Mehloding Adventure Trail – Experience South Africa on Foot
For a truly unique South African adventure, there is no better way to explore the wildlife, plants and culture of this diverse country than by discovering the Southern Drakensberg. It is where southern Lesotho, the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal collide, and is rich in heritage and breathtaking landscapes. The Mehloding Adventure Trail could be described as the road less traveled, but is a journey of inspiration, fascination and unlimited beauty. A mere seventy kilometers from Kokstad, lies the town of Matatiele, and the gateway to an unforgettable adventure.
There are two options for visitors to choose from. They can either explore the Mehloding Adventure Trail on the own, or take part in a four day tour, which is highly recommended and the most popular option. The local guides are familiar with every foothill, stream and plant in the area, and are a wealth of information. There are chalets along the way for overnight stays, and each of the chalets has its own atmosphere and charm. Toilets, bedrooms, showers and lines are available in the chalets that have been traditionally built by the local communities. Permanent staff at the chalets ensures that they remain clean and neat, and visitors also have the option to self-catering chalets.
The first evening of the trail starts in the Masakala village, near Matatiele. Here guests will receive a comfortable night’s rest and a hearty meal to prepare for the next day’s trip to Malekhalonyane Chalets. This is where the hiking begins. From Malekhalonyane, guests will hike for fourteen kilometers, crossing the Jordan River, viewing ancient rock paintings, pass through breathtaking grasslands and walk through the Mpharane Village to the Makhulong Chalets. From there footpaths will take visitors on a climb to a ridge that gives a complete view of the surrounding landscapes. Hikers can enjoy moderate rock climbing, venture through streams and enjoy the nature along the footpaths. After spending an evening at the Manoloka Chalets, guests will set out on an adventure of rivers, protea grasslands, mountain peaks and rock climbing paths that will lead them to the Madlangala Chalets. On the last day of hiking, visitors will find an easier stretch ahead of them, blanketed with spectacular wild flowers and birds that fill the air with color and song. On reaching Qachas Nek, a vehicle will be waiting to take guests back to Matatiele, where their personal vehicles will be waiting.
The Mehloding Adventure Trail brings visitors closer to nature and teaches about the fascinating rural villages, indigenous trees, medicinal plants, rock art, ferns, forests, wildlife and local history. This is an experience that is rare and proudly South African.