Drakensberg hiking: a photo essay
July 16, 2013
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Continued from ”A perfect Drakensberg weekend ”


The next episode of our weekend getaway to the Central Drakensberg involved hiking, waterfalls and breathtaking vistas. We started our hike at the Monks Cowl entrance to the Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park. Monks Cowl takes its name from the peak between the towering Champagne Castle and Cathkin Mountains. We were treated to gorgeous views, sweeping grasslands and spectacular mountain topography. Here’s part 2 of my photo essay of the perfect Drakensberg weekend. 

Fresh hikers at the start of our 12km hike. Of course I insisted on a pre-hike group photo…


I was a little nervous keeping up with the group, due to my general lack of fitness and the experienced hikers in our group, but our team leader was insistent that we wouldn’t leave anyone behind. Hikers pep talk…

drakensberg hiking

I soon found these handmade walking sticks on our path, with a little honesty tin to put in R50 should you wish to buy one. I didn’t hestitate – it felt good to support a local carver that trusted us enough to leave his wares unattended. The stick also came in useful for some stick fighting practice later on 🙂


 Posing with my newly purchased stick  amidst the wild flowers…

drakensberg weekend

The clouds were low and moody.


Rest time. Even the Lindt chocolate bunny enjoyed the view…

Drakesnberg views

The weather didn’t want to play along,


we seemed to be walking into the clouds…

drakensberg hiking

 Finally we  reached halfway and treated ourselves to a lazy lunch stop at Blind Man’s Corner…

drakensberg hike

…feasting on Rusks 🙂


The clouds started clearing, revealing these spectacular views…


Time for a little nap in the grass….

monks cowl

Post lunch snoozers…


… versus a lunch time trail run…

trail running in the Drakesnberg

Heading down to base…

Heading downhill

Mission accomplished!

drakensberg hike

Back at the lodge, it felt so good to take off my boots and rest my tired feet…


Time for some well earned sun-downers  and a post-hike game of 30 seconds,

drakensberg weekend

another swim with a view,

Drakensberg weekend

and a beautiful Berg sunset… just perfect!

drakensberg sunset

After a bit of  a party that night, we were ready for a big fry up brekkie the following morning. Luckily the lodge had a table big enough for all 16 of us, and we even had our own live music!

inkosanan lodge drakensberg

Sadly the perfect Drakensberg weekend had to come to an end. It was time to say goodbye to the lovely Inkosana Lodge…

Drakensberg weekend

We’ll be back!

Inkosana Lodge – my review

Inkosana Lodge is set in a beautiful green valley, a short drive from shops and restaurants and makes a the perfect base for exploring  the Champagne Valley.  The nearest entrance to the  Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park is at Monk’s Cowl only 7km from the lodge and the other areas of the greater park are within easy driving distance.

I stayed in a little rondavel double, which was comfortable and warm enough. There was a large braai area and a big self catering kitchen, with plenty of space for a group. They also haves a great herb garden which you are free to use. We also ordered excellent home-made bread from the lodge kitchen for our dinners. There is a large common room, with a range of boardgames and a fresh-water pool with a lovely little deck.  The owner is extremely knowledgeable about hiking in the area, and gave us great advice on our hiking options.

Address: Champagne Valley, Drakensberg, Kwazulu Natal


Ph: +27 (0) 36-468-1202

Rates: Dorm beds from R150 pppn, en suite doubles from R350 pppn.

About author

Meruschka Govender

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There are 7 comments

  • Shawna says:

    Those views are stunning! I would kill to go on a hike like that; just gorgeous. That walking stick looks like quite a treasure too! How trustworthy of that carver…

    • mzansigirl says:

      Thanks Shawna. The walking stick will definitely come in useful for future hikes. Just wish I could get out to the Drakensberg more often!

  • The Drakensberg is beautiful and best experienced on foot. We went to the Drakensberg on our matric tour and I still have my Dragon Peaks walking stick like that years later.

    • mzansigirl says:

      Hi Jonker! I agree, on foot is best, though the drive up Sani Pass is pretty spectacular tour. Great that you have your walking stick so many years later. It makes a great momento, and comes in handy!

  • ant says:

    One of my favourite places in the ‘berg. Thanks for reviving the memories!

  • Drakensberg says:

    Its lovely to be reminded of just how wonderful these mountains really are. I really enjoyed reading your blog and viewing the pics. It looks like you guys had a lot of fun

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