Dargle Discovery Trail

 

The Dargle Discovery is a 3-day slackpacking hike encompasses some of the best of the KZN Midlands hidden gems. Traversing privately owned land in conservancies otherwise not accessible to the public, the area is renowned for a rich biodiversity and high level of endemism. The ever-changing landscapes include highly threatened Mist-Belt Forest, Afro-Montane grassland, rolling farmland and challenging summits.

Trail Details

Trail location

The trail is located in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, in the Dargle Valley

Nearest city

Howick

Transport options

The trail is not far off the N3 with Howick being the closest hub. For group bookings, a shuttle can be arranged from Durban or self-drive.

Trip Duration / Options

Option 1: 3 nights / 3 days of hiking
Additional days accommodation and hiking in the area can be arranged.

Start / Finish

Start:

Starting GPS points for Mount Park Guestfarm or Lemonwood Cottages
GPS: 29˚48'64.07 S / 30˚05'35.22 E
Finish: As above

Hike area: Nhlosane
GPS: 29˚53'96.27 S / 29˚95'23.48 E

Daily Time / Distances

Day 1: 7-10 km     Day 2: 15 km     Day 3: 14 km

Trail Grading

On a grading of grading of Easy-Moderate-Strenuous

This trail should be regarded as moderate with short strenuous sections. There are some steep climbs, with some easy rock scrambling.

Physical Fitness

A fair level of hiking fitness required. 

 

Technical detail / Terrain

The terrain varies between well maintained Yellowwood forest logging paths, stone terraced paths, mountain paths, ravine trails and rocky ridges

Accommodation

Farm stays & 2-3 Star equivalent B&B's and Rustic Farm style lodges

Food Supply / Catering

This is a fully catered & supported trail. 

Alcoholic beverages and soft drinks not included, own supply can be transported.

Logistic support / Guiding

This is a vehicle supported trail, fully guided trail.

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Highlights

Comfortable lodges, log-fires & healthy, local and ethically sourced country cuisine, spectacular 360 degree panoramic views of the Dargle and Lidgetton Valley, challenging summits, flower spotting and ancient Yellowwood forests

Other Activities

Birding, Flyfishing & Wild Flowers, Horse-Riding, Mountain Biking, Midlands Meander Art and Crafts

Fauna & Flora

This highly endangered and fragmented Mist-Belt grassland and forest region is considered by the World conservation Union to be one of the 5 rich floral regions in Africa. It boasts a wide selection of special trees and plants including ancient Yellowwoods, Lemonwood, Red Stink Wood and Cape Chestnuts. Grassland flower displays a splash of seasonal colour and include Gladiolus, Watsonia, Snake Lily, Orchids and Candelabra Flowers. Good chance of seeing ungulates – oribi, reedbuck, Grey duiker. Other mammals include Samango monkeys, jackal, porcupine, serval and rock and tree dassie also often seen.

Climate

The relative altitude has a moderating effect on summer temperature with day time temperatures seldom exceeding 30 degrees C. Summer nights can be cool > 15 degrees C. The rainy season is in Summer ( November to February)

Winter days are warm and dry, often above 20 degree C with night temperatures 1-10 Degrees C. Occasionally there is a small scattering of snow in surrounding higher altitude areas.Winter days are warm and dry, often above 20 degree C with night temperatures 1-10 Degrees C. Occasionally there is a small scattering of snow in surrounding higher altitude areas.Winter days are warm and dry, often above 20 degree C with night temperatures 1-10 Degrees C. Occasionally there is a small scattering of snow in surrounding higher altitude areas.

Seasonality & Best Time Year

All year round. In late Spring and Summer, light mist and drizzle is to be expected. Whilst days are shorter in winter because the weather is more stable and pleasantly warm. Spring & Summer are the best months for wild flowers. March–May and Sept–Nov are particularly good months for hiking. No scheduled hikes are planned in the winter months when they burn the grasslands (June to August)

Group Size

Minimum 4 persons – maximum 12 to 14 persons for single groups

Price P/P

Price varies based on group size, but on  10-12 persons R4200 pp

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Price Includes

3 Nights Accom (per person sharing basis)
Full Catering: 3 packed/picnic/restaurant lunches for the hike days and 3 dinners and 3 breakfasts at the accommodation
Hiking Guide – a qualified nature guide to explore the fauna and fauna with you on the trail
Hiking Permits and land permissions for the 3 hike day
10% donation to local conservation projects

Price excludes:
Travel and health insurance
Own alcoholic and sports drinks
Travel to and from the Trail head

Here you'll find any scheduled trails that you can join. Trails may be booked up to one year in advance, so be sure to scroll ahead using the arrows on the left to find if there are any available.  The trail operator page will also list any scheduled trails.

If you would like to enquire about different dates, please fill in the form below.  Trails are initiated when someone makes an enquiry, and go ahead once the minimum numbers are confirmed.

Scheduled Dargle Discovery Trails

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Dargle Discovery Trail enquiry

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