An Afro-Italian hike to Mafadi – November 2011

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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On the first day the Dragon’s mountains were looking a little moody.


Tenting by the Centenary Hut. Unfortunately, the hut is completely derelict and not very hospitable these days.


The short but steep 300m section towards the contour path right at the start of the second day. 
Notice the Centenary Hut in the background


Simona and Valerio working hard up Judges pass: a vertical ascent of 700m in only 2.3km.


Once on the escarpment we could enjoy clear blue skies. The westerly winds coming from Lesotho usually prevent the clouds from advancing over the escarpment.


Views from our campsite by the Injisuthi Triplets. Cathkin peak always looming in the background.


A typical social evening in the mountains. We were all happy to keep out of the cold wind. 


On top of Mafadi. Believe it or not this is what it looks like on the highest point in South Africa.


Fearless Tank getting a little too close to the cliffs.


Tank with the Lesser and the Greater Injisuthi Butresses.


Elna and the Greater Injisuthi Butress


Head of Leslies Pass, our way down from the escarpment. Here Tank was helping me to show the scale.


Zooming in.


And a bit closer.


The first metres down Leslies Pass. The pass is 2.6km long over rough terrain with a total vertical elevation of 1000m.


It takes about 3 hours to complete. You’d never say 2.6km could take so long, would you?


Here we’re almost done. The head of the pass is right in the middle of the picture, the left one of the 2 small saddles.


At Marble Baths on the last day. This pool is a paradise for tired hikers. From here is “only” 8km to the head trail. Notice the Greater Injisuthi Buttress high above us in the background, which we were overlooking 2 days before. 


Accomplished hikers at the end of the hike.


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