The four-day hike leads through impressive mountain landscapes of the southern Drakensberg and its foothills near the border to Lesotho.
The Mehloding Trail takes hikers on four daily stages, with an average distance of 15 to 20 kilometers, through the natural and cultural landscapes on the ”Tail of the Dragon”, as this part of the 3,000-meter Drakensberg Mountains is jokingly called.
At the end of each stage you will stay overnight in local guest houses. In addition to a local guide and all meals, the arrangement includes transfers for the hikers to the starting point of the trail as well as the return transport back to the trailhead.
This is the Masakala Guest House of the Trust in the village of the same name, 8 km outside Matatiele.
On the day of arrival you will be transferred to the “Malekhalonyana Chalet” near the village of Motseng, where you will spend the night and start your hike on the Mehloding Trail the following morning.
The chalet is located in the open grasslands and offers scenic views of the mountains rising along the trail. Shortly after crossing the “Jordan River” (sic!) at the beginning of the hike, a short steep climb leads to a ridge and then you will hike steadily downhill to a river crossing near the village of Masupha.
A moderate climb with beautiful views is followed by a descent until you reach the chalet there for the second night after crossing the village of Mpharane.
Behind Mpharane you will cross the river Seeta. After that, a steady climb leads you to an elongated ridge offering 360° views followed by a winding path that then leads through a vegetation zone where numerous proteas grow, interspersed with small river courses and valley incisions. The final climb takes you to the next day’s stop, the chalet at Maboloka, located between the peaks of the Twin Sisters and those of Makalane. From here, a short walk down to the river leads to a sandstone panel with well-preserved San rock paintings.
The next day begins with a moderate climb through varied scenery interspersed with interesting sandstone formations down to the clear Kinira River, then following the rolling terrain through the villages of Goxe and Pepela. The Diqalabeng Chalet is located in the Protea grasslands beyond the Makomoring River. The final day of the hike passes through remnants of primary forest, protea woodlands and grasslands before ending at Qachas Nek at the border post to Lesotho. Depending on the season, many wildflowers and native bird species can be spotted on this leg.
The ‘‘Mehloding Community Tourism Trust” is trying to create alternative sources of income for families and villages through community based tourism.