Blyde River Canyon

Marble Baths Hike

The Need to Know Information

Situated in the Central Drakensberg in the Injisuthi region is a hike that leads to Marble Baths, a series of natural, fresh, mountain pools, waterfalls and slides. This hike to these crystal clear pools is a great day hike of moderate difficulty.

You can also sleep overnight in the Marble Baths Cave situated just a few metres above the pools. The cave can sleep 8 at a time and has a raised platform to keep you away from the elements when you sleep. You will want to book ahead of time to sleep here because it is a very popular cave in the Drakensberg.

The hike to Marble Baths can be done by families and takes about 3-4hrs to get to the pools. The distance is about 9km starting from Injisuthi camp. The hike itself is very scenic and is rich in flora and fauna. Their are a few hard uphill sections and two river crossing sections but nothing to serious. Although it might be a bit tricky after floods. Just check online or at the parks board office in Injisuthi base camp before you go to be safe.

The best time to do this hike is in the Summer because that is when the Drakensberg Valleys are the most green and full of wildlife. When doing this hike pack light. A simple day backpack if you are just visiting Marble Baths will do. If you are staying in the cave bring a sleeping bag, hiking bag and two days worth of food and clothes as well as a swimming costume to enjoy the icy cold waters of the pools. This is the perfect introductory hike to the beauty of the Drakensberg.

If you are new to the hiking scene check out ‘Hiking For First Timers: Tips and Tricks

marble baths

My Experience

Before I get to the details of the hike I have to mention the bad shape of the road leading to the Injisuthi camp. It is very rocky and uneven and riddled with potholes. A 4×4 vehicle is recommended to make this journey.

The original plan was to hike to the Marble Baths cave, sleep the night there, enjoy the pools and then head back the next day. Unfortunately though the cave was all booked up so we opted to spend two nights at Injisuthi camp instead. We woke up at the break of dawn and after a delicious breakfast we were off.

The hike is beautiful, trekking through vast valleys which is occasionally broken up by patches of forests. These forest areas bring much needed shade to the otherwise very exposed landscapes. Here’s a tip here. BRING SUNSCREEN!!! I learnt this the hard way and got burnt the colour of a tomato.

The hike is easy enough until a few km’s along where it begins to climb. These uphills are only for a few hundred metres or so and then the trail levels out again. It’s a challenge but like I said earlier, it can be done by families with kids, maybe 8yrs and older.

I will mention though, that when I went, the trail was fairly overgrown. I suspect this is due to the South African lockdowns, as a result of Covid, where we weren’t allowed to hike for many months. So I think this is only a temporary issue.

The most exciting part of this hike I think was the first river crossing. The river was raging to about thigh height and I was  very worried I was going to fall in and damage my camera and phone. Little bit dicey, not going to lie but that’s what makes the adventure right?

When we arrived at Marble Baths we were greeted by crystal clear pools and natural rock slides. There were quite a few people lounging around, enjoying the sun and icy cold waters. Very relaxing scene. We wasted no time jumping into these icy waters ourselves. The waters may be cold but they sure do make you feel alive and refreshed. Overall I highly recommend this beautiful hike. It is one of the true gems of the Drakensberg Mountains.

marble baths

Have you been to Marble Baths and if so what was your favourite part about this hike? Comment below. Also let me know which hike you would like me review next. To keep updated on all my latest posts follow me on my socials. I post 3x times daily on Instagram and am active on Pinterest daily. 

Remember to go out, have fun and LIVE DIFFERENT!!!

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