Has anyone been to the Ribbon falls cave at Cathedral peak that can share some info on the cave, location, safety etc.?
Been there recently. Very easy to find (we hiked up in the rain and at night and found it easily). Maybe an hours hike from the hotel, depending on your speed. Path all the way from the hotel to the cave. Actually 2 paths. One on each side of the stream running past the cave. Right hand side was easier for me - less overgrown. Cave (actually an overhang) accommodated 7 of us easily. You could comfortably fit 3 more people in, except if it rains hard, then the front of the cave will be wet.
Close to water and on about 1900m ASL. Nice spot from which to start your ascent to the escarpment the next day. Easy access to the Camel from this location.
Thank you Riaan. The information is highly appreciated. We will be hiking with my two boys which is 8 years old. The second day we plan to hike and pitch tent close to Tseketseke. Any ideas on an area to camp? We thought of looking at the junction of the contour path and Tseketseke pass for a flat area.
The next day we plan to hike to Xeni cave. Looks like there is an area on the map where the path is a thick red line to Xeni cave? The contour path around looks like an additional 3km. Do you now the “thick red line” section at Xeni Cave.
Sorry for all the questions, but it is always lekker to chat to somebody that knows the berg.
(PS how would you rate the Camel out of 10? We want to do a 4 day hike in August and wanted to go up with Organ Pipes pass but also considered going up with the camel. (without the kids, hehehehe!))
Kind hiker’s Regards,
Hi Picolla, there is a flat spot where the contour path joins the Tseketseke river. You can also book Tseketseke hut, which is about 500m or so upstream.
I haven’t done the descent from the contour path to Xeni cave yet, actually planning to do that next weekend! Can tell you in May therefore, but looking on Google Earth there is a clear trail from the cave ti the contour path, but it ciuld be steep, hence the red lines. Alternatively you can go to the left (north) and work your way through the rockband.
The Camel links up with Organ Pipes pass, shortly after climbing through windy gap. I assume you would therefore be going up either with Thuthumi pass or smugglers pass if not camel?
How difficult would depend on things like your fitness level (unfit it will be tough as you gain a lot of height over a short distance), weather (last time I went up was about 6 weeks ago in the rain so the rocky sections, especially the one between the last hump of the camel and windy gap was a bit dodgy. You can bypass it by climbing over and around it), snow etc. It is not technically difficult and I’ve always enjoyed the Camel. As you walk between the humps you have alternating views of north and south passes, which is beautiful! Difficulty rating I would give it 6/10 - it’s a relatively fast and comfirtable 6 hour hike from the hotel below to the top of Organs if you are moderately hiking fit. Going over Cleft peak thereafter will give you a proper workout!
Once on top of Organs, you can consider sleeping over in Rolands cave, awesome cave up in Ndumeni Dome, but if you don’t have a head for heights then rather stay away as the walkin to the cave has a huge exposure risk. If you slip and fall on the approach you will most likely be dead as the drop-off directly below is a bit over 80m high according to my gps. Fortunately there are 2 upper and 2 lower Ndumeni caves to choose from as well. The typical route from here is to go north, over cleft then mahout on to Twins or Easter cave near Mlambonja pass. From here straight down or a longer route via the Bell traverse back down to the hotel. So many choices!