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 100km, 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

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. Specialising in Packages that bundle together everything you will need in one go, including organising the permits, shuttles to the start of the trail,  pre and post hike accommodation, safe parking, hikers assit, a Semi-Slack-Packing option and Drop Off’s / Extractions fromHuts – they 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 14, STRIDER’S HIKERS COTTAGE with it’s 6 en-suite rooms is an ideal accommodation option.  With 2 twin, 1 double, 1 double with an extra single bed and 1 triple room, all en-suite, private and comfortable. The cottage has lovely views of the Amatola Mountains with a lekker Braai area right outside. There is a basic self catering kitchen in Gandalf’s, the rondavel next to the cottage.


We can transport groups to the start of the trail at Maden Dam for the 6 day hike, or the 2 day Zingcuka Loop or forestry huts if you are hiking a shorter route. The charge is R180 per person to get to the start of day 1 at Maden Dam, with a minimum of 4 pax or R660. We set off at either 6am or 8am.

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.

Emergency Extractions.

We regret that we do not offer medical assistance or any form of emergency service. We recommend that you take out adequate insurance for such an eventuality.




  • Stunning Views on The Amatola Trail

    Stunning Views on The Amatola Trail

  • 39 steps waterfall

    Countless waterfalls along the Amatola Trail


Our Partners

Rivendell House of Healing

Rivendell House of Healing is a mountainside retreat where we focus on spirituality, meditation, personal growth, permaculture and yoga on a backpackers budget.

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.

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.