Mehloding Adventure Trail
Matatiele, Eastern Cape
A choice of four welcoming chalets in the little explored southern Drakensberg in the Ongeluksnek Valley at the border between the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu Natal and Lesotho. Constructed by local people with traditional designs and materials, they offer a unique getaway destination for family groups, backpackers and adventure seekers.
Rustic yet homely, they provide hot showers, flush toilets, boma, separate bedrooms (twin or dormitory) with linen and towels and a communal lounge and kitchen for either self-catering or catered accommodation. All offer private seclusion with stunning views of mountains and rural scenery. Each chalet is equipped for 12 people and has permanent staff for daily servicing. Gas cooking facilities and paraffin lamps are provided.
The Mehloding Chalets are an ideal base to explore the local area, whether you are hiking, mountain biking, horse riding (Masakala chalet only) or simply relaxing in the beautiful scenery. Each chalet serves as an overnight stopover for people doing the Mehloding Adventure Trail.
The Chalets and Trails are a community based and operated product which aspires to benefit local communities through the provision of employment opportunities and involvement in sustainable eco-tourism opportunities. The Mehloding Community Trust which runs the Masakala Lodge and the Mehloding Chalets is a member of the Fair Trade in Tourism SA organization and subscribes to their ethics and code of practice.
DAY ONE: 14 km
Starting point after overnight at Malekhalonyane chalet near Motseng village. Chalet is in open grassland with mountain views along which the trail traverses in a north-easterly direction. Cross over the Jordan river soon after starting the hike. Pause to inspect rock art paintings on route which your guide will point out. Short steep climbs up onto grassland ridge with easy walking descending to stream crossing near Masupha village. Moderate climb with great views followed by descent through Mpharane village to chalet.
DAY TWO: 20 km
Makhulong situated above Mpharane village provides one communal rectangular building with kitchen, two bathrooms and dining room opening onto a terrace for evening drinks and braais. Accommodation is in three rondavels sleeping 6 in on dormitory and two rooms sleeping 2 people each. The chalets are quite close to the village so you can wander down to meet the local people and buy produce from the local spaza shop etc.
DAY THREE: 14 km
Machekong, right beneath the Three Sisters ridge, has one communal house opening onto a terrace with stunning views, two-bathroom, dining room and a kitchen. There are two rondavels (one dormitory style and one divided into two twin rooms). This is the most isolated of the chalets and will suit nature lovers and hikers wishing to explore the walks to rock art and waterfalls.
DAY FOUR: 13 km
Madlangala, built from local rock and surrounded by Protea trees, consists of one main house with two bathrooms, kitchen and dining room opening onto a covered terrace with mountain views. Accommodation is in two rondavels (one dormitory and one divided into two twin rooms).
Discover the Mehloding Adventure Trail for yourself!
For the fit and the adventurous, a stunning guided trail into this lesser known part of the Ukhahlamba / Drakensberg national park (a World Heritage Site). Discover San rock art, protea and tree ferns, indigenous forests, wildflower gardens and rare birds. Pass through rural villages and be greeted by friendly local communities and experience traditional culture. At the end of each day be welcomed by your hostess at comfortable chalets where you can enjoy a hot shower, African cuisine and an inviting bed!
Trail package includes:
Twin or dormitory room accommodation
Dinner, breakfast and free service tea/coffee
Hot showers, linen and towels
Return transfers from Matatiele - R 300.00 pp
Bag Transfers between Chalets at R 1600.00 per group
Tour Guide - R250.00 pp
- Dinner, Bed and Breakfast after the hike at Masakala Guest House - R800.00 pp
Full trail is R 4680.00 per person for 5 day/4 nights (groups of 2 or more).
- R55.00 once off per reservation