A Backpacker's Guide To The

NATAL DRAKENSBERG

 

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Twins Cave

Twins Cave, with the Twins above and to the left     Twins Cave from the annex     Approaching Twins Cave from the saddle     Inside Twins Cave     There is space to pitch a tent or two     View north from Twins Cave     View south from vicinity of Twins Cave

Location:

Cathedral Peak Wilderness Area, Northern Drakensberg.

GPS Coordinates: WGS 84

S28 57.026 E29 06.789 at 2 844 metres (Landlubbers)

Description:

The cave can accommodate the maximum of 12 people with ease.  However, while it is possible to book it, do not assume that doing so will mean you will not have to share it with other hikers.  In poor weather, groups which have every intention of camping on the escarpment at the top of Mlambonja Pass may decide that it is more prudent to seek shelter in the cave instead.

Comfort:  4/5

Most of the numerous sleeping areas are level, with generally good headroom and plenty of large boulders to shield the occupants from the wind.  However, in summer it is a very damp cave with plenty of drips, so the floor is muddy.

Water:  1/5

The nearest running water is about 1 km from the cave - either down Mlambonja Pass or in Lesotho.  The poor availability of water is the cave's main drawback, although those accessing it from the escarpment can easily manage to bring all their water with them.  In summer there is a fairly reliable trickle over the lip of a cliff on the contour path to Twins Cave Annex, about 100 from Twins Cave.

Pools:  0/5

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

Shelter:  2/5

In summer the Cathedral Peak range invites violent thunderstorms, and - protruding from the main escarpment as it does - it is not a pleasant place to be in bad weather since it bears the full brunt of the forces of nature.  In driving rain and snow, the cave can be nothing short of miserable.  Numerous drips result in the formation of large puddles and sections of the cave may even become flooded.  However, some of the flat areas inside the cave can accommodate a hiking tent and this might be a good option in such conditions!

Outlook:  5/5

On a clear day the cave provides excellent vistas of the northern berg from the Saddle to Devil's Tooth.  If you are prepared to venture further out from the cave, there is another saddle a short distance along the Bell Traverse from where it is possible to see the escarpment as far south as Cathkin Peak.

Overall Rating:  12/25

History:

The cave is named after the Twins - a prominent rock formation above the cave.

Last modified on 2011/11/10