Drakensburg Charity Challenge
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Length of trip:
Approximate price of this trip per person:
from $ 5000 to $ 7000
Best travel dates to go:
Detailed Description of this trip:
The Drakensberg Mountains form a dramatic backdrop and immortal witness to the many battles that were fought within its shadows. This enormous barrier between the hinterland and the coast served as a hiding place to the Boers, the British and the Zulu’s and was a challenge to those who tried to pass. We will follow in the footsteps of history, conquer that challenges we face and unlock the door to the beauty that so many have appreciated before us.
This Trip is Recommended for:
Day 1 - Johannesburg
Arrive Johannesburg – Transfer to Bethlehem.
Private Car Service
After arrival at Johannesburg airport we transfer 3-4 Hours by road to our hotel in Bethlehem.
Accommodation: The Loft Hotel in Bethlehem. Here we enjoy an evening meal and presentation in preparation for the days ahead.
Day 2 - Free State
Cycle through the Golden Gate.
All day is spent cycling the gravel roads of the Golden Gate National Park. We follow the pass and leave the Orange Free State to twist our way down through this gateway into Kwazulu Natal and finish at a Basotho Cultural village. The park derives its name from the brilliant shades of gold cast by the sun on the sandstone cliffs. The hills around us are home to black wildebeest, eland, blesbok, oribi, springbok and Burchell's zebra - and birds, including the rare bearded vulture and the equally rare bald ibis, which breed on the ledges in the sandstone cliffs. Don’t forget your cameras; there will be a photo competition at the end of the week; each team will submit one photo for each of 4 Categories: Culture, Scenic, Social and Adventure.
The evening is spent enjoying the healthy aching in our bodies at Witsieshoek Lodge. The skies here are clear and crisp and you would never have seen so many stars before as the frogs sing you to sleep.
Accommodation: Witsieshoek Lodge.
Day 3 - On Foot
Hike The Amphitheatre.
The path starts on a contour and climbs gently toward the witches (Buttress) where, lined with yellow everlastings, it zigzags up to the 200 rung chain ladders. After a hairy climb, we head toward the Thukela falls and the top of the Amphitheatre (the top of the plateaux is Mont-aux-Sources at 3282 meters). The Thukela Falls are the fourth highest in the world with a drop of 614 meters before it tumbles toward the Thukela gorge. After enjoying the views, regarded by many as some of the most breathtaking in Africa, a rest and a bite to eat we head back down the way we came, but on our return, we continue past the start and veer left down the Steep valley, past the Mahai falls, Mahai cave, the cascades and onto our camp for a well earned evening meal around the campfire.
Accommodation: Camping at Royal National Park.
Day 4 - On Foot
Raft & Hike.
After Breakfast we head off by road to our Spionkop camp. This was the scene of one of the most futile and perhaps bloodiest of all battles fought in the 1899-1902 Anglo-Boer War. It is also where Winston Churchill as a 23-year-old war correspondent, stretcher bearer Mahatma Gandhi, and Boer General Louis Botha all fought at the same time before they went on to shape history. Here, we will relive that day and walk in the footsteps of three great leaders. Our camp, not far from the British Headquarters at the time, is within a 700 hectare eco reserve with some 270 bird species, an abundance of antelope, rhino, giraffe and indigenous bush.
However, before we start the hike, there’s one small challenge to overcome. Morning Hike: 4-5 hours
Our camp is on the wrong side of the water. We have to build rafts from the materials around us and carry ourselves and equipment to the other side in order to reach the starting point. Watch out for the wild animals!Suggestion:
As an optional extra, we highly recommend a sunset horse back ride. The animals think you’re one of them. Maybe they know something!
Accommodation: Camping at Spionkop Dam.
Day 5 - On Foot
Community Event & Football Day.
Our community day consists of spending a morning at a local school that has very few resources. From running a football clinic on their pastoral field, teaching and repair work. All efforts are very much appreciated as we start a legacy for all groups that follow.
In the afternoon, an exhibition match has been organised with a local side.
Accommodation: Camp at Spionkop.
Day 6 - On Foot
The Final Challenge - Cathedral Peak.
The drive is stunning, through a very traditional Zulu area right up to the base of the mountains. Enough time to think about the days gone by, and the long day ahead. The hike is 19 km, but it should be understood that distance means very little. In the berg this hike takes about EIGHT hours to complete and the grade is extreme. The slopes are dotted with protea which attract malachite sunbirds and Guerney's sugarbirds. The path leads through beautiful riverine bush, wooded gorges and wide plateaux. This hike affords the opportunity to stand on the top of one of the Drakensberg's most famous "free-standing" peaks without needing rock climbing equipment. The final stretch of the path from Orange Peel Gap to the summit does involve some spine-tingling "scrambling."
In the evening, we head back to our camp for another night of relaxation around the campfire to exchange stories; a cold drink in hand.
Accommodation: Camp at Spionkop.
Day 7 - Durban
Sling Shot & on to Durban.
Before we pack up camp and head for the coast, a final competition with a local hunting tool, the sling shot; try your arm and test your powers of survival.
Private Car Service
We leave the mountains and hills of the Zulu Kingdom and head for the golden sands of the Indian Ocean.
Food and Dining
After a swim and freshening up, our final Gala dinner is held a few feet from some very large sharks. Not to worry, Glass protects you.
Accommodation: Durban Beachfront Hotel. Transfer: 3 hours to Durban Beach front .
Day 8 - Durban
Shopping at the markets and a relaxing morning.
After a bit of shopping at the markets and a relaxing morning before taking a 30 minute journey to the airport for our flight home, on which everyone will sleep every minute of the way.
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