Monks Cowl is situated in the Central Drakensberg. It takes its name from the peak sandwiched between the towering Champagne Castle and Cathkin mountains, is part of the 260 000 ha Maloti-Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site and is the access point to the Mlambonja and Mdedelo Wilderness Area.
Monks Cowl is the gateway to some of the most magnificent mountain Wilderness areas in Africa. Breath-taking vistas of sweeping grasslands on the lower reaches, to magnificent towering cliffs and waterfalls cascading for hundreds of metres – Monks Cowl is the ideal place for camping, hiking, day walks or even just enjoying a light meal at the tea garden.
Monks Cowl Activities
- Overnight hiking routes extend deep into valleys and forests of the central Drakensberg and up onto the main escarpment, ensuring a pure wilderness experience with breath-taking views and scenery.
- Hiking routes vary from a few hours to several days and provide sufficient diversity to accommodate all levels of experience and fitness.
- Overnight hiking is available, but must be booked in advance.
- For the more adventurous there is the scramble up Gray’s pass to Inkosazana Cave on top of Champagne Castle.
- For the casual hiker, the lower berg offers meandering routes to Stable Cave and Zulu Cave or simply camp anywhere within the 22 000 ha of wilderness area, bearing in mind that no open fires are allowed – only gas cookers may be used.
- Day hikes and walks consist of routes that are graded from easy to difficult and take you through the foothills and river valleys to places like Sterkspruit Falls, the Gorge, iNandi Falls, or up the Sphinx onto the little berg.
- Day hikes and walks range from a one hour round trip to six hours.
- Some of them have gloriously refreshing rock pools, the crisp berg water will leave you feeling completely rejuvenated.
- The weather can change suddenly and become very cold so hikers are advised to be well equipped.
- The Mountain Rescue Register must to be completed before you begin your hike. Make sure you sign out again when you return.