Situated on the boundary of the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park Sani Lodge is perfectly situated for exploring this wilderness area on foot. Choose between day hikes, longer overnight trails or walk the famous Giant’s Cup Trail. All hikes start from our doorstep. No shuttle needed!
Experience peace, tranquility, wildlife, wild flowers and very very few other human beings if any!! Hikes vary in length from 1 to 8 hours. They include superb views of the peaks of the area, especially Hodgson’s Peaks at 3256m, as well as beautiful mountain streams, pools to swim in, waterfalls, indigenous forest and challenging ascents. Take in breathtaking views from the top of Ndlovini (2200m), stand at the base of the Balancing Rocks and catch sight of mountain and southern reedbuck, eland, oribi, duiker, grey rhebok ,baboon, rock hyraxes, bearded vultures.
KZN Wildlife permits are available from the lodge, and we provide maps and route descriptions to our guests, so the hikes are self-guided. If you want to know more about the natural history of the area, our “In the Footsteps of the Bushmen” guided hike will give you a good feel for what the Berg is all about.
Please download the kit list for day hiking.
We are experienced hikers ourselves, and have lived here for 25 years. We know the Southern Drakensberg, and can thus advise you well on what hike is suitable for the time available and the level of hiking experience you have. We also can do all the Parks paper work at the lodge.
Giant‘s Cup Trail
For those wanting short days (about 12km per day) and overnight huts, the 5 day Giant‘s Cup Trail starts close to the lodge. This trail is ideal for the less experienced hiker as it is clearly marked and doesn’t ever get that deep into the mountains. It provides great views, and is a very enjoyable trail. The serious hiking can be done in the mornings, and with your backpack in the hut, each hut has options for interesting afternoon side trips. The trail ends at Bushman‘s Nek. Sani Lodge is the ideal place to spend the night before the trail – set off with one of our fine breakfasts to power you along!! 1:50 000 topographic maps available at Sani Lodge at R50 each. You will require Map Numbers 5 and 6 of the KZN Wildlife Drakensberg series to complete the whole hike.
There are three options for starting the trail from Sani Lodge – please click here for document. If you stay at Sani Lodge the night before starting, you can leave your vehicles here (we take all care but do not take responsibility for them).
Bookings: KZN Wildlife at firstname.lastname@example.org or (033) 8451000 or if booking only a couple of days in advance, contact Cobham direct on (033)7020831
Transport back from the end of the Trail: Contact:
Matthew Wiggill (033) 7011411 or 082 5958444
Easy Move Junior Cabs
Their rates are R400 per trip, and their vehicles can carry 1 – 4 passengers. Phone Numbers:
Moses 0767192451 or if you cannot get hold of him try 0789798582 or Derek 0761995823. Also on Whatsapp or email to email@example.com
NUD Express: contact Alex on 0796967108
Camping – Caves – Wilderness Experience
For those wanting to get deeper into the mountains and have a real wilderness experience, trails start from the lodge and go deep into the park, offering the possibility to climb to the summit of the main Drakensberg escarpment. Paths are not marked and there are no signs, so it is imperative that those doing such hikes are good map-readers. Camping is permitted anywhere within the wilderness area, and a number of overnight caves offer another option (both cost R70pppn). Fires are not allowed – camping stoves must be carried (we have one for hire). Hikes can vary from 1 night to 2 weeks, depending on you. The most popular option is the Polela Trail, a 3 or 4 day hike taking in some beautiful valleys, little berg summits and an ascent of Hodgson’s Peaks (3256m) which will be the highlight. We have 1 : 50 000 hiking maps available for sale. Contact us for more information.
Hiking in Lesotho
One can literally hike anywhere in Lesotho, and we have hiked a fair amount there. Maps are essential, and can only be purchased in Maseru. However, for those wishing to do 3-4 day hikes from Sani Top to Mokhotlong via Thabana Ntlenyana, the highest point south of Kilimanjaro at 3485m, or from Sani Top to Sehlabathebe National Park, we can hire out the required maps. For more information on hiking in Lesotho, contact us.
Guided day hikes available. See Rock Art or Hodgsons Peaks