Mafadi summit hike
This hike carries weight because it features South Africa’s highest point, Mafadi (3450m). The beauty of this hike is that the summit can be reached in a variety of ways. A 5-day circular route via the Judge and Leslies Pass is top choice, but it can be made a little bit shorter by only making use of Judge and Corner Pass. If there is time a visit to the Injisuthi Summit Cave is well worth it, not to mention the Injisuthi Triplets. An absolute must is a short detour to the summit of the Trojan Wall where amazing views north towards Cathkin Peak awaits.
Day 1 – Injisuthi Hutted Camp to Centenary Hut
A bit of a slog. Not long after leaving the main camp the feeling of remoteness starts to set in. For the first few hours you will be meandering through valleys, after which a sudden steep climb announces itself – Heartbreak Hill. This is the ascent of the Little Berg with the Trojan Wall’s huge face looming in the background. Centenary Hut is actually not our preferred campsite. A little bit farther along the contour path we will base ourselves near the foot of the Judge and Corner Pass.
- Distance: 14,5km
- Height gain: 740m
Day 2 – Centenary Hut to the Judge Pass summit
The day starts with a short continuation along the contour path to the actual start of the Judge Pass. From here it is upwards for the rest of the day. This is where the sheer magnitude of your surroundings can be experienced. Pure mountain country.
- Distance: 4km
- Height gain: 830m
Day 3 – Judge Pass summit to Leslies Pass (Mafadi Summit day)
A big, eventful and beautiful day. There are so many sites to see on this day – Mafadi Summit, Lesotho landscapes, Trojan Wall, Injisuthi Summit Cave, Injisuthi Triplets and the Injisuthi Lesser and Greater Buttress. The first half of the day is all the way up to Mafadi’s summit on a well defined path. The second half is all the way down again to the top of Leslies Pass. For quite some time this bit follows the escarpment edge, allowing for magnificent views of the Injisuthi far below.
- Distance: 11,5km
- Height gain: 350m
Day 4 – Leslies Pass to Marble Baths Cave
A challenging day! From the top of Leslies Pass your destination can be seen, but it takes some doing getting there. Leslies Pass is long and steep. The going gets better when the second half of the ridge is reached. Again, all the way to the bottom you will be surrounded by giant walls and mega views. When the valley floor is reached it is time to dig deep for the last hour or two to one of the best spots in the Berg to put up your feet. Marble Baths Cave is comfy. The Marble Baths itself will let those muscles rest.
- Distance: 6km
- Height loss: 1150m
Day 5 – Marble Baths Cave to Injisuthi Hutted Camp
A day to look forward to. This is a fun 2-3 hour day back to the main camp knowing you have done some hard yards. You are back on a nice path with lots of water all around again. You will be strolling back with one big satisfying smile!
- Distance: 8km
Core activity: Mountain walking (hiking).
Region: Injisuthi, Central Drakensberg.
Duration: 5 days.
Variation: Make it one day shorter and only make use of the Judge and Corner Pass in a smaller circular route.
When to go: All year. Best from April to July.
Itinerary rating: Moderate to hard.
Other information: No experience is required. All the relevant information will be provided once an enquiry has been made.
Departure time (hiking): Around 08:00.
Arrival time (hiking): Around 11:00.