Drakensberg I: Giant’s Castle

From our quick stop in Durban, we drove towards the Drakensberg in the early for morning. We spent the day in Giant’s Castle National Park (just about two hours by car from Durban).

View into the main valley from the park reception:

We set out on a short hike (40 minutes) to the main cave of Giant’s Castle (the park’s main attraction) to see the Bushmen paintings. Background info: For twenty thousand years, the San/Bushmen were the only people in Southern Africa. 

The main cave was not an actual cave but rather a shelther in the mountain where the Bushmen were living. It is unclear from when on the Bushmen had been living there, but they did so until they were forcefully drivenout by the British in the early 1800s. From the time they have been there until the British arrived, many paintings (mainly using animal blood) of daily science, animals and mythical creatures can still be seen today.

The main cave and our guide for the 30 minute cave tour:


After visiting the Bushmen paintings, we ventured on into the next valley for a while. Incredibly, the vegatation there changed from very dry to lush and green grassland within mere meters!

Upon return to the park reception, we made our way out since we still had a 3-hour drive ahead of us to reach the Royal Natal National Park. There, we stayed at the Mahai Campsite and got ready for the next days where we would hike to the Tugella Gorge and to the Drakensberg Amphitheater.

For more on the Drakensberg, read our post on the Tugela Gorge or on the Sentinel Trail.

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