Tourism, Accommodation and Historical Attractions in Natal, South Africa
The Natal Drakensberg
The Central Drakensberg: Activities
The Central Drakensberg: Activities
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The Champagne/Cathkin area of the central Drakensberg is well developed with a wealth of activities and accommodation yet offers wonderful rock art and solitude.
Sterkspruit Gorge Trail
This trail has various options from short to longer walks of a few hours. The main route winds its way down to the Sterkspruit Falls and then on up the Sterk river and into its gorge. To the left are the slopes of the Matterhorn with its path leading to the escarpment and ahead are the lofty buttresses of Cathkin (3149m), and Sterkhorn (2973m).
This museum has as its main theme 'The Geology, Fauna andFlora of the Drakensberg'. Also covered are the history of farming in the area and aspects of the Boer War battles, several of which took place nearby, notably Spioenkop and Vaalkrans. The Museum is open to the public Wednesday & Friday lpm-4pm and Sat 9am - 12 noon.
Monk's Cowl Wilderness Reserve
The KZN Nature Conservation Service campsite is a popular starting point for backpacking trips to the summit or along the contour path towards Cathedral Peak and Injasuti... as well as shorter walks to the Sterkspruit Falls and the Gorge. Ezemvelo Wildlife's office has the mountain register, curio shop and refreshments. The camp offers caravan and tent sites with comfortable facilities.
This waterfall is only a 15 minute walk from the Monk's CowlCampsite. The path is well used, and offers a viewsite which gives an impressive view of the falls. The Sterkspruit river has its source on the eastern slopes of Cathkin Peak which dramatically looms above this pretty setting. Continue upstream to join up with the gorge walk.
Breakfast Stream Walk
Breakfast Stream is a conveniently situated watering spot on top of the Little Drakensberg not far above the Sphinx which is one of several sandstone protrusions one passes on the way to the top. The views are most enjoyable with the flat topped Champagne Castle (left background), Cathkin Peak and Sterkhorn dominating the foreground.
Gray's Pass Hike (3050m)
The summit can be reached via Gray's Pass. This pass, - although long and steep is not difficult. Higher sections can be dangerous especially in poor visibility and one should undertake a first ascent with an experienced guide. It is preferable to set aside two or three days for your hike with the first night at the base, and at least one night on top of the pass.
The Drakensberg Boys Choir
The world Renowned Drakensberg Boys' Choir School is situated next to the Dragon Peaks Park en route to Monks Cowl Camp. The choir draws inspiration for its exuberant performances from the beautiful surroundings. Every Wednesday during term, a concert is held in the school's auditorium. Reservations are essential. Phone 036-468 1012.
Bell Park Dam
This 120 hectare dam is ideal for watersports. As this is an irrigation dam visitors who wish to bring boats for waterskiing are recommended to establish the water level before leaving home. With its peaceful setting amongst agricultural land, the dam is within easy access of all resorts in the area. A charge is made per person and boat. Access is off the R600.
Nurseries, Pottery and Art
The approaches to the Drakensberg are home to numerous talented craftsmen whose work is on view at the farm stalls, tea gardens and craft studios. Take time to see the pottery and sculptures at Ardmore Studios experience the spices and aromas of Meadowsweet Herb Farm or take home to your garden an indigenous "memento" from Thokozia Nursery, amongst many others.
The KwaZulu Shoe Factory with its low cost brandname shoes is situated close to the Injasuti turn off on the Loskop road. Thukela Arts & Crafts sell beadwork, pottery, preserves etc. and Aluka Rug Factory (which is next door) makes and sells handwoven wool and mohair rugs. Both are situated on the R600.
This jewel in the Natal Drakensberg Park has the most accessible, spectacular hiking and hospitable caves for overnight camping. As well fine examples of Bushman Art in this valley, the rivers offer the best natural jacuzzis and water slides. Reservations for the hutted camp and caves must be made through Ezemvelo Wildlife. Phone 0331-845 1000