Welcome to Amatola Trails!
Amatola Trails offers all of the services that hikers of the Amatola Hiking Trail need, in one place. We offer Trail bookings, pre and post hike Accommodation, Shuttle service to the start of the trail, Safe parking for the duration of the hike, communication with Rangers in the field in case of emergency and Budget packages of all of these, making the Amatola Trail easy to book and hassle free.Please see below information to see what services suit your needs.
What we offer
We make the booking for you and / or your group for either the full trail or sections of the trail if you have time constraints.
We offer 2 great options to get out into the Amatola Mountains:
6-day, 5-night trail
(106km) From Maden Dam – Gwili Gwili – Dontsa – Cata – Mnyameni – Zingcuka to Hogsback(Trail Details)
2 day, 1 night trail
From Hogsback - Zingcuka - Hogsback. This is a great opportunity to do a longer hike than a day hike, but without the time and physical constraints of the full 6 day hike.We have 2 options
Beginner / Bad Weather - You leave from Away with the Fairies, hike through the Auckland Nature Reserve, then around two contour paths with valley views, then down a forestry road through Eucalyptus and then indigenous forest to get to the Zingcuka hut. Spend the night at Zingcuka Hut in the indigenous forest.
This route keeps a low altitude so avoids the worst of any inclement weather, while it is also easy to pull out most of the way around if there is injury.
Advanced - A WORLD CLASS DAYS HIKING. Set off from Away with the Fairies, very early and walk along Wolf Ridge Road to the end point of the 6 day trail just past Madonna and Child. Follow the stream up a steep path and hike between Hog 1 and Hog 2 Mountains. Follow the footprints to meet up with Day 5 of the Amatola Trail, following the stream to waterfalls and swimming holes. Then you walk along the edge of a precarious cliff path with breathtaking views and then down an incredibly steep precepice to the Indigenous Forest and onto the Zingcuka Hut to overnight.
This day is around 22km, and very strenuous and through intense terrain and at high altitude. It must only be undertaken by fit and well prepared hikers. Once you start there is no option of being pulled out, it's impossible due to its remoteness .
Day 2 is the final day of the 6 day trail. Set off as early as you can, low in the indigenous forest at Zingcuka Hut and work your way up the back of Hog 1 Mountain. You skirt the side of the peak of the mountain then work your way down the face. The views are unbelievable. You find yourself following a stream down a steep mountain pass with it's many waterfalls and swimming pools to the end of the 5 day trail. Those staying at Away with the Fairies, if they have time, may opt to hike through the Auckland Nature Reserve visiting Madonna and Child, Bridal Veil and Swallow Tail Waterfalls and The Big Tree to end up at the hostel. This makes a big days hiking huge. Alternatively follow Wolfridge Road back into Hogsback.
This is a long days hike too, over high altitude prone to adverse weather conditions and with a lot of hard hiking both up and down a mountain.
Beginner / Bad Weather Option - Once you are on the advanced trail there is no exit other than the beginning or the end of the trail. If the weather is bad on either Day 1 or Day 2 then the Beginner / Bad Weather option mentioned above is advised, even if you do it both days (day 2 in reverse from Zingcuka to Hogsback).
Both day 1 and day 2 are in high altitude (apart from the beginner / Bad Weather option) and will be in clouds if the weather is bad, so both days should only be attempted in perfect weather conditions. Both days are also extremely strenuous so should only be attempted by people with a reasonable level of fitness, with suitable hiking gear and carrying all their supplies.
It is an incredible trail, and a tough hike so don’t under-estimate it! You must be fit and capable of hiking a minimum of 10 hours a day, never knowing what Mother Nature might throw at you.
What you will need: good hiking boots, lots of socks for crossing the streams, sleeping bag, all weather jacket, cooking utensils, food and other goodies for your overnight/s stay.
What is provided: Wooden huts with mattresses, Running water, showers, toilets and wood.
It has become popular to spend the night up in beautiful Hogsback the night before the hike and after, this gives you time to prepare for the hike the night before and have a really good nights rest on your return.
Away with the Fairies
Please see below for the packages which include the shuttle and 2 nights at either one of these establishments.
Shuttle to the Start
We offer a TRANSFER SERVICE from Hogsback on the starting day of your trail to your preferred starting point. We meet at Away with the Fairies reception at 05h45 and leave at 06h00 - getting you to the trail at around 07h30 - this allowing you time for a full days hike to get to your first hut.
Rate: R165 per person | Minimum PAX x4 (R600) - Maximum x15 persons
We also offer Safe Parking in Hogsback allowing you to leave all your cars next door to the fairies backpackers, safely until you return.
Rate: R50 per vehicle
Safe parking is included at NO COST for our guests.
PLEASE NOTE: We will be available for the duration of your hike, if you have the need to be in contact with us during your trail and need assistance from the Forest Rangers - we will liaise with them and make sure you are looked after.
In the case that a hiker needs to be returned to Hogsback, we will offer a pick up from the Keiskammahoek ranger office. Cost depends on how many pax / public holiday and length of the call out.
We have structured the prices to accommodate the needs of hiking groups for a 2 night stay on either side of your hike, the shuttle to the start and safe parking with discounts for groups.
Our packages include the following:
- 2 Nights Accommodation
- Shuttle to the start of the trail
- Safe Parking
Accommodation backpackers style at Away with the Fairies the evening before and the evening after their hike. This allows you to wake up early and board the shuttle, and on your return from the hike, there is nothing better than a cold one to celebrate and the Fairies delicious pizza.
We offer accommodation in either en-suites, dormitories or camping however our most ideal option is our en-suite Striders Hikers Cottage that sleeps up to 14 in en-suite rooms.
Striders Hikers Cottage, on Away with the Fairies’ adjoining property boasts a lovely view of the Amatola Mountains, sleeping 14 persons in 6 basic, private en-suite rooms. It is ideal for your group as it is away from the bustle of the backpackers, while you have your own combined area, with a separate basic self-catering kitchen, and all bedding and towels provided.
The Rooms at Striders Hikers Cottage are as follows:
- 2 x Twin rooms en-suite
- 1 x triple room en-suite (3 single beds)
- 2 x Double rooms en-suite
- 1 x Double room with extra bed en-suite
Camping Budget Package
6+ PAX | Discounted Rate: R350 p.p.
Dorm style Budget Package
6+ PAX | Discounted Rate: R475 p.p.s
Striders en-suite Budget package
6+ PAX | Discounted Rate: R550 p.p.s
Please note: Striders Cottage consists of rooms with triples, doubles and singles, with the budget packages we will try and accommodate the couples/singles as best we can but the package is per person sharing.
All budget packages include 2 nights stay / shuttle to the start of the trail and safe parking.
Including 2 nights stay / Shuttle to the start of the trail and safe parking.
The Arminel Hotel
If you wanting more comfort the night before and after the hike, the Arminel is just that, with its original charm, this country hotel boasts large public areas.
You can either choose between staying at the hotel which has 26 hotel rooms including Double Rooms, Twin Rooms and Family Suites. All the bedrooms are set away from the public areas and lead directly onto the beautiful gardens and some have generous wooden decks. All bedrooms have television, kettles and heaters.
Or most ideal for hiking groups - the elegant self-catering FOREST COTTAGES: These thatched cottages are gently nestled in an exquisite garden setting. All have 2 bedrooms and either a loft or bunk room. Stylishly furnished to meet your every need with televisions, dishwashers, fireplace and outdoor weber braai.
However staying at either one of these options gives you the chance to enjoy a meal at the hotel restaurant and make use of the facilities.
Forest Cottage Package
4+ PAX | Discounted Rate: R970 p.p.s
Private Hotel Package
2+ PAX | Discounted Rate: R1725 p.p.s
PLEASE NOTE: For all bookings we require full payment in advance in order to secure your bookings.
In order to book your trail, please follow this link to our booking form (Booking Form), and we’ll do the rest.
Included in our booking service is the collection of your map from DAFF. We will have the map waiting for you on your arrival at Away with the Fairies. On the day of your trail, we will go through the map with your group and give you some valuable pointers.
Cost of Hiking Permits:
- Amatola Trail, 6 Days / 5 nights: R1120 per person Please note: This is your hiking permit and 5 overnight stays in the hikers huts.
- Fairy Trail 2 Day / 1 night: R350 per person. Please note: this is hiking permit and overnight at Zingcuka only.