The Champagne Castle Circuit Hike leaves from the Monks cowl car park.
I like to stay at iNkosana lodge the night before so we can get an early start walking up the mountains. We walk past the Sphinx and on to lunch with a view at Blind Man’s corner. After lunch we have a gentle stroll along the contour path for about 3 km and our first views of Champagne castle; until now it had been hiding behind Cathkin.
We camp in the valley with all these huge cliffs above us so quite beautiful. Keith Bush camp is way in the middle of huge mountains all around us. We can see the famous Monks cowl peak that Keith Bush fell off. Also is the stunning Dragons back. Up ahead is Grays pass that we use to get to the top of the escarpment. I like to take 4 days to do this hike and we camp on top of the pass near Vultures retreat. However, it can be done in 3 days with just 1 day spent walking up and down Grays pass.
Once on top of the escarpment, we walk up the 3rd highest peak in South Africa.
Click here to see when we are doing this hike again.
Champagne Castle is 3377m above sea level and the views from up there are amazing. We can look South past Injasuthi and on the Giants castle and North past Cathedral peak and even the Devils Tooth. Greys pass is 3 km long and rises 900m above our camp. Short and sweet. Once on top, we have lunch at the small Nkosazana river and a walk to the top of Champagne castle. There is also a big Cape vulture colony worth a visit near where the Nkosazana river falls over the edge. The Zulus also call Monks cowl Nkosazana, the “Princess”. After a lovely night under African stars on top of Grays Pass, we head back down and along the contour path to camp near Blind Man’s corner. Finally, the last day is a stroll back to the cars at Monks cowl arriving in time for tea. And there we have the Champagne castle circuit hike.
Intermediate Drakensberg Hike
Champagne Castle Circuit Hike difficulty: Intermediate
Price includes all the food which will be cooked for you, hiking permits and tents plus camping at the start.
Porters are an extra R1800 each and will carry your tent and food so you just carry your clothes and sleeping bag