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Rhino Peak is the icon of the Southern Drakensberg
Rhino Peak (3051m 10011ft) is located in the southern Drakensberg. The best access is from Garden Castle.
The Rhino Peak Hiking Trail
The Rhino Peak hiking trail requires and early start to cover about 18 km, and this trail is graded severe to extreme. Fill in the Mountain Register before setting off and upon return, sign out.
Follow the main path from the office in a north-westerly direction, parallel to the Mlambonja River. Follow the path for about 1,5 km with the river on the right, before going onto the left-hand bank for another 1,5 km past Pillar Cave. Shortly thereafter it crosses the river and another path (not shown on the map) branches off just below Pillar Cave and goes up to the three Little Caves before rejoining the Mashai Pass path.
From the river crossing above Pillar Cave the 4 km slog up the pass begins. You will pass the Mashai Fangs on the left, and the Mashai Shelter marks the top of the pass. The path takes the obvious line across the saddle between the escarpment and the peak, which juts out like the head after which it is named. From the head of the pass to the tip of the Rhinos Horn, it is 2 km, gaining 150 m in altitude. If the weather is anything but fair, think carefully before proceeding along the knife-edge ridge to the horn, because you will be very exposed.
This trail can take between 8 and 10 hours to complete. If possible carry a cell phone and space blanket for any emergencies. Always be prepared for bad weather and carry rainproof clothing. Drink enough fluids whilst walking.
Rhino Peak rock climbing
- Rhino Peak Southern Route. The route climbs on the peaks south face. The hardest pitch is grade 13. To climb this peak a two hour approach is taken to get to the overnight bivvy at Pillar Cave. The climb and walk out then takes place the following day. Best climbed from April to October.
- Rhino Peak Eastern Route . A shorter route than the Southern Route and is suitable for climbers with limited experience. The same approach is needed. Can be climbed any time of the year.
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Directory of accommodation in Underberg