Drakensberg Traverse

Today, I was interviewed for a podcast by Jordan Wylie, in which I pretty much let slip about my sneaky beaky plans for the next couple of years… Sign of a good interviewer is that!

Also, probably helps that I am terrrrible at keeping secrets… The worst in fact.

Anyway, the secret is out, and so I thought I had better let everyone in on it.

It also helps with prep as I know not many have taken this beast on, so all advice is well received.

I am planning a full traverse of the Drakensberg Mountain Range.

From the start point at the Sentinel Car Park to the end point at Bushman’s New Camp, the route is about 220km an is usually completed in around 2 weeks. Needing not only physical fitness, but also mental strength – the walk covers about 9000m of ascent and over 8600m of descent. There are caves, rivers, ridgelines, sometimes snow and even chain ladders to contend with.

The route runs along the top of an escarpment, at an average altitude of 3000m and it crosses the border between Lesotho and South Africa a number of time, taking in the highest peaks in both countries.

You’re self supported and have to carry all of your kit and food for 12 days (I’ll let you work that out weight wise) and it’s why I’m planning it for 2020 and not this year, in order to give my knee the optimum amount of strengthening.

If something goes wrong in the Drakensberg, you’re a 1 day trek by any escape route.

Ok, all the scary (yet awesome) stuff is out the way…

Why do I want to do it? 

Source: World Expeditions

Well, aside from views like that one above…

I was initially just planning to head to SA, visit Rorke’s Drift (where just over 150 British and colonial troops successfully defended the garrison against an assault by 3-4000 Zulu warriors)  and climb Isandlwana Mountain (close to the site of the first major encounter in the Anglo–Zulu War between the British Empire and the Zulu Kingdom).

As we know, I like to be a history geek with my adventures, where possible.

After looking into walks in the area, I remembered that this one existed from a book I was given last Christmas and the decision was made.

And so this is my plan!
​Dates are yet to be confirmed, as I need to get some studying out of the way first and I’m still in the planning stages obviously, but keep an eye out as it progresses!