THE MEHLODING TRAIL

4 day Slack packing trail in the Eastern Cape Drakensberg Mountains

A guided and catered 4 day hike between Ongeluks Nek and Qachas Nek along the Eastern Cape/Lesotho border. A little visited section of the great escarpment, the trail traverses through spectacular mountainous foothills and rural villages, taking in visits to rock art sites, sparkling streams, indigenous trees, medicinal plants, craft projects and “top of the world” views. No need for map or compass as the group is guided by local people. Overnight in comfortable rondavels with hot showers and local communities cater all meals.

Day1 14 km Alt: 1591m Starting point after overnight at Malekhalonyane chalet near Motseng village. Chalet is in open grassland with mountain views along which the trail traverses in a north-easterly direction. Cross over the Jordan river soon after starting the hike. Pause to inspect rock art paintings on route which your guide will point out. Short steep climb up onto grassland ridge with easy walking decending down to stream crossing near Masupha village. Moderate climb with great views followed by descent through Mpharane village to chalet.

Day2 20 km Alt: 1560m Descend through Mpharane village to cross the Seeta river. This can be deep in summer requiring careful negotiation. Thereafter a steady climb using footpaths and sled tracks to reach a long easy ridge with excellent 360 degree views. Through a nek and contour path to the protea level where the path meanders through open grassland with streams and incised valleys. A final moderate climb takes you to the chalet at Maboloka located below the Twin Sisters and Makalane peaks. A walk down to the stream and through Mountain Hardpear trees takes one to a panel of well preserved rock art in the sandstone belt.

Day 3: 14 km Alt: 1663m Moderate climb along stock paths up pleasant contour with interesting sandstone features. Descend to Kinira river (good clean water for drinking) and follow undulating terrain through Goxe and Pepela villages. Cross Makomoring stream (some wattle infestation) and climb up to the chalet located in protea grassland. The chalet at Madlangala is surrounded by encircling mountain peaks and has a sense of space and clear mountain air.

Day 4: 13 km Alt: 1685m Your last day’s hike is a pleasant contour walk with patches of indigenous forest, protea groves, fascinating sandstone features and mountain grassland. Depending on season, you will find many species of wildflowers and birdlife along this section. The trail ends nears Qachas Nek (border post with Lesotho) where you will be collected by vehicle and taken back to Matatiele where your cars will have been safely parked.

Discover the Mehloding Adventure Trail for yourself !

For the fit and the adventurous …. a stunning guided trail into this lesser known part of the Ukhahlamba / Drakensberg national park (a World Heritage Site). Discover San rock art, protea and tree ferns, indigenous forests, wild flower gardens and rare birds.

Pass through rural villages and be greeted by friendly local communities and experience traditional culture. At the end of each day be welcomed by your hostess at comfortable chalets where you can enjoy a hot shower, African cuisine and an inviting bed !

Trail package includes:

  • Twin or dormitory room accommodation
  • Dinner, breakfast and free service tea/coffee
  • Hot showers, linen and towels
  • Professional guiding
  • Packed lunch

Extras :

  • Return transfers from Matatiele
  • Bag Transfers between Chalets
  • Other trail options (eg self catering)