. By your description of "behind Ifidi Butress", this may be close-by. From there you can walk back to Tugela Falls (either following the escarpment edge or inland route, depending on your chosen route the 1st day) and camp there - should allow you a shorter walk back to Sentinel Carpark on the 3rd day. 

 

I hope this helps.
 

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Last edit: 26 Jun 2024 17:23 by supertramp.

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28 Jun 2024 10:38 #79125 by Wandelaar
Replied by Wandelaar on topic Trip Planning Advice
Hi there Supertramp. 

Thank you very much for the information. I'll certainly take it into consideration.

Kind regards,
 

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28 Jun 2024 10:42 #79126 by Wandelaar
Replied by Wandelaar on topic Trip Planning Advice
Just another question: Do you think there is a spot to camp behind Icidi Crown?

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02 Jul 2024 10:54 #79127 by EmpieS
Replied by EmpieS on topic Trip Planning Advice
@Supertramp:  What map are you referencing in the picture please?

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02 Jul 2024 13:18 #79128 by grae22
Replied by grae22 on topic Trip Planning Advice

@Supertramp:  What map are you referencing in the picture please?
 
Looks like the new Slingsby series.

shop.tracks4africa.co.za/product/drakensberg-north-waterproof-edition-3/
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02 Jul 2024 18:20 #79129 by supertramp
Replied by supertramp on topic Trip Planning Advice

Just another question: Do you think there is a spot to camp behind Icidi Crown?
Hi Wandelaar,

Yes, I believe that there should be some suitable options (group size dependent). Alternatively, as mentioned in the Amphitheatre - Tugela thread, there are some good tenting spots on the escarpment close to Icidi Pass Summit (as indicated in yellow in the image below)

 

Water availability might be a factor though. In the dry seasons, both spots will most likely be dry. The one close to Icidi Pass may prove to be your best bet (by the waterfall as described in Serious tribe's post)

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02 Jul 2024 18:22 #79130 by supertramp
Replied by supertramp on topic Trip Planning Advice

@Supertramp:  What map are you referencing in the picture please?

 
Looks like the new Slingsby series.

shop.tracks4africa.co.za/product/drakensberg-north-waterproof-edition-3/
Yip, that is the one. A treasure trove indeed 

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 Well worth every cent. 
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