Plan your trip

Getaway (South Africa) - - DRAKENSBERG -

GET­TING THERE

From Un­der­berg, take the sign­posted gravel roads to Bush­man’s Nek bor­der post and park at the KZN wildlife of­fice, where you fill in the moun­tain-res­cue reg­is­ter. Hike through or around the bor­der post (you could take pass­ports, but are tech­ni­cally al­ways in SA). Cross over the Ng­wang­wane River on your left and then fol­low the trail in a south-west­erly di­rec­tion. You’ll reach Tarn Cave and its sur­round­ing tarns along this trail up Bush­man’s Pass, or by con­tin­u­ing along the Ng­wang­wane River Val­ley. Both are very scenic, but the first route is much less steep.

WHEN TO GO

Sum­mer guar­an­tees wa­ter in the tarns, but also af­ter­noon thun­der­storms. In au­tumn, there may be less wa­ter but the weather is sta­ble and the grasses are chang­ing colour. In spring, snow is still likely.

STAY HERE

Camp wild (in a tent, cave or un­der the stars) in or­der to cap­ture the tarns at dawn and dusk. Overnight caves must be booked in ad­vance. A per­mit for wild camp­ing is R70 pp; day vis­i­tors pay R40 con­ser­va­tion fee. kzn­wildlife.com

NEED TO KNOW

Overnighters must be com­pletely self-suf­fi­cient. No fires are al­lowed so bring a camp cooker. There is cell­phone re­cep­tion, but it can be er­ratic in places. De­tailed hik­ing maps are sold at most of the KZN Wildlife of­fices in the park.

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