The Amatola Hiking Trail

The toughest and best hiking trail in South Africa

Hogsback and the Amatola Hiking Trail

The iconic village of Hogsback is the end point of the Amatola Hiking Trail, a spectacular 106km, 6 day/5 night hiking behemoth. It is also known as the Waterfall Trail, due to the incredible amounts of waterfalls along the way. This epic and extremely challenging trail was once voted by Getaway Magazine as the best trail in South Africa.  For any serious hiker, the Amatola Trail is one for the bucket list.  The incredible 2 day/1 night Zingcuka Trail starts and finishes in Hogsback and is almost certainly the best 2 day hike in South Africa.

Amatola Trails

Amatola Trails is a partner of Away with the Fairies that organizes everything that you will need to experience all, or part of this amazing hiking trail. We Specialise in packages that bundle everything you will need together in one go, including organising the permits, shuttles to the start of the trail,  pre and post hike accommodation, safe parking, hikers assist, a Semi-Slack-Packing option and Drop Off’s / Extractions from Huts – we sort it all out for you.

Bookings are essential

Before you can get into the wilderness you need to book your trail permit, get your map, choose your before and after hike accommodation, organise a shuttle to the start of the trail, find a safe place to leave your vehicle (Maden Dam is not a safe place to leave your vehicle) and have someone go through the map with you before you set off.   By booking through Amatola Trails you get all of this as the basic service so it avoids a huge amount of hassle and the risk of being left to fend for yourself.    As you might have guessed, we strongly recommend you book via Amatola Trails only.


For groups of up to 12, Acorn House, is the tailor made accommodation, dedicated to Amatola Hikers.


We transport groups to the start of the 6 day trail at Maden Dam, the 2 day Zingcuka Loop or over-night huts if you are hiking a shorter amount of days. The charge is R300 per person to get to the start of day 1 at Maden Dam, R50 for the 2 day Zingcuka Loop and R1500 for all the over night huts except Zingcuak.

The shuttles are heavily discounted in all the packages and are included in the price.

Drop off’s and extractions at other huts are available (Weather Dependent) at R1500 per vehicle to Gwili Gwili, Dontsa, Cata and Mnyameni and R350 for Zingcuka.

Shuttles to and from the airport can be arranged upon request.


The Amatola Trail is not to be underestimated, any hiker must be fit, mentally prepared and have the necessary hiking equipment. An absolute bare minimum of Sturdy Hiking Boots, Warm Jacket, Waterproof Jacket, Lots of Socks and a Sleeping Bag is essential.

Multi Day Hiking Options.

The main Amatola Trail starts at Maden Dam near King William’s Town and is 6 days and 5 nights. We also offer 2 and 3 day Amatola Trail hiking options for people with less time.

The 2 day trail starts and finishes at Away with the Fairies so there is no need for any transport.

Safe Parking

Secure parking is available to all of our guests at no cost. For hikers not using our services we charge a R50 fee per vehicle.




  • Stunning Views on The Amatola Trail

    Stunning Views on The Amatola Trail

  • Countless waterfalls along the Amatola Trail

    Countless waterfalls along the Amatola Trail


Our Partners

Hogsback Adventures

Hogsback Adventures, the Go-To Adventure company in Hogsback. Experience mountain-biking, abseiling, archery and guided tours with a professional and owner-run operator.

Amatola Trails, Hogsback

The Amatola Hiking Trail is a 6 day hike through the Amatola Mountains. The trail consists of several exciting loop trails and the main 6 day trail which is linear. The trail can be started at various points, from 2 to 6 days, with the main trail starting at Maden Dam near King Williams Town and ending near Hogsback.

Coffee Shack Backpackers, Coffee Bay

We have a reputation of being a fun, good-value hostel with excellent facilities and the most amazing, friendly local staff.

Sugar Shack Backpackers, East London

Sugar Shack is spectacularly situated on a sand dune on Eastern Beach, literally within spitting distance of the beach, yet only a few minutes’ walk from restaurants, pubs, clubs, restaurants, shops and East London’s very own Aquarium.