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Giants Castle Nature Reserve - Hutted camp accommodation in the Central Drakensberg

Historic Giant's Castle Nature Reserve, home of the eland and the majestic bearded vulture, lies in the Central Drakensberg region of the Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park, a World Heritage Site. Giant's Castle hutted camp is situated on a gassy plateau among the deep valleys running down from the face of the High Drakensberg, offering glorious views for hikers and mountain climbers.

Giants Castle Nature ReserveGiants Castle Nature Reserve offers superb examples of rock art among its many attractions. The renowned vulture restaurant is open in winter for visitors to watch bearded vultures and other endangered species feeding. 

Visit the Giants Castle Main Caves Museum for fascinating insight into the past lifestyle of the San people. Guided tours of the rock art take place hourly on the hour at the cave from 9am till 3pm.

Giants Castle has four mountain huts, three of which are situated just below the main escarpment. They sleep eight and provide opportunities to climb up various passes onto the top of the Drakensberg range. The fourth mountain hut is situated lower down on a ridge overlooking meander valley and sleeps four people.

Giants Castle also offers accommodation in self contained chaletts. 

How to get to Giants Castle Nature Reserve

From the N3 turn off into Estcourt and follow the signs to Giant's Castle - the few detours in the town may be confusing, but head due west and you shouldn't go off course. The dirt road passes through a rural area into the Bushman's River Valley, crossing the river twice along the way, and then turns up-river to the park gate about 50 km from Estcourt.

Where to stay at Giants Castle

The only rest camp offers self-catering bungalows, cottages and a more luxurious lodge or chalet. A cook and assistant are on hand to cook all your meals, wash up and tidy your room. There are three mountain huts for hikers, with toilets and gas stoves. Budget dormitory accommodation and a camp site are planned

What to take when visiting Giants Castle Nature Reserve

Since walking and hiking are the main attractions of the park, you will need a day pack or backpack, walking socks and boots or stout shoes, raincoat, hat and lots of warm clothing in summer and winter. A camera and binoculars are recommended.

If you plan to sleep out you will have to take your own sleeping bag and all supplies, barring camping stove and toilet paper. The camp office has maps of the area, as well as copies of Drakensberg Walks by the writer of our feature (Struik Publishers, Cape Town).

The store sells basic foodstuffs including milk, bread, tinned foods, sweets and frozen meat and instant meals.

Trout fishermen should bring their own rods and flies, but licenses are obtainable at the shop.

 

 

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