The Ndedema Gorge is in the Cathedral Peak area of the Northern Drakensberg. Ndedema Gorge is also known as the valley of the bushmen. San paintings can be found in the cave sandstone cliffs in and around the valley. Ndedema Valley contains a remarkable concentration of rock paintings. A total of 3909 individual bushman rock art images in 17 shelters have been documneted. The Ndedema Gorge is a popular hiking and camping area with well-marked paths and easy gradients. Ndedema is also home the the largest natural forest in the Drakensberg Mountains and much game can be found here too. This 5.5km gorge is not far from Cathedral Peak Nature Reserve and Mike’s Pass. Walks or hikes along the Ndedema Gorge are an absolute treat for anybody with any anthropological interest whatsoever, and especially those with a keen interest in seeing rock art.
Hiking Trails in Ndedema Gorge
- You can make this a long three-day round trip hike from the Emhlwazeni Store or you can walk to the top of the gorge and return the way you came in a day. The round trip is about 26.5 kilometres and you can camp en route. Ndedema Gorge is renown for having the highest concentration, and some of the best examples, of rock art in the Drakensberg Mountains.
- Contour Path- Ndedema to Monk’s Cowl: A moderate 2 day hike(27.5 kms) A severe hike which starts at the contour path at the upper end of the Ndedema Valley. This is reached via the solar cliffs path in the Cathedral area, or via the Hikes’ Pass route up to the contour path. The hike follows the contour path southwards traversing the Mdedela Wilderness area.
- Cathedral Peak to Ndedema is a fairly demanding option at three hours over 3.5km. The contour path rises up the Cathedral range and down the Ndedema Gorge.