Sun protection

High Altitude = High UV so please come prepared with sun tan lotions, sun-glasses hats and long-sleeved tops. This even applies in winter – UV rays reflect off snow!
The only thing that’s truly predictable about mountain weather is that it’s totally unpredictable! Come prepared for four seasons in one day. Layers are a good bet. There’s nowhere really fancy in the area, so you can leave your sparkly dresses, jackets and stiletto heels at home! Practical, warm and comfortable clothing is the order of the day.
There are no pharmacies in Barkly East, Rhodes or Lady Grey, so it is sensible to bring prescription medication with you. There are however hospitals and doctors in the towns in case of emergency.
Useful Items
Cameras, binoculars, fly-fishing rods, mountain bikes
If you are self-catering then bring any unusual foods that you may want with you. There are supermarkets in Lady Grey and Barkly East, and a small supplies shop in Rhodes, but you can only rely on getting basic foodstuffs. Supply of fresh fruit and veg is very variable. There are however excellent butchers in Barkly East and Lady Grey and the local meat is good value and of superb quality.


Clean and invigorating is the best way to describe the climate in the Eastern Cape Drakensberg and four well-marked seasons occur:

  • In summer, the days are typically hot and sunny, with regular late afternoon thunderstorms to clear the air ready for the next day.
  • Autumn is a time to enjoy magnificent colours, with the grasses and trees decorated in splendid shades of golds and reds. The days are pleasantly warm and sunny – ideal for outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking and horse riding.
  • Winter brings snow and visitors flock to nearby Tiffindell to enjoy the unique opportunity to ski inSouth Africa. The area is stunningly beautiful at this time of year and what could put a better smile on your face than watching your child build their very first snowman?
  • In spring the landscape blooms with fresh green grass and wild flowers. Birding in the Eastern Cape Drakensberg at this time of year is exceptional and the farmlands are bursting with new life in the form of lambs and calves.


Most of the roads in the area are fairly well graded gravel. 4×4 vehicles are not required, but high clearance is useful, particularly if you wish to take scenic drives along our mountain passes. That said, it is possible to access all of the Wartrail & New England guest farms with a normal vehicle.