Booking Drakensberg Caves

Overnight in a Drakensberg Cave

 
The rolling sandstone cliffs of the Drakensberg mountains are eternally appealing to hikers and avid nature lovers, where Mother Earth can be embraced in all her fresh and dewy glory. And what better way to shake off the shackles of urbanity than by spending a night in a natural cave, just as our ancestors did hundreds of years ago?

Prep properly for a night in a cave

There are literally scores of overnight caves to choose from in the Drakensberg, and they vary in size and views. While many must be booked in advance, some operate on a first come, first served basis, but these are generally smaller and further off the beaten track. To reach any of the caves requires a hike, and don’t expect any housekeeping services. Do, however, be equipped with all the necessary camping gear you will need for your stay, as well as enough food and water.

Hiker preparing to camp

It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with cave camping etiquette. Luckily, this list is not too complicated, with the bottom line being to leave nothing but your footprints behind. Campers are expected to remove all their litter, except that which is biodegradable and can be buried. Human waste should also be left well under the ground (note to pack a small shovel!) and the lighting of fires is prohibited. Besides the obvious danger of starting a bush blaze, fires smoke out caves and coat their walls with soot, making them uninhabitable for the many little creatures that live in their crevices.

 
San rock art in the Drakensberg

There are also many caves within the Drakensberg area that house ancient San rock art. Camping is forbidden in these.

 

You’ve got options

One of the most popular and easiest to reach overnight caves in the Drakensberg is Sherman’s Cave. The path begins just below the Cathedral Peak Hotel leading across the river and up the steep slopes towards a peak of the same name. Pass a lovely wooded gorge with a natural pool. Within about two hours you will have reached your overnight accommodation, where you can sleep like a baby, wrapped in the arms of the Earth. The deep cave has a low overhang that easily sleeps 10 hikers, as most of the floor is level. The roof is low, so be prepared to stoop, but the views of the surrounding mountain scenery are spectacular.

 
Sunset in the Drakensberg

 

Drakensberg Cave Bookings

NORTHERN BERG CAVES

AreaName of CaveMax. Accommodation

Amphitheatre (Qwa-Qwa)

Tel/Fax: +27 (082) 5627669
Escarpment Caves

 

 
Sentinel Caves4 + 4
Crow’s Nest Cave6
Tooth Cave4
Mnweni ReservationMnweni Cultural and Hiking Centre: +27 (072)  7122401
Escarpment Caves Ifidi Caves 3(S/W) + 3(W)
Icidi Cave 5
Veranda Cave 3
Fangs Cave4
Rwanqa Cave4
Pins Cave6
Rat Hole Cave 4
Skylight Cave 3(W)
Ledges Cave12
Mponjwane Cave8
Lower ‘Berg Caves

 

 

 

 

 

 
Singati Cave12
Cycad Cave 6
Jubilee Cave12
Grasscutter’s Cave12
Five-Star Cave6
Shepherd’s Cave4
Cave (no name)12
Scaly Cave8
Waterfall Cave12
Sgonqweni Cave12
Cathedral Peak Wilderness Area

Private Bag X1, Winterton, 3340

Tel/Fax: +27 (036) 4888000

Escarpment Caves Easter Cave 4(S) or 6(W)
Twins Cave12
Twins Cave Annex6
Outer Horn Cave10
Trencher’s Cave6
Bell Cave4 – Beware of theft!
Drip Cave6
Roland’s Cave6
Ndumeni Caves4 + 4
Ndumeni Dome Caves 4 + 3
Didima Cave8
Lower ‘Berg CavesSherman’s Cave10
Xeni  (Kwaliqenu) Cave12
Ribbon Falls Cave6
Barker’s Chalet5
Schoongezicht Cave8Beware of theft!
Sibayeni CaveNo camping permitted
Elephant CaveNo camping permitted
Engagement Cave 4 – Beware of theft!
Forest Shelter 5
Gravel Cave6Beware of theft!
Poacher’s Cave12Beware of theft!
Leopard Cave12Beware of theft!
Nanni’s CaveNo camping permitted
Nanni’s Cave Annex4
Eland CaveNo camping permitted
Junction CaveNo camping permitted
Small Cave (Valley of Pools)6Beware of theft!
  
Monk’s Cowl/Mdedelelo Wilderness Area

Private Bag X2, Winterton, 3340

Tel/Fax: +27 (036) 4681103

Cell: +27 (083) 6083742 / +27 (083) 6655233

Cell: +27 (073) 4915502 / +27 (082) 9522313

Escarpment CavesCowl Cave4
Nkosazana Cave4(S) or 10(W)
Lower ‘Berg CavesStable Cave12
Anton’s CaveNo camping permitted
Vaalribbokkop Cave 12
Hospitalspruit Cave8(S) or 12 (W)
Eagle Cave8
Cat CaveNo camping permitted
Zulu Cave12
Three Pools Cave 8(S) or 12(W)

