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Visiting rock art sites inside Monk's Cowl - Visitor's Book and Permit System Visiting rock art sites inside Monk's Cowl - Visitor's Book and Permit System

Drakensberg Hikes on Tuesday, 17 April 2018.

A permit system is going to be implemented at Monk’s Cowl (23rd April) to solve the problem of illegal visitation at rock art sites and problems accompanying this.

For example, making fires inside shelters and caves containing rock art that causes soot to accumulate over the art and the art to start exfoliating, making candles “stand” on “steps” of the parent rock that results in waxy blotches that causes chemical weathering to the parent rock and destroys the rock art, throwing water over the art to take “better pictures or clearer photos”, this causes mineral accretion and white blotches over the art that finely leads to pigment deterioration and exfoliation, littering inside rock art sites and writing or scratching over irreplaceable rock art.

Pins Pass Hike Pins Pass Hike

Jonathan Newman @ghaznavid on Sunday, 04 March 2018.

If spectacular scenery and climbing a pass few people ever will is on your to do list then this difficult hike is the one.

The pass is approached via the trail to Mnweni Pass. It is very easy to get lost on this if you don't know the route, so best to take a guide from the Mnweni Cultural Centre, or hike with someone who knows the area.

Cobham to Mzimkulwana Hut and Lakes Cave Cobham to Mzimkulwana Hut and Lakes Cave

Drakensberg Hikes on Thursday, 07 September 2017.

Route: Cobham to Mzimkulwana Hut and Lakes Cave
Distance: 30 km (circular route)
Duration: 14 hours (three days)

Day 1: From Cobham (North is Ndlovini Peak and to the right is Grandma Peak then Emerald Dome)

Cobham Parking Lot ->  Tortise Rocks (2.8km – 225m up) -> Bathplug Cave (4km) -> Mzimkhylwana Hut (8.64km)

Gudu Bush, Lookout Rock and Cascades (Circular route) Gudu Bush, Lookout Rock and Cascades (Circular route)

Drakensberg Hikes on Saturday, 16 May 2015.

Route: Gudu Bush, Lookout Rock and Cascades (Circular route)
Distance: 6.1 km
Duration: 4 hours (day hike)

A 6.1km circular hike heading uphill to start and then through Gudu Bush where a small stream and pool will can be seen. An option is to turn right up the hill here which takes you to the top of Gudu Falls (this is a steep path about 700m long and 230m in elevation), else continue straight and when you exit the forest stunning views await you.

Cobham to Gxalingenwa Cave Cobham to Gxalingenwa Cave

Drakensberg Hikes on Saturday, 21 September 2013.

Route: Cobham to Gxalingenwa Cave
Distance: 14,5 km (29 km return)
Duration: 7 hours each way (two days)

Gxalingenwa Cave Hike is a relatively easy two day hike in the Southern Drakensberg. On the hike you will pass Pinnacle Rocks, where the San Rock Art depicts spiritual ceremonies and the Sharma's transformation to other forms.

Giants Castle to Meander Hut (derelict) Giants Castle to Meander Hut (derelict)

Drakensberg Hikes on Sunday, 10 February 2013.

Route: Giants Castle to Meander Hut (derelict)
Distance: 7 km (14 km return)
Duration: 2 hours each way (day hike)

Starting at the Hotel walk 100m along the road and then turn right up hill for 1km and follow the contours to the top. Walk on the left side of the ridge on towards the viewpoint at 2019m high and then down other side. About 1km and 150 drop from here and you will find the now derelict hut.

Cobham River Walk (Pholela River) Cobham River Walk (Pholela River)

Drakensberg Hikes on Saturday, 28 April 2012.

Route: Cobham River Walk (Pholela River)
Distance: 2 km (4 km return)
Duration: 2 hours (day hike)

The trail leaves from the camp and follows the Pholela River. The trail offers views of the Giant's Cup and passes through grassland and patches of indigenous forest further along. There are a number of large pools which are ideal for swimming, return on the same route after having a swim and lunch.

 

Giants Castle River Walk Giants Castle River Walk

Drakensberg Hikes on Wednesday, 18 May 2011.

Route: Giants Castle River Walk
Distance: 1.5 km (3 km return)
Duration: 1 hour each way (day hike)

Follow the signposted path going past "Rock 75" and the you will see the river walk signs just before the rustic bridge. You will now walk along the Bushman's River. Stop and have a picnic at many of the scenic spots along the way. Return the same way or continue ahead and follow the path that reads "Hutted Camp" to return.

Bushman's Nek to Cedric's Pool Bushman's Nek to Cedric's Pool

Drakensberg Hikes on Saturday, 02 January 2010.

