The Barefoot Drakensberg Grand Traverse

  • Location: The Drakensberg
  • Total Distance: 220km
  • Distance to Date: 0km
  • donation goal: 0
  • donations to date: 0
  • start date: Oct 30, 2018


profile pic of Thommo Hart


To run the Drakensberg Grand Traverse Barefoot in the fastest possible time and raise awareness and funds for a charity chosen by supporters and the public.



To complete the Drakensberg Grand Traverse barefoot, raise awareness and funds for a charity chosen by supporters and the public, and create packaged marketing content for outdoor brands.


In 2018, Thommo Hart will attempt the Drakensberg Grand Traverse barefoot in the fastest time possible. This will be a first for the traverse and he will be running for a charity chosen by supporters and the public.

The Drakensberg Grand Traverse is a 220 km hike across the Drakensberg mountain range from north to south that crisscrosses between South Africa and Lesotho. Although there is no prescribed route, or even trail, there are certain checkpoints that one must complete along the way in order to be able to say that they have completed the DGT. These checkpoints include the most significant peaks along the way, all well over 3000m. The checkpoints are as follows:

1.) Ascend the escarpment via the chain ladders at Sentinel Peak
2.) Summit Mont Aux Sources (the source of Kwazulu-Natal’s Tugela river)
3.) Summit Cleft peak
4.) Summit Champagne Castle
5.) Summit Mafadi (The highest point in South Africa 3451m)
6.) Summit Giants Castle
7.) Summit Thabana Ntlenyana (In Lesotho, the highest point in Southern Africa 3482m)
8.) Descend via Bushman’s Nek

This list is the only commonly accepted essence of the DGT with other minor requirements such as attempting the traverse unsupported. This means the run must be entirely self-supported. This means it’s run entirely on foot with no food caches and no re-supplies. The only assistance permitted is from a GPS and a map.

The challenge is described as “the equivalent of running five consecutive marathons while ascending as high as Mount Everest.” First ‘officially’ hiked in February 1999 by Gavin and Laurie Raubenheimer in a time of 105 hours and 39 minutes (4 days 9 hours and 39 minutes), the DGT has called to the hearts of many trail runners, adventure junkies and hikers with more than 15 failed record attempts and 3 official records set since. The latest record was set in March 2016 2010 by Cobus van Zyl and Ryan Sandes in a time of 41 hours 49 min and 30 seconds.

Thommo Hart aims to do the traverse barefoot in a hundred hours or less, ideally 72 hours.



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