Day 19 – A Vulture Spectacle

40 days – 40 hikes- Walking 4 Education

Education breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds peace. ~ Confucius

We awoke to a very misty morning at Drifters Drakensberg Lodge. After a scrumptious breakfast we met our guide Justice and decided that we’d head off in the direction of the Bushman Paintings and decide our route as the morning wore on…

We went from the Lodge and climbed steadily onto the next contour level and then followed an easy gradient round to the paintings. The paintings are on a single rock and this is a collection of many stories. There was an interesting painting of a domestic dog as well as what looked like an elephant.

The weather looked set-in but we decided that we would go to the top of the cliff line and visit the Vulture Colony. The last time I visited this spot was when I was about 12 and there is a photo of me crying my eyes out… I remember it being steep and my fear of heights was on my mind as we began the steep climb. The log steps certainly help climb but they also help preserve the mountain side by helping to curb erosion. We finally reached the rock at the top and with the help of Hilton & Justice I was hoisted up.

We then walked along the cliff line and sat down just above the colony of birds. The Cape Vulture is an endangered species and it was a real treat to see so many birds. They flew from their nests, circled above us and we sat in absolute awe for at least 40 minutes before deciding to brew tea and take it all in for another little while. This was an experience to treasure.

We assessed the weather once more and Babangibona was still in thick mist and so we decided to head down the same way and extend our walk by following the Royal Drakensberg MTB cycle route. This follows a good jeep track and so we paced our way through to Montusi Mountain Lodge.

A very special day and thanks to Richard & Steffi from Drifters for hosting us last night. We had a wonderful sleep, delicious meals and so enjoyed experiencing more of the Northern Drakensberg.

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Below is a record of progresss so far…

DayDestinationDistance KMGain M
2Cannibal Cavern7.75475
3Natural Pool2.7287
4Echo Cave5.63321
7Mahai Valley11.76143
8Back to Cavern14.96477
9Jackal Hill7.28206
10Top Dams3.07106
11Sungubala Challenge14.21809
13Park Grotto19.27853
14Camels Hump8.11374
15Policemans Helmet12.34511
16Big Five16.81933
17Silent Woman3.4115
18Sungubala to Drifters11.6715
19Vulture Colony13.81350

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