CENTRAL BERG CAVES

AreaName of CaveMax. Accommodation

Injasuti Wilderness Area

Camp Manager, Private Bag 7010, Estcourt, 3310

Tel: +27 (036) 4319000

Escarpment CavesInjasuti Summit Cave12
Lower ‘Berg Caves Wonder Valley Cave12
 Grindstone Caves12
 Marble Baths Cave8
 Marble Baths Cave Annex4
 Fergy’s CaveClosed
 Lower Injasuti Cave12
 Dead Dog CaveGuided trails only
 Battle CaveNo camping permitted
 Dinosaur CaveNo camping permitted
 Cow DenNo camping permitted

Hillside

Closed

Lower ‘Berg Caves

 

Tom’s Cave12 (Closed)
Tree Fern Cave12 (Closed)
Giant’s Castle Wilderness Area

Private Bag X1, Winterton, 3340

Tel: +27 (036) 3533707 or (036) 3533718 or (036) 3533727

Cell: +27 (084) 3638660 or (076) 5454520

Escarpment Caves

 

Spare Rib Cave12
Bannerman Cave6
Giant’s Cave4
Lower ‘Berg CavesMain CavesNo camping permitted
Highmoor Wilderness Area

P O Box 51, Rosetta, 3301

Tel: +27 (033) 2637240

Cell: +27 (072) 1909612

Lower ‘Berg CavesCaracal Cave12
Aasvoëlkrans Cave12
Fulton’s RockNo Camping permitted
Tootie’s Cave4
Kamberg Wilderness Area

Tel: +27 (033) 2677251

Lower ‘Berg CavesSinclair’s Cave6
Rockfall Cave4
Mkhomazi Wilderness Area

P O Box 105, Nottingham Road, 3280

Tel: +27 (087) 1502343

Cell: +27 (072) 8205958

Lower ‘Berg CavesMcKenzie’s Caves12
Cyprus Cave6
Loteni  Wilderness Area

P O Box 14, Himeville, 3256

Tel: +27 (033) 7020540

Escarpment Caves Hlathimbe Cave (North)4
Hlathimbe Cave (South)0(S) or 4(W)

Lynx Cave

0(S) or 6(W)
Lower ‘Berg CavesAsh Cave6
Yellowwood Cave8

 

SOUTHERN BERG CAVES

AreaName of CaveMax. Accommodation
Vergelegen / Mkhomazi Wilderness Area (Cobham North)

P O Box 53, Himeville, 3256

Tel: +27 (033) 7020712 or (033) 7020831 or (033) 7021205

Cell: +27 (082) 7629884 or (076) 6780274 or (082) 5599493

Escarpment Caves Nhlangeni Cave 2(S) or 6(W)
Lower ‘Berg Caves Runaway Cave 4
  Shelter Cave 6
 Bird’s Nest Cave12
 Kaula Cave8
 Mlahlangubo CaveCamping only
  Small Cave4
  Bridge Cave 2(S) or 4(W)
 Sicocosebhaca Cave12
Cobham (South) Wilderness Area

P O Box 168, Himeville, 3256

Tel: +27 (033) 7020171

Cell: +27 (083) 9623934

Lower ‘Berg CavesSakeng Cave2
Gxalingenwa Cave12
Ngenwa Cave12
Spectacle Cave 2(S) or 8(W)
Pholela Cave12
Gorge Cave2
Siphongweni Cave12 (Check availability)
Nutcracker Cave4(S) or 6 (W)
Lakes Cave4(S) or 8(W)
Weaver Cave10
Glade Cave4
Venice Cave4(s) or 8(W)
Chameleon Cave10
Bath Plug CaveNo camping permitted
Mzimkhulu / Garden Castle Wilderness Area

P O Box 378, Underberg, 3257

Tel: +27 (033) 7011823

Cell: +27 (071) 1232225

Escarpment CavesSandleni Cave 3(S) or 12(W)
Mashai Shelter2
Mzimude Caves 6(S) or 12(W)
Corncob Cave4
Lower ‘Berg CavesWilson’s Cave12
Fun Cave12
Verkyker Cave 4
John’s Cave4
Bushman’s RockNo camping permitted
Pillar Cave12
Pillar Cave Annex8
Cods Eye Cave 4
Sleeping Beauty Cave12
Engagement Cave4
Secret Cave 6
Sherry Cave (New)4(S) or 8(W)
Sherry Cave (Old)2
Wave Cave4
Curtain Cave4(S) or 8(W)
Rob’s Cave12
Whyte’s Cave12
Langalibalele CaveNo camping permitted
Painter’s CaveNo camping permitted
White Horse CaveNo camping permitted
Bushman’s Nek Wilderness Area

Book through Garden Castle

Escarpment Caves
Ngwangwe Cave4
Senotlolong ShelterUsed for sheltering livestock
Goats Cave10
Lower ‘Berg Caves
Fisherman’s Cave6
Bushman’s Cave8
Tomathu Cave12
Vast Cave12
Lammergeier Cave12
Tarn Cave12
Gargoyle Cave 4
Irish Cave 8

 

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