A perennial stream, it's a great spot to rest and snack after the stiff climb out of Monk's Cowl Camp
Champagne Castle Peak
Champagne Castle Peak at 3,377m is the third highest point in South Africa. Without technical difficulties all you need for this hike is a good physical condition, a head for heights and an appeal for adventure. It is an exhilarating hiking experience with great views!
- Trip Duration 3 Days/2 Nights
- Activity Level Challenging
- Group Size Medium Group
Champagne Castle Peak at 3377m is the third highest point in South Africa. Without technical difficulties all you need for this hike is a good physical condition, a head for heights and an appeal for adventure. It is an exhilarating hiking experience with great views!
At a Glance
Area: Monk’s Cowl
Distance: 45 km
Days: 3 days / 2 nights
Grade: 4.5/5 (self-sufficient) – 3.5/5 (portered)
- Day 1 Keith Bush Camp (13km, 750m, 6-7h)
Meeting point: Our hike starts and ends in Monks Cowl Camp. You can meet us there if you’re self-driving. Alternatively, we can pick you up from your hotel in Winterton.
The hike starts and ends in Monks’s Camp. A sharp ascent of 500m over a distance of barely 4km takes us to the top of the Little Berg where we get astonishing views of the 1000m basalt cliffs of the escarpment with the square-shaped Cathkin Peak in front. We contour around this mountain as our campsite is on the other side, at the head of the Mhlawazini Valley. Encapsulated by Cathkin Peak, Monk’s Cowl, Champagne Castle and Dragon’s Back this must be one of the most amazing African mountain settings. Keith Bush Camp used to be just a hut but it was demolished in the 1973 when the valley was declared wilderness area, where no man-made structure were allowed.
- Day 2 Nkosazana River (14km, 1150m, 7-8h)
We get access to the top of the escarpment by Gray’s Pass. This is a very steep climb, gaining 900m in less than 2km. The view from our campsite is daunting but fortunately it looks worse than it is.
Our campsite is at the top of the pass. We’ll leave our backpacks behind to climb Champagne Castle Peak and explore the dramatic scenery of the area.
Instead of carrying all our equipment up Gray’s Pass, it’s also possible to spend a second night at Keith Bush Camp. This way you can make it all the way to Champagne Castle Peak and back with just a day hike. Day 3 would also get shorten, retracing day 1 back to camp.
- Day 3 Monk’s Cowl Camp (16km, 100m, 6-7h)
The last day is a long descent back to Monk’s Cowl Pass, backtracking the first two. Although we use the same path as in day 1 and 2, we walk in the opposite direction which gives completely different hike.
Monk's Cowl, which gives name to this area of the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park, is the prominent peak in the centre of the picture.
The cost of the hike depends on the number of participants in the group:
|No Participants||Price (PP)|
- Professional mountain guide
- All the food during the hike
- Hiking permits
- Equipment (gear for hire available)
- transportation from/to the meeting point
You can either book your private tour on the dates of your choice or join one of our open scheduled hikes. If those dates do not suit you, let us know and we will schedule the hike on the dates of your choice