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.
The trail is located in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, in the Dargle Valley
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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)
Minimum 4 persons – maximum 12 to 14 persons for single groups
Price varies based on group size, but on 10-12 persons R4200 pp
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
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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