Witsieshoek Mountain Lodge provides accommodation in the Drakensberg for hikers, climbers, adventure travellers and families. It is at the base of the Drakensberg's Sentinel Peak. At 2286m above sea level, the Lodge is the highest in the Northern Drakensberg.  Situated in the Maloti Drakensberg Transfrontier Conservation Area, Witsieshoek Mountain Lodge is an ideal place to stay for those visiting the Drakensberg Mountains.

 

Sentinel Hike:

Mont-aux-Sources is a mountain range in Africa, forming one of the highest portions of the Drakensberg. A sheer wall of 1,000 vertical ft., known as the Sentinel, can be found here. A basalt plateau which lies at an elevation of about 10,000 feet (3,050 m), it is mostly within Lesotho.

 

Mont-Aux Sources was so named by the French missionaries who visited the region in 1836. The highest point itself is an uninteresting peak 7 km from the Drakensberg escarpment and attains an altitude of 3,282 m. The mountain is the source for three major rivers, (hence the name Mont-aux-Sources), the Tugela, Vaal River [The Vaal river does not rise here - but some 400km east near Ermelo]and Orange River. The Vaal River flows north and eventually into the Orange River, which in turn flows into the Atlantic Ocean on the West coast of Southern Africa, whilst the Tugela River flows into the Indian Ocean on the East coast of the subcontinent. 7 km from the source, the Tugela plunges 947 m in a series of falls in the Royal Natal Drakensberg Park. This is the second highest series of falls in the world.

 

The peak is accessible from the Sentinel Car Park near Witsieshoek, via chain ladders.  About 5 hours return hike.  Via two chain ladders you can gain easy access to the summit. This is the only day hiking trail which will take you to the top of the Drakensberg escarpment as a reasonable day hike.

 

Additional Information:

Slackpacking: Hiking for the inexperienced!

The Amphitheatre Hike is considered the most scenic hike in the Drakensberg.  It's also a very interesting hike because it includes climbing the famous chain ladders of the Sentinel Peak.

 

Keen, but not happy to go alone?  What about joining SA Adventure Trails "Slackpacking"? It's for hikers who do not have the equipment or who are not prepared to carry a heavy pack with all their own food and gear.  This aims at making the hike a more enjoyable experience for people who would like to walk the trail with a guide during the day and stay at comfortable lodges at night.

 

The Heritage Guided Hike has been planned to enable walkers of average ability to reach the heights of the Amphitheatre, and to be rewarded by awe inspiring, never-to-forgotten views from the top of the escarpment - a feat normally only undertaken by fit and experienced hikers who would normally have to camp overnight. By spending 3 days and 3 nights on the route, staying at conveniently located lodges on the way and using a qualified guide to make decisions on routes and weather conditions, it is possible for anyone who is reasonably fit and unafraid of heights to stand on "top of the world" and experience the same sense of accomplishment as the dedicated hiker.