Maluti Community Trail

Located in the relatively unexplored southern Drakensberg, at the junction of the Eastern Cape, Kwa Zulu Natal and southern Lesotho, this comunity run trail takes you on a path of rich and diverse natural and cultural heritage. The route traverses spectacular mountainous foothills and rural villages, taking in visits to ancient rock-art, sparkling streams, indigenous trees, medicinal plants, craft projects and top of the world views.

The quaint and welcoming town of Matatiele, 70km from Kokstad forms the perfect gateway to the trail, half way between Underberg and Rhodes.

The trail pqsses through rural villages where you will be greeted by friendly local communities and experience traditional culture. At the end of each day be welcomed by your hostess at comfortable chalets where you can enjoy a hot shower, African cuisine and an inviting bed !

 

Route Description

Hike Day Overnight

DAY ONE: 14 km Alt: 1591m
Starting point after overnight at Malekhalonyane chalet near Motseng village. Chalet is in open grassland with mountain views along which the trail traverses in a north-easterly direction. Cross over the Jordan river soon after starting the hike. Pause to inspect rock art paintings on route which your guide will point out. Short steep climb up onto grassland ridge with easy walking decending down to stream crossing near Masupha village. Moderate climb with great views followed by descent through Mpharane village to chalet.

MALEKHALONYANE CHALET
Close to Mariazell Mission comprises one main rectangular house with two bathrooms, kitchen and dining room, a boma for evening braais, three rondavels sleeping 4 to 6 each. A short hike will take you to the Mission or to the Jordan river for a refreshing swim

DAY TWO: 19,5 km Alt: 1560m Descend through Mpharane village to cross the Seeta river. This can be deep in summer requiring careful negotiation. Thereafter a steady climb using footpaths and sled tracks to reach a long easy ridge with excellent 360 degree views. Through a nek and contour path to the protea level where the path meanders through open grassland with streams and incised valleys. A final moderate climb takes you to the chalet at Maboloka located below the Twin Sisters and Makalane peaks. A walk down to the stream and through Mountain Hardpear trees takes one to a panel of well preserved rock art in the sandstone belt.

MAKHULONG CHALET
Situated above Mpharane village provides one communal rectangular building with kitchen, two bathrooms and dining room opening onto a terrace for evening drinks and braais. Accommodation is in three rondavels sleeping 6 in one dormitory and two rooms sleeping 2 people each.
DAY THREE: 12,5 km Alt: 1663m Moderate climb along stock paths up pleasant contour with interesting sandstone features. Descend to Kinira river (good clean water for drinking) and follow undulating terrain through Goxe and Pepela villages. Cross Makomoring stream (some wattle infestation) and climb up to the chalet located in protea grassland. The chalet at Madlangala is surrounded by encircling mountain peaks and has a sense of space and clear mountain air. MACHEKONG CHALET
Right beneath the Three Sisters ridge, has one communal house opening onto a terrace with stunning views, two bathrooms, dining room and kitchen. There are two rondavels (one dormitory style and one divided into two twin rooms).

DAY FOUR: 12 km Alt: 1685m Your last day's hike is a pleasant contour walk with patches of indigenous forest, protea groves, fascinating sandstone features and mountain grassland. Depending on season, you will find many species of wildflowers and birdlife along this section. The trail ends nears Qachas Nek (border post with Lesotho) where you will be collected by vehicle and taken back to Matatiele where your cars will have been safely parked.

MADLANGALA CHALET
Built from local rock and surrounded by protea trees, consists of one main house with two bathrooms, kitchen and dining room opening onto a covered terrace with mountain views. Accommodation is in two rondavels (one dormitory and one divided into two twin rooms).

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