Explore the Oaklands countryside and snow-capped Drakensberg by foot this winter. The cold and dry climate offers perfect conditions for day hikes.
The Drakensberg: A Hikers Winter Wonderland
Don’t let cold feet keep you from lacing up your hiking boots because winter is the best time of year to hikes into the Drakensberg. The sweltering heat, humidity and dramatic thunderstorms of summer are replaced with moderate, dry and clear days between May and August. And with daytime temperatures climbing to a comfortable 20 degrees, this is the perfect time to plan a hiking holiday.
The Drakensberg is also well known for snowfalls when cold fronts roll in, but hiking in the snow can be fun if you have the right know-how and equipment. Here’s what to wear and how to prepare, come snow or shine…
Gear Up for the Hike
Weather in the Drakensberg is known to shift from warm to freezing in a matter of hours, so it’s best to be prepared. Wear hiking boots or a decent pair of comfortable, waterproof takkies and windproof jacket. A hat and sunscreen are also good ideas as the sun can do serious damage…even in winter.
Backpack stash – pack a fleecy jacket, gloves, scarf and beanie (just in case the cold is harsher than the sun). Remember adequate snacks, plenty of water and a flask of something warm to keep your energy and spirits up.
Hiking at Oaklands
Oaklands has a number of walking and hiking trails within a 15km radius of the Manor that hikers can explore at their own pace. The nearby northern stretch of Drakensberg has gorgeous day hikes on offer, but it’s best to keep the following tips in mind over the winter season:
- Be prepared for drastic weather changes
Visibility drops in snowstorms, so don’t try to navigate your way back if you can’t see where you are. Rather find shelter and sit it out to avoid getting lost in the snow.
- Never hike alone
Hike with a minimum of three people, even if you aren’t venturing very far.
- Always pack extra food and warm clothing
Imagine sitting out a blizzard on an empty tummy? No thanks!
- Pack a blanket and change of clothes…
…for just in case you case you’re forced to sleep on the mountain.