About the Giants Castle Drakensberg Slack Packing Trail

Explore the Drakensberg foothills without the burden of a backpack walking from lodge to lodge, having your luggage transported for you and looking forward to excellent 3 course meals. The Drakensberg Slack packing trail is a luxury hike offering comfortable and varied accommodation experiences each night, luggage transfers and delectable catering.

Drakensberg slack packing trail
Drakensberg Slack Packing Trail

The Drakensberg slack packing hiking trail includes some of the most scenic and bio diverse parts of KwaZulu Natal. This hiking trail provides access to private land, a game reserve and locally forged conservancies. Special places where people normally would not have access. All you need to do is organise a group of friends or join one of our prearranged trips, and look forward to a gentle stroll carrying nothing more than a packed picnic, some binoculars and a good birding book.

Hiking in Zulu Waters Game Reserve

This is a three day round hike encompassing curated paths through the Zulu Waters Private Game Reserve and the Lowlands Conservancy. Well known for its rich biodiversity, the daily hikes are gentle in distance and gradient making this hike a perfect beginner’s hike for families and for those less experienced and fit. The lodges offer locally grown, home cooked meals as an added bonus.

In the summer, there are rivers and dams to swim in and plenty of picturesque picnic spots on route.

Link to trail map

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Drakensberg Slack Packing accommodation

Day 1. Antbear Lodge

Antbear Lodge - Sustainable Drakensberg accommodation
Antbear Lodge – Sustainable Drakensberg accommodation

What makes Antbear Lodge special is that this is quite possibly one of them most sustainable lodges in South Africa. Here you will find home made cheese from their own milk, own eggs from their own home grown chickens and a wonderful organic garden. They also offer a luxury cave for accommodation

Hiking starts heading up to the top of the mountain with spectacular views looking out over the Drakensberg Mountains. Then down into the valley where you feel far away from everywhere

Day 2. Leopards Lair Lodge

Leopards Lair Lodge - Giant Castle Central Drakensberg
Leopards Lair Lodge – Giant Castle Central Drakensberg

Leopards Lair is one of those lovely places full of family atmosphere offering a real agri tourism experience. Meet Lalie their hand reared eland, their rescue emus and ostriches and the rest of their farmyard menagerie.

Your walk from here starts off easy and then drops back down into the Mbogta Valley. And then the high light where you enter the Zulu Waters Game Reserve

day 3. Zulu Waters Shaka Lodge

Zulu Waters Shaka Lodge
Zulu Waters Shaka Lodge – African safari luxury

Shaka Lodge offers the the lapse of luxury withing the Zulu Waters Game Reserve. Your own private chef will prepare delicacies that will make you want to stay forever.

Almost your whole day will be hiking inside the Game Reserve. You might see rhino, zebras, buffalo, ostriches, eland, water buck, wildebeest and so much more.

Fast facts

Duration: 3 days, 3 nights
Recommended fitness level: Easy to Moderate
Average daily walking distances: 12-15km
Accommodation types: Lodges including dinner and breakfast. Lunch packs are supplied daily. All dietary requirements available.
Price: from R7900 per person inclusive of accommodation, all meals, luggage transfer, registered guide & conservancy fees
Group size: 6 persons in a group
Guide: Deon Small registered mountain guide.

Bespoke tours can also be arranged for organised groups with special interests like butterflies, birding, ecology, wild flowers, mediation and star gazing.

Slack packing activity add ons

Add on a horse trail in the Game Reserve
Add on a horse trail in the Game Reserve
Add on a star gazing experience from a special star gazing hammock camp
Add on a star gazing experience from a special star gazing hammock camp
Spend some time in the Giants Castle Vulture Hide with a close and personal wildlife encounter