Giant’s Castle is a mountain peak in the Central Drakensberg. Giants Castle offers visitors to the regions hiking opportunities with panoramic views. The Nature Reserve offers secluded accommodation, bushman rock art with easy access for everyone and about the best base to start a Drakensberg hiking experience. The area is one of many of South Africa’s adventure areas, and plays host to the Giants Challenge MTB marathon in April each year.
Giant’s Castle gets its name from the outline of the peaks and escarpment that combine to resemble the profile of a sleeping giant, is essentially a grassy plateau that nestles among the deep valleys of this part of the Drakensberg.
Giants Castle Game Reserve is considered the home of the eland as well as the bearded vulture. Another Giants Castle highlight is the superb bushman rock art at main caves which is easy to get to and well presented.
Formerly the renowned Lammergeier Hide is open for visitors to watch bearded vultures and other endangered bird species.
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 3 hrs hike (7km)
- Bannerman Hut A long hike from the Giant’s Camp northwest along a clear path, with an early start it is easy to make the hut by mid-morning. The hut must be booked through KZN Nature Conservation Service.
- 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)
- Centenary Hut Injasuti. Follow the path Pastfergy’s Cave for 4kms t centenary of the contour path. A severe 5 hrs hike (10 km).
- Champagne Pools a circular walk starting 1km from Giant’s Castle main gate. Secluded pools for swimming and fishing. An easy hike (4kms – 1.5 hrs)
- Giant’s Castle Pass The hike begins at Giant’s Castle Camp and continues up to the top of the little Berg, up the very steep Giant’s Pass. Not for the inexperienced. An extreme 4 hrs or 6km hike (from Giants Hut)
- Giant’s Hut via Oribi Ridge An alternative route to Giant’s Hut just south of the two Dassies stream route. It starts at the main Giant’s Castle Camp, climbing steadily to the hut, which must be booked. A severe 4 hrs hike (10.5km)
- Grysbok Bush This hike, starting at Giant’s Castle main camp, takes you up the Bushman’s River to the largest forest in the Giant’s Castle area.
- Langalibalele Pass Follow the path from the main Giant’s Castle Camp past the main caves. The path is consistently steep although the pass itself is one of the easiest and shortest in the berg. Follow the path from the main Giant’s Castle camp past the main caves. A severe 3 hrs 30 min hike (6.5km)
- 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
- Meander Hut There are two ways to get to this hut, which overlooks the Meander Stream from its perch on top of the cliffs of the Little Berg. The hut accommodates four people and it must be booked. A fair hike. (5.5kms – 2hrs)
- 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
Giants castle Accommodation
- Antbear Guest House – Indeed a special find. One of those places you wished you would have stayed longer where the accommodation, view, location, service and food are just perfect. This is the nearest private accommodation option near to Giants Castle and also offers one of the best deals available.
- Giants Castle Camp – The upside is that you are inside Giants Castle Nature Reserve. The downside is that you are inside Giants Castle Nature Reserve. You are as close as you can be to starting the hiking trails but far from any of the other attractions available. And the gate opening and closing times make early starts and doing anything after sunset an impossibility. If you do decide to stay here opt for the self catering option and make sure you bring your own food with you. Giants Castle camp offers self catering and has a restaurant.
- Drakensberg Luxury cave lodge Experience something different and stay in the only fully catered luxury cave in the Drakensberg Mountains. And the luxury cave comes with a few special romantic options like a jacuzzi spa bath and fireplace both in the bedroom. Whats more it opens onto a deck with hammock chairs and a panoramic view not often experienced.
- Ardmore Guest Farm – While this guest house is a little further away in the Champagne Valley it still a great option to stay when you visit Giants Castle. Also centrally situated this guest house makes for a special few days in the Drakensberg. Ardmore is especially suited to families with units that can accommodate 6 persons.
- Wild Berry Guest Farm – A simple B&B situated on the Mooi River / Giants Castle road They only provide breakfast and there are not to many good options where dinner is easily available. So cook your own dinner when you stay at Wild Berry Guest Farm
- Glengarry – Lovely self catering accommodation in the Kamberg Valley. Situated right on the Little Mooi River this self catering resort offers trout fishing and a nine hole golf course. The self catering accommodation is in thatched units.
- Cleopatra Mountain Farm House – Prepare for some of the most fantastic food you will ever eat. This farm house offers high class fine dining near to Highmoor Nature Reserve. The rates are a pit on the pricy end of the scale but hey you only ever live once. Especially if you are one of those foodie types
- Kamberg Nature Reserve – Simple self catering challets in the Kamberg Valley. Make sure you bring your own food as there is little available nearby. Kamberg suffers the same issues as Giants Casle Camp with gate opening times that make staying here sometimes inconvient. But if all you want to do is stay in one place I cant imagine many better accommodation options.
- Injasuti Nature Reserve– This is one of the best camp site gems thats available in the Drakensberg. There are also a few self catering challets which are in need of repair and a chronic revamp.