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Spanafrican Adventures's Blog

The latest news on Spanafrican Adventures operations.

Mafadi with Bradley, Ruan, Peter and Donovan - January 2012

The escarpment illuminated by the first beams of sunlight

The first hike in 2012 was Mafadi, our most popular hike in the Berg. Bradley, Ruan, Peter and Donovan, 4 fun-loving law students from Pretoria, made up a super vibrant party. It was their first trip to the escarpment so this was a great adventure for them, a great way to charge batteries before the start of their final year at university.

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An Afro-Italian hike to Mafadi - November 2011

The party on the escarpment. From left to right: Simona, Tank, Valerio and  Elna.


A few months had elapsed since my last visit to the High Berg so I was really excited to this hike. This time the party was made up of Valerio and Simona from Italy and Elna and Tank from Pretoria, a nice Afro-Italian mix. This was my 6th hike to Mafadi in 2011 but, no matter how many times you hike in the Drakensberg, it is always a different and inspirational experience.

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From Mafadi to a hike in the Little Berg - August 2011

Sunrise from our campsite at the bottom of Leslie’s Pass, in the morning of the 3rd day.

It was the beginning of August and this was to be our last hike of the long cold winter of 2011. A few cold fronts had swept across the Drakensberg so I was expecting the passes and the escarpment to be partially, if not fully, covered in snow. For this reason my plan was to do the route the opposite way around: up Leslie’s Pass and down Judge’s Pass. This way, most of the route to Mafadi would be on the warmer northern slopes where the snow melts quicker. Once on top, if the colder southern slopes on the other side of Mafadi carried too much snow, we could always retrace out steps and go back down the same way. In the end, things didn’t go according to the plan but this still ended up being a great hike in the Little Berg.

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Mafadi with Gilly and Mark - July 2011

Brilliant picture on top of Mafadi. You can tell it was “quite” chilly.


UK-based Gilly and Mark had decided to spend their honeymoon in South Africa, Gilly’s mother’s country of origin. Being outdoor enthusiasts they had planned a very active holiday, including some good challenging hiking in the Drakensberg.

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Mafadi Trek with Charly and Charlie - July 2011

Cathkin peak and its other companions just before dark.


Charly from Belgium was coming to South Africa to take part in the Big Five Marathon in the Entabeni Game Reserve. But he wanted to take the challenge a little further and hike to SA’s highest peak a few days after the marathon. He admitted it would have been better if he had had a few more days rest in between. He had done Kilimanjaro by 3 different routes and according to him that was a child’s play in comparison with Mafadi.

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Mafadi with Driekie and Riaan - May 2011

Driekie and Riaan with their Leslie's Pass. How to forget that climb?


Driekie and Riaan had visited the Drakensberg many times before and done a few challenging day hikes but they had never backpacked and been in the High Berg in the past. They had visited the Injisuthi Area before and knew that Mafadi, South Africa’s highest point, was somewhere up there not far from the top of Leslie’s Pass. It was time to go for it. But nothing could prepare them for that steep climb up the pass, not to mention the unexpected high winds that we would encounter on top. It’s so easy to underestimate the Drakensberg... However, even though it was probably the toughest 4 days they had ever been through, I knew they had what was needed and they managed just fine. It’s hard to forget that close look at the Dragon, its changing moods and its indescribable beauty.

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Mafadi Trek - April 2011

Our campsite by the Centenary Hut. As soon as the sun set the temperature plummeted.


Autumn is usually a lovely time of the year to hike in the Drakensberg as it offers the best weather conditions: cloudless skies and cool temperatures. The air is crispy, the visibility fantastic, the light simply stunning with beautiful sunrises and sunsets in cool pastel tones that provide food for the soul.

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A hike to Mafadi, the highest peak in South Africa - February 2011

Sabine and Herbie on the summit. At 3450m, Mafadi is the highest peak in South Africa


Sabine and Herbier from Holland have done some interesting and serious treks in the Andes and Jordan, and were eager to experience the Drakensberg during their visit to South Africa in March. Not surprisingly they were fit and were up for a serious challenge.

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