Easter Cave Hike, KwaZulu-Natal

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Welcome, dear adventurers, to the whimsical world of the Easter Cave Hike—a journey not for the faint of heart, nor for those who consider a brisk walk to the fridge…

Welcome, dear adventurers, to the whimsical world of the Easter Cave Hike—a journey not for the faint of heart, nor for those who consider a brisk walk to the fridge a sufficient form of exercise. Nestled in the northern Drakensberg, within the enchanting Cathedral Peak Wilderness Area, this trek is a rite of passage for the truly intrepid soul. Let’s embark on a tour, shall we? But first, a disclaimer: this excursion is rated from moderate to “I thought I was fit until I tried this.”

Our story begins and ends in the same mystical location, the Cathedral Peak Wilderness Area, a place where even the air seems to whisper ancient tales. Here, fitness isn’t just recommended; it’s required. Picture this: a cave that actually looks like a cave—yes, you heard right. With a bona fide hollow, curved entrance, Easter Cave stands out in a land often characterized by mere overhangs. It’s like finding a real-life emoji in the mountain range.

Perched aloofly upon a peak that shrugged off the burden of a name, Easter Cave is snuggled between the Ntonjelana and Mlambonja passes. It’s a popular pit stop for those embarking on the Drakensberg Grand Traverse, an epic journey stretching the spine of the ‘berg from the Sentinel to Bushman’s Nek. If you’re wondering, yes, it takes about two weeks, and no, there aren’t any convenience stores along the way.

The path to Easter Cave is not for sissies. It’s an adventure through a fantastical landscape of valleys and ridges, past the majestic Mont-Aux-Sources, down the serpentine Khubedu River valley, across more valleys and ridges, through the Fangs Pass, and even more. Or, for a change of scenery, you might start your ascent from the Mweni Cultural Centre, braving the Icidi Pass, and bedding down in a cave before tackling the escarpment to Easter Cave. Either route you choose, it’s an exercise in endurance and sheer willpower.

Should you meet someone who’s spent a night in Easter Cave, give them a nod of respect; they’ve earned their stripes as hikers of valor. This cozy cavern can accommodate a snug group of four to six people, with seasonal variations (it seems even caves aren’t immune to the whims of weather, with summer bringing the occasional indoor shower).

But wait, there’s more! Just a stone’s throw away—or a 15-minute walk for those without Herculean strength—lie the rock pools by the Kwakwatsi River, a perfect spot for a chilly dip or contemplative moment with nature. And for those who like to wander off the beaten path, a faint trail winks enticingly from Easter Cave towards Twins Cave, daring the boldest explorers to discover its secrets before it shyly disappears.

So, pack your gear, lace up your boots, and prepare for a journey where the views from Easter Cave will etch themselves into your memory, painting a panorama of the Cathedral Peak range so breathtaking, it’ll turn even the most eloquent poets wordless. Remember, in the Drakensberg, every step is a story, and Easter Cave is a chapter you’ll want to write yourself. Happy trails, intrepid explorers!






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