About the Big5Hike

Discover our soul purpose, about the organisers, The Cavern
and the Royal Drakensberg Primary School

Soul Purpose

There is something magnificent about the vastness of The Drakensberg that lets you look inside yourself. It does something to you as a person; a kind of cleansing that leaves you feeling fresher, invigorated, lighter and yet more grounded. As you leave The Cavern front lawn and ascend up the first peak your circulation kicks in, your heart soars and your mood is lifted by the vast open spaces. The sweat runs off you and you suddenly feel more alive, more positive, more energised and ready to embrace the beauty of being part of our group of 100 hikers (to celebrate the School’s 10th Birthday) all challenging themselves to complete the Big5Hike in aid of education in South Africa.

The Big5Hike is a personal achievement in asking for help to raise a minimum of R6,500 (with a goal of R10,000) entrance fee, a group achievement in completing the hike with a bunch of other people and a national achievement in helping to educate under privileged rural children from the Amazizi community who can make a meaningful contribution to the future of South Africa.


The Big5Hike was initiated in 2014 by The Carte family, owners of The Cavern Berg Resort together with their friends, The Carters to help raise funds for The Royal Drakensberg Primary School.

In year 1, Megan’s goal was to raise R103,000 and complete the hike in memory of her late grandmother, Ruth’s 103rd birthday. In 2015 we raised over R453 000, in 2016 R722 000, and over R1 million in 2017 and 2018. All these funds go to educating the children. We are building an annuity for the future and have just 5 more Big5Hikes planned.

10 Reasons

  • Get Fit
  • Lifts your mood
  • Great FUN
  • Be part of a group initiative
  • Set yourself a challenge
  • Raise money for Education
  • Contribute to South Africa’s future. Be the solution.
  • Help others
  • A day in Nature
  • An event for the whole family or a team building opportunity


The Cavern Drakensberg
Resort and Spa

The Cavern Resort was founded by Ruth and Bill Carte in 1941 and is currently run by Megan, her husband Hilton and her sister Lesley.

They are the third generation of Carte’s to take over the helm and are passionate not only about the resort but also about uplifting and improving the education and livelihood of the Amazizi community. It is a beautiful family style resort situated beneath the massive sandstone cliffs at the foot of the Drakensberg and one of the few resorts where you can step out of your room and be 2,000m above sea level on one of the highest peaks within 2hrs. Set within the old gum trees against a backdrop of the Drakensburg and surrounded by lush gardens, a swimming pool and a lawn from which you can see the valley below and the peaks in the distance, it is a truly magical place.

Daily walks are offered and children are kept busy with horse rides, tennis, games and countless daily activities. Adults are able to rejuvenate in the Forest Spa or try their hand at bowls after tea and before an aperitif in “The Cave Bar” where often a fire roars. Most guests are return customers many of whom first came as little ones with their parents and now come back year after year with their own kids and those same grandparents to walk to hills, nourish the soul and restore the body.


The Royal Drakensberg
Primary School

Founded in 2007 in a converted roofless sandstone barn, The Royal Drakensberg Primary School serves the Amazizi community providing primary school education to underprivileged children. Six qualified teachers and a headmistress ensure that the education is of the highest standard enabling children to go on to schools further afield. The Carte family believes that a quality education is key to ensuring that children will be positive and productive contributors to South African society. If parents and teachers in the area can see an example of what is possible, they too may strive to attain higher standards for themselves and their children. Only by example can we help to raise awareness and give these children an equal opportunity to succeed in life.