Giants Castle Slackpacking Trail

Giants Castle Slackpacking Trail

A 3 night luxury trail through the foothills of the Giants Castle Valley and Zulu Waters Private Game Reserve. Accommodation is in lodges, your luggage is transported and its fully catered.

Day 1:Antbear Lodge is about sustainability. Here you will even find homemade cheese from their own milk. Hiking starts heading up to the top of the mountain with spectacular views looking out over the Drakensberg Mountains towards Giants Castle.

Day 2: Leopards Lair is full of family atmosphere offering a real agri-tourism experience. Your walk from here starts off easy and then drops back down into the Mbogta Valley after which you enter the Zulu Waters Game Reserve

Day 3 Shaka Lodge offers the lapse of luxury including your own private chef. Almost your whole day will be hiking inside the reserve where you might see rhino, buffalo and so much more.

Other addon activities include the Giants Castle vulture hide, a star gazing hammock camp, horse trails, abseiling and game drives

The Nest Hotel

The Nest Hotel

The Nest Hotel provides exquisite Ukhahlamba Drakensberg World Heritage Site views. The Drakensberg is an area rich in history and adventure and is a much-loved destination in the Cathkin Valley of the Central Drakensberg of South Africa. The Nest is unique and one of the favourite hotels in the Drakensberg.

The Nest Hotel Activities  include on and off-site pursuits that guests can enjoy.

The Nest Hotel is set in acres of beautiful park-like gardens. Our rooms offer a peaceful escape from busy city life and include an en-suite bathroom, a TV with selection of DSTV channels, radio, telephone and coffee/tea making facilities.

Free internet is provided in the public area.

The Nest Hotel is one of the few remaining Resort Hotels in the Drakensberg offering a sumptuous Table d’Hote menu. This means that we serve three carefully selected meals per day: hearty breakfasts, light lunches, six course dinner as well as morning and afternoon tea, all included in the tariff!

So visit the “Grande Old Dame” of the Drakensberg. A fine country hotel.

ON-SITE ACTIVITIES

  • Tennis
  • Table tennis.
  • Volleyball
  • Bowls on Championship greens
  • Revive Spa
  • Swimming pool.
  • Hiking and MTB Trails
  • Free Wi-Fi in public areas.

OFF-SITE ACTIVITIES

  • Canopy tour
  • Glass beehive tour
  • Falcon Ridge interactive presentation
  • World-renowned Drakensberg Boys Choir
  • Four Rivers rafting adventures
  • Helicopter scenic flights
  • Hot air ballooning
  • Quad biking
  • E Bike Valley Tours
  • Mountain bike trails
  • Hikes and trails
  • Tranquil river walks
  • Arts, crafts and cosy restaurants
  • A 9 hole and a Championship  golf course
  • Horse riding
  • Swimming
  • Ziplining
  • Paint Ball
  • Archery
  • Reptile Centre
  • Scootours
  • Macedonian Cheese factory
  • Interactive chocolate factory
  • Battlefield tours
  • KwaZulu Weavers
  • Didima Rock art centre

Cathedral Peak Hotel

Cathedral Peak Hotel

Nestled in a tranquil and secluded valley in the heart of the Drakensberg lies Cathedral Peak Hotel, providing premier accommodation and entertainment surrounded by the magnificent peaks of some of the World Heritage Site’s most impressive and iconic mountains.

When Albert van der Riet first laid eyes on this valley in the early 1900s, he had a vision of a secluded hotel that would be closer to the mountains than any other hotel at the time. For the past 80 years, the van der Riet family have been offering the ultimate Drakensberg experience and it’s a privilege to look back on this unbroken history.

Guests are accommodated in 104 spacious and well-appointed rooms, ranging from standard, family and superior rooms to Executive/ Honeymoon Suites and the private Presidential Suite, providing the ultimate in luxury for up to 254 guests.

With a staggering array of facilities, activities and adventures on your doorstep, you’ll never want for entertainment at Cathedral Peak Hotel. Unrivalled access to the Drakensberg mountains sees 18 stunning walks and hikes leaving from the hotel, ranging from gentle riverside strolls to scaling the summit of the Cathedral Peak itself. Those looking for more speed will revel in mountain bike trails, jogging routes, horse rides, quad biking and a helicopter for nearby sightseeing flights.

The whole family can enjoy sport in the sun on the hotel grounds, with on-site facilities including tennis, beach volleyball and badminton courts, bowling green, children’s playground, mini golf course, a climbing tower and both heated and cool swimming pools.

The crowning jewel is the hotel’s very own 9-hole golf course, with alternate tees for an 18-hole game, ranging a glorious 5542m through the valley and ending at a beautiful clubhouse with panoramic mountain views.

For those looking for indoor entertainment one will not be disappointed. Wet weather days are taken care of with a games room, table tennis, squash, a fully-equipped gym, and if you’re seeking inner peace, look no further than a pamper session from professional therapists at the hotel’s Wellness Centre.

A team of top-class chefs ensure a delicious array of culinary delights, with extensive buffets at breakfast, lunch and dinner. And once the day is done, guests can relax and reminisce at Albert’s Cocktail Bar, or keep the party going long into the night in Harry’s Bar with pool table, dart board and big screen TV’s.

For idyllic mountain weddings, our charming 120-seater stone-and-thatch chapel is set in beautiful natural gardens, and has an expansive window behind the pulpit boasting breath-taking views of some of the Drakensberg’s most magnificent mountains. Revel in stunning views as you say your vows and begin your new life together with an unforgettable wedding.

Year-end functions, team-building adventures and professional conferences are all catered to with comprehensive equipment, unforgettable experiences and a stunning environment that will leave your attendees feeling energised and excited.

Whether you’re looking for a family get-away, a romantic wedding or honeymoon, or a motivating conference, our dedicated team look forward to welcoming you to the ultimate Drakensberg experience.

Cavern Resort and Spa

Cavern Resort and Spa

The Cavern Resort & Spa, named after the infamous Cannibal Cavern, is nestled in the foothills of the Northern Drakensberg in the Amphitheatre World Heritage Site area. A place of captivating beauty, it is surrounded by majestic, lush indigenous forests and clear ‘berg streams. Once a humble homestead, rustic and simple, today The Cavern is a comfortable home-from-home for many families who holiday in these majestic Drakensberg Mountains.

The Carte family has owned the Cavern for 75 years and from the outset have given guests memorable family holidays – not just a stay at a good hotel. At The Cavern we appreciate that it is people who make your holiday – people with whom to laugh, share a drink, and participate in all the many fun activities. Without obliging anyone to do anything, we encourage our guests to mix on outings and activities. Friendships form here and folk come back time and again – hence the slogan originated by our guests in 1958: “The resort of many happy returns”

The Cavern is a Drakensberg holiday resort offering two types of accommodation – standard and superior.

Rooms are set in landscaped gardens where a vibrant mix of indigenous plants attracts hundreds of birds that fill the days with birdsong and the evenings with the sounds of crickets, frogs and other friendly creatures. Superior suites overlook an ancient fern forest and each unit has its own private patio where you can relax in the sun, listen to the forest streams and unwind in the peace of untouched mountain wilderness.

Shaka Lodge

zulu waters - your own private game reserve

Zulu Waters Game Reserve offers you the exclusive use of its 3000 hectare estate, your time here is tailored to create the experience you want from South Africa. Situated in the peaceful malaria free foothills of the Drakensberg Mