4 day slack packing trail in the Eastern Cape Drakensberg

Love the idea of exploring the great outdoors on foot, but not  keen on carrying a heavy backpack and camping in temperamental mountain weather ?

The Wartrail farming community near Barkly East hosts The 4 – day Slack – Packing Skywalk; which is rapidly gaining renown for its pristine beauty, generous hospitality and memorable sightings.

The hiking route traverses varied terrain, from farmland to veld,  sandstone valleys to Basalt mountains, reaching altitudes of 2700m, revealing the splendour of the Southern Drakensberg.  Your guide, Allan Isted,  from Bidstone Cottages, is knowledgeable, sensitive and engaging; with a passion for sharing the territory with others.

The hike through this untouched mountain range provides the  opportunity to watch the majestic and rare Bearded Vulture, spy on shy Reedbuck and marvel at the variety of Alpine Flora.  The district’s many sandstone overhangs reveal some of our country’s best rock art.  Allan’s perceptive insights and enthusiasm gives each viewer their own intimate experience relating to this powerful social art form.


Our guests visit 4 different and equally beautiful farms during the duration of the trail:


Night 1 is spent at Glengyle with your hostess Debbie Roberson.  Glengyle is one of the oldest farms in the district and has a magnificent English country garden and several acres of raspberry canes.  Moira Sephton’s  raspberry jam is legendary and sells like hot cakes!


Night 2 is at  Margie Frost’s Balloch guest farm.  Willowstream cottage is nestled below towering  sandstone formations where Bearded vultures nest.  Balloch is a national heritage site and operates off the grid with a Hydro electric power system.


On Night 3 you will be welcomed to Reedsdell Cottage where Kath Isted’s country cooking is heavenly after descending  down “The Wall” into the Wildfell valley.  Guests sleep  and dine in a separate stone cottage with gorgeous views onto Halstone Kranz.

Bidstone Cottages

The final 4th night is with Allan at  Bidstone Cottages.  The farm’s  wood fired oven has made his gourmet  Pizza nights famous throughout the district.  The huge traditional Aga- heated kitchen and adjoining Leon’s pub  provide the hub for guests to enjoy their last night together and reminisce over delicious pizza and a beer.