Spectacular Hiking destination
If you have only 1 day in the Drakensberg then Giants Castle is probably the best location to experience the Drakensberg Mountains. You drive up to a height of 1850 meters and then start to walk. That is 500 meters more than the other Central Drakensberg car parks. And the rule of thumb is the higher you go the better the views. Whats more Giants Castle is less visited so you practically have the mountains to yourself. Giants Castle offers a varied selection of hiking trails so there is something for everyone. And best of all is after you finish walking there is a restaurant where you can grab a cold beer of have lunch.
Giants Castle lies in the Central Drakensberg region of the Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park. Giant’s Castle camp offering glorious views for hikers and mountain climbers. The area is steeped in superb rock art.
Bushman Rock art at Giants Castle
A visit to Giant’s Castle offers the privilege of entering the world of the San as well as the opportunity to study a varied and exciting range of habitats. At Giants Castle reserve, there is a large sandstone cave called Main Caves containing prehistoric San rock art. This rock overhang is host is one of the biggest and best preserved painted sites in southern Africa. The main Caves is an easy 30 minute walk from the camp office and regular guided tours are taken through this unique exhibition from 09h00 to 15h00 daily for a small fee.
The renowned vulture hide (Lammergeier Hide) is open for visitors to watch bearded vultures and other endangered species feeding. The vulture hide is open all year but the ‘feeding season’ is May to September, and bookings are essential. Tel 036-3533718 Access is by 4×4 vehicle, provided by yourself or by Giants Castle Reserve. Alternatively, inquire about professional guides who will take you there or accompany you.
Recommended hiking trails at Giants Castle
- World’s view From the picnic area take the concrete path down to and across Bannerman Bridge. Follow the path to below Sugarloaf Kop and on up to World’s View. A moderate 4 hrs hike (7km)
- Berg view a short hike from the Giant’s Castle Camp to a popular viewpoint, offering one of the best views of the escarpment, ranging from Giant’s Castle to Cathkin Peak. A fair 2 hrs hike (5km)
- Main Caves This hike leads from the camp, along the river near the edge of a forest, up to the large caves, which are crucial archaeological sites and have been turned into a museum showing the Bushman’s way of life. Tours are conducted throughout the year at set times in the company of a field ranger. An easy 40min hike
- River Walk this pleasant stroll has no specific destination and can join the forest walk for a most enjoyable ramble. An easy 1.5kms – 30mins hike