Category Archives: uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park

Our experiences in the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park, South Africa

Our 2017 in pictures

Looking back at the places we stayed at during another year of enjoying South Africa’s beautiful wild places.

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A special time at the Giant’s Castle

Spending Easter in a beautiful natural location is almost a given for the de Wets. Our original plans for this particular long weekend was to visit the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park, and specifically the Cathedral Peak area, but a last minute change in reservations had us heading for the Giant’s Castle area of the Park instead. A special place to celebrate a special holiday!

While we had only three days to spend at Giant’s Castle, the weather made sure we experienced almost every climatic experience the Drakensberg mountain range can conjure (with the exception of snowfall). Dark thunder clouds one day gave way to heavy fog and a constant drenching drizzle the next, followed in turn by a day of glorious sunshine! Giant’s Castle must be one of the scenically most spectacular parts of the entire Drakensberg range, and you cannot help but stand in awe at the shear majesty of the landscape surrounding you.

Whether it rains or shines, Giant’s Castle’s grandiose scenery will keep your jaw dropping every so often. When that happens, and you bend down to pick it back up, take a moment to enjoy the magnificent juxtaposition of tiny beauties – pretty flowers, exquisite butterflies, delightful droplets, ornamental moss and lichens, and dainty insects – all around you!

It goes without saying that such a scenically attractive piece of earth wouldn’t be complete without a myriad of wildlife to round off the picture, even if, as at Giant’s Castle, they have to be content with taking a back seat to the surrounding landscape.

Giant’s Castle is one of our favourite destinations in the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park, and we can’t imagine that we’d ever get enough of it (our previous visit was also over Easter, in 2014). Excellent amenities in the camp (managed by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife) and a terrific network of short and longer walking trails ensures that every visit is a pleasant and fulfilling experience, one we can highly recommend!

Giant’s Castle Chalet #4, uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park, April 2017

A walk in the Park

There’s no doubt that hiking is the biggest pastime enjoyed by visitors to the Royal Natal National Park. Walking through the mountains allows access to so many beautiful spots. We particularly enjoy the easy trails that lead from the Mahai campsite and visitor centre, like Otto’s walk and the trails to the Cascades and Fairy Glen.

This was the last installment on our December visit to Royal Natal National Park in the uKhahlamba Drakensberg. From here we travelled to Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park in Zululand, and from tomorrow we’ll be sharing some of what we experienced there.

Drakensberg Birding

The varied habitats of the Royal Natal National Park provides excellent habitat for a wide range of bird species. We’ve already introduced you to the rare Bush Blackcap, which is often recorded in the reserve, and the Lesser Striped Swallows that shared our accommodation unit, but there’s so many other feathered inhabitants in the Park that we can dedicate a whole blogpost just to them – in fact, this gallery contains just a few of the more than 60 species we ticked during our December visit!