Preparing Northern Hike Traverse -please advice

Hi to everybody, in October we are planning to go for Norhtern Hike Traverse. Could you please give me some advices?
Do I need to aply for treking permit in advance? Is it possible to buy gas bombs in Johannesburg? Thanks a lot!

Please clarify what advice you require - there is a lot of relevant information on this topic!

You can buy a traverse permit at Sentinel Car Par/Witsieshoek, but that only covers you as far as the top of the Chain Ladders (no need to book this in advance). If you go that way, you will need a permit for the Cathedral Peak region from Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife - try contacting Cathedral Peak Hotel and see if they can help you, as Ezemvelo won’t be able to. If you have an Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife permit, you don’t also need the Witsieshoek permit, so ideally you want to try and sort this out in advance. You can theoretically pay for the permit when you arrive at the end (just call them/email them and ask for permission beforehand), but if you need rescue after the top of the chain ladders, you might not be covered. The only permits you can book and pay for online are caves and mountain huts - unfortunately, and none of the ones at Cathedral Peak can be booked online. It is really annoying that these can’t be booked online.

I assume you mean gas cylinders for cooking? You can buy those at a number of shops in Jo’burg, including Cape Union Mart, Outdoor Warehouse and Trappers. Based on how you are asking, I’m assuming you aren’t from SA? You can catch the Gautrain from the airport to Rosebank Mall to buy it there. Rosebank Mall has a number of shops, so you can buy any supplies you need for the hike there, including food or even hiking equipment/clothing.

I assume you have a plan to get from Jo’burg to Witsieshoek? It is far we don’t have much in the way of proper safe public transport aside from the Gautrain.

As far as the hike goes - please make sure you have properly read up on the Drakensberg beforehand. This route gets underestimated often. Weather and navigation can be tricky - especially since the route is entirely unmarked, and where there are trails, they often don’t lead where you are trying to go. I’d suggest looking at this website:

If you have time, I’d suggest going down Organ Pipes Pass instead of Mlambonja Pass/Bell Traverse. Aside from being an easier pass with better views, this means you get to see the area from The Elephant to Cleft Peak, which in my opinion is the most beautiful part of the entire Drakensberg (if not the entirely of South Africa). Here’s a writeup I did on Organ Pipes Pass a few years ago: