Toddler Drakensberg exploration

Hi all, we want to explore the southern parts of the Drakensberg with our two toddlers and we’re looking for trail recommendations. We’re looking for some amazing views, pools and waterfalls. We can do about 10-12km’s in total on a day hike / overnight hike (1 night). Something similar to Marble Baths / Blind Man’s Corner would be amazing.

Hidden Valley at Garden Castle would work well. It is about 8km each way, flat easy ground with a large rock pool at Puffadder Rock, where you can also easily camp. You can also go higher up the valley and camp there, if you want more distance. Its usually very popular with parents taking their 7-10 year olds for a first night in a tent. Its easier than Blind Mans Corner, and similar in difficulty to Marble Baths.

Another slightly harder, but still very easy, option is to do day 2 of the Giants Cup Trail from Cobham. Mzimkhulwana Hut has a large rock pool outside it and is an easy walk. Added bonus - you can stay in a hut, which makes your pack a bit lighter. There are no mattresses, and the showers only have cold water, but it is in a reasonable location.

Pillar Cave from Garden Castle is another great one - and probably the best view from any of the options. It is shorter than your 10-12km, but is near a good pool and is not a difficulty hike.

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Thanks! This info is great!

Many day hike options with pools.
The beautiful thing about Lotheni is that the escarpment is set back a little so the views from the valleys are expansive. We had an Old Year’s Eve there with massive electrical storms raging on the escarpment whilst lying on our backs star gazing.

Problems with the camp site however are that some genius decided all the old trees had to be felled, being exotic, I get that but it’s exposed. If you book for camping try to get the site called Dassie, it has an acacia tree with rowdy weavers. Otherwise the Mountain Hut is a good choice. It’s a small campsite so hardly gets crowded, and we were there 23 Dec to 6Jan.

You can relax by Cool Pools, hike the Emandundwini trail, which has great pools at the top, or hike at least one or two others with similar joys.

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Thanks! We’ll be travelling for two weeks in total so we’ll have a lot of time to explore .