Route: Bushman's Nek to Cedric's Pool
Distance: 5.3 km (10.6 km return)
Duration: 2 hours each way (day hike)

The pool is apparently named after Cedric Biggs, a former leader of the Mountain Backpackers Club. Cedric was known for plunging through the ice into the freezing pool.  Cedric's pool is also referred to as "Three pools" on some of the Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife maps.

Spirit of the Drakensberg Spirit of the Drakensberg

A Photographic Journey Drakensberg Hikes on Monday, 16 April 2018.

Spirit of the Drakensberg takes the reader on an evocative journey through the mountains. The twelve chapters are based on the demarcated Ezimvelo KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife areas - a unique approach that informs the reader of the highlights and dramatic scenery waiting to be discovered in each particular section of the Berg. It took Richard Hunt six years to capture these Mountains in their changing moods and seasons; enticing one to take to the footpaths, if only from an armchair perspective, to enjoy the spectacular beauty that unfolds, page by page.

Bannerman Pass Hike Bannerman Pass Hike

Jonathan Newman @ghaznavid on Sunday, 25 February 2018.

Bannerman Pass was named after former British Prime Minister Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman. It is said that, when viewed from the right angle, the cliffs just south of the pass resemble the profile of his face. Personally I have never been able to see it, but nonetheless, that's the origin.

Risks: the pass can get iced up after a major snowfall, making it very dangerous. There is also a minor risk of rock falls.

Bushman's Nek to Thomathu Cave and Lammergeier Cave Bushman's Nek to Thomathu Cave and Lammergeier Cave

Drakensberg Hikes on Friday, 03 March 2017.

Route: Bushman's Nek to Thomathu Cave and Lammergeier Cave
Distance: 35 km (circular route)
Duration: 20 hours (three days)

Day 1 is a severe 4-5 hrs hike (10 kms) This hike follows a well-defined path on the northern flank of the Thomathu Ridge. The cave faces north-east and sleeps up to 12 people. The cave is not very deep though and strong winds can be a problem.

Bushman's Nek to Thomathu Cave Bushman's Nek to Thomathu Cave

Drakensberg Hikes on Friday, 15 August 2014.

Route: Bushman's Nek to Thomathu Cave
Distance: 7 km (each way)
Duration: 5 hours (day hike)

A severe 4-5 hrs hike (10 kms) This hike follows a well-defined path on the northern flank of the Thomathu Ridge. The cave faces north-east and sleeps up to 12 people. The cave is not very deep though and strong winds can be a problem.

Injisuthi to Centenary Hut and Marble Baths Cave Injisuthi to Centenary Hut and Marble Baths Cave

Drakensberg Hikes on Friday, 17 May 2013.

Route: Injisuthi to Centenary Hut and Marble Baths Cave
Distance: 30 km (circular route)
Duration: 20 hours (3 days)

Day 1 is a severe 5/6 hrs hike (10 km) from Injasuti on the 1st day past  Fergy's Cave and then up the hill to Centenary Nut. Take you time up the steep hill, the views once there make the climb up worth while.

 

Highmoor to Aasvoëlkrans Cave Highmoor to Aasvoëlkrans Cave

Drakensberg Hikes on Sunday, 02 December 2012.

Route: Highmoor to Aasvoëlkrans Cave
Distance: 4.5 km (9 km return)
Duration: 2.5 hours each way (one day)

Aasvoëlkrans Cave is an easy day day hike in the Central Drakensberg. The cave is unsuitable for young children as high drop-offs in front of the cave require considerable care.

Monks Cowl to Sterkspruit Falls Monks Cowl to Sterkspruit Falls

Drakensberg Hikes on Monday, 06 February 2012.

Route: Monks Cowl to Sterkspruit Falls
Distance: 1.5 km (3 km return)
Duration: 1.5 hours (day hike)

This easy walk starts at the Monks Cowl entrance. Take the well marked path down to the falls.

Highmoor to Caracal Cave Highmoor to Caracal Cave

Drakensberg Hikes on Friday, 07 January 2011.

Route: Highmoor to Caracal Cave
Distance: 5.3 km (10.6 km return)
Duration: 2 hours each way (day hike)

Caracal Cave easily accommodates 8 people and is approximately 5.3km's from the Highmoor Reserve parking area. This is a relatively easy hike to the Cave and a bit of a climb back to the parking area.

New Ladders to access the Amphitheatre New Ladders to access the Amphitheatre

Witsieshoek Mountain Lodge on Wednesday, 04 April 2018.

The Sentinel Peak Chain Ladders that are used to access the Amphitheatre route to Tugela Falls from Sentinel Car Park are going to be replaced with newly constructed ladders. This is happening because the engineers involved in the rehabilitation of the pathways have concerns about the safety of the current ladders. Time, weather and many thousands of hikers have taken their toll on the metal construction and it’s time to replace them before there is a problem.

A complete new build has been chosen because the professional view is that repairs will not be good enough, and that the safety of hikers cannot be compromised.

Langalibalele Pass Hike Langalibalele Pass Hike

Jonathan Newman @ghaznavid on Sunday, 18 February 2018.

Old maps may refer to this as "Bushman's River Pass", as it was known in the 19th century. The exact date of the name change to "Langalibalele Pass" is uncertain, but makes reference to the arrest of the amaHlubi Chief Langalibalele at the top of this pass in 1873. Seven people died during this capture, five from the English and two from the amaHlubi, and were buried at the top of the pass. This grave sight can still be visited and is just south of the top of the pass, slightly up the ridge.

This pass is one of the easiest routes to the Drakensberg Escarpment. It tops out between the Sanqebethu and Durnford ridges. With a good path along the entire route and no exceptionally steep sections. This route is suitable for beginners, or fast-and-light day hikers provided they are fit and sufficiently knowledgeable.

Giants Castle to Bannerman Hut and up Bannerman Pass Giants Castle to Bannerman Hut and up Bannerman Pass

Drakensberg Hikes on Friday, 15 April 2016.

Route: Giants Castle to Bannerman Hut and up Bannerman Pass
Distance: 35 km (curcular route)
Duration: 20 hours (3 days)

Day 1 is a long hike from the Giant's Camp northwest along a clear path, with an early start it is easy to make the hut by lunch time. The hut must be booked through KZN Nature Conservation Service.

Highmoor to Giant's Viewpoint Highmoor to Giant's Viewpoint

Drakensberg Hikes on Tuesday, 31 December 2013.

Route: Highmoor to Giant's Viewpoint
Distance: 4.5 km (9 km return)
Duration: 1.5 hours each way (one day)

This is a pleasant walk that is pretty level with a path that is easy to follow. Cape Vultures, Blesbok and Eland are often seen and the Giant's Castle view is stunning on a clear day.

Kamberg to Game Pass Shelter Kamberg to Game Pass Shelter

Drakensberg Hikes on Friday, 05 April 2013.

Route: Kamberg to Game Pass Shelter
Distance: 3 km (6 km return)
Duration: 1.5 hours each way (day hike)

The three-hour guided trail starts at the Kamberg Rock Art centre, where you can watch a 20-minute DVD on the art and history of this famous rock-art site. As you walk, take heed of the poignant verse that is found on all the marketing brochures:  "No more do we Bushmen hunt in these hills. The fire is cold. Our songs are quiet. But listen carefully. You will hear us in the water. Look carefully, you will see us in the rock." And you will.


Bushman's Nek to Halfway/Slab Cave (Fisherman's Cave) Bushman's Nek to Halfway/Slab Cave (Fisherman's Cave)

Drakensberg Hikes on Friday, 10 August 2012.

Route: Bushman's Nek to Halfway/Slab Cave (Fisherman's Cave)
Distance: 5.25 km (10.5 km return)
Duration: 2 hours each way (day hike)

The hike heads up Bushman's Valley alongside the Bushman's River towards Bushman's or Ngwangwane Pass. The hike is not difficult and the path is easy to follow, unless done in the snow which is what we did.

Drakensberg Sun to Blue Grotto Pool (return via Barry's Grave) Drakensberg Sun to Blue Grotto Pool (return via Barry's Grave)

Drakensberg Hikes on Wednesday, 01 February 2012.

Route: Drakensberg Sun to Blue Grotto Pool (return via Barry's Grave)
Distance: 3 km (6 km return)
Duration: 3 hours (day hike)

This is a great 3-hour moderate walk through an indigenous forest onto a magnificent grotto with waterfall and pool.The hike starts from in front of the Drakensberg Sun Time Share Units past the timeshare swimming pool.

Highmoor to Mount Lebanon Highmoor to Mount Lebanon

Drakensberg Hikes on Friday, 15 October 2010.

Route: Highmoor to Mount Lebanon
Distance: 6 km (12 km return)
Duration: 2 hours each way (day hike)

From the Highmoor Reserve car park head North West towards a gate and turn right at the sign. After 250m going downhill cross the stream over the wooden bridge and after another 250m on after the stream crossing take the path to the right which leads to the small Kamloops Dam wall.