A Backpacker's Guide To The

NATAL DRAKENSBERG

 

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Roland's Cave

Roland's Cave on Ndumeni's face     Roland's Cave is not for the faint-hearted!     Roland's cave and cliff face     Entrance to Roland's Cave

Inside Roland's Cave     View from Roland's Cave     Watching the sun rise

Roland's Cave - Courtsey of P Hilder

Location:

Cathedral Peak Wilderness Area, Northern Dakensberg.

Warning:

This cave is unsuitable for young or poorly supervised children.  There is a vertical drop of over 100 metres in front of the cave!  Take great care, especially in wet or windy conditions, and in snow or ice!

GPS Coordinates: WGS 84

S29 00.929 E29 11.318 at 3 099 metres (Landlubbers)

Description:

The cave can accommodate 5 people comfortably, but up to 8 can be squeezed in since the floor is almost perfectly level.

Comfort:  5/5

The sleeping area is perfectly level, with good headroom at the front end but angling down towards the back.  There are lots of nooks and crannies in the walls and roof for storing food and equipment.

Water:  1/5

The nearest running water is about 1 km from the cave in summer, and even further in winter, behind the top of Organ Pipes Pass.  It is not too strenuous a walk, but it could prove tricky in mist.

Pools:  0/5

There are no good pools within easy walking distance of the cave.

Shelter:  5/5

Because it is a true cave, Roland's Cave provides excellent shelter except in the very worst conditions, when it would be unwise to risk the walk into the cave anyway.  For a small group it is a good alternative to tenting at the top of Organ Pipes Pass and a far better alternative to the Upper and Lower Ndumeni Caves, provided everyone in the group has a head for heights!

Outlook:  5/5

The cave provides excellent vistas of the Cathedral Peak range to the north and the Organ Pipes below.

Overall Rating:  16/25

History:

The cave is named after Roland, a member of the Mountain Club of South Africa.  A plaque mounted on the wall of the cave in his honour bears the inscription "A man of the mountains and a mountain of a man".  Please treat this cave with the respect it deserves as a memorial to a man considered worthy of such an epitaph.

Last modified on 2011/11/10