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British Airways Highlife Magazine – July 2014 – Mnweni of the Drakensberg

Last year during winter I spent four very cold days in the Mnweni area of the Drakensberg, guided by Caiphus Mthabela, a Zulu who knows these mountains better than anyone else I’ve met. In my opinion, Mnweni is the most beautiful and wildest part of South Africa’s biggest mountain range, yet it is the only part that is not formally protected, falling outside the World Heritage Site because of historical and political reasons. Mnweni is very remote, with few hikers – so chances are you’ll have the place to yourself. Just watch out for Basotho dagga smugglers, who regularly use the steep passes at night to carry their merchandise down to the foothills. As a pure wilderness experience, it is one of the best in South Africa. And maybe one day the government and conservation organisations will work to include Mnweni in the larger uKhahlamba-Drakensberg World Heritage Site. Read my article in the upcoming issue of British Airways Highlife magazine. Much gratitude to editor Lin Murray for the guidance and feedback, and Craig Baxter for the epic layout. And to David Bristow and John Hone for the inspiration. And if you want to experience Mnweni like I did, then call Caiphus on 073-603-9107.

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