INTRODUCTION TO MNWENI HIKES
The Mnweni area is a traditional tribal area in the Northern Drakensberg. Access this region from Bergville. The local community has set up a unique cultural centre with accommodation and guides trained to take groups of hikers on the many trails in this area. The Mnweni is one of the most ruggedly beautiful regions of the Drakensberg and contains peaks such as the Mnweni Needles and the Saddle. Two of the most well-known hikes that start here are Mnweni Pools and the Rockeries.
MNWENI POOLS – INCLUDING LONG POOL, MLAMBU POOL AND UBEBE POOLS
One of the most popular hikes in this area is the day hike to the crystal clear and turquoise-coloured Mnweni Pools. Such a hike can include Long Pool, Mlambu’s Pools and Ubebe Pools. Hire a guide to take you on this trail. This hike lasts five hours, and its distance is approximately 13 kilometres (if limited to the Mnweni Pools and Ubebe Pools) or about 18 kilometres if it includes Long Pool or Mlambu’s Pools. The walk starts and ends at the Mnweni Cultural Centre. It is also possible to shorten it if you can arrange a drop-off at the point where the trail intersects with the main road from the Mnweni Centre. It is essential that you pay to do this hike at this facility and that you complete the mountain register.
The co-ordinates for the various pools are as follows:
Mnweni Pools S28° 48′ 51.73″ E 29° 02′ 39.52″;
Ubebe Pools S28° 48′ 36.77″ E29° 03’16.50″;
Mlambu’s Pools S28°49’57.2″ E29°01’19.0″;
Long Pool S28°50’08.1″S 29°00’14.1″E
Slingsby’s Map for the area is a useful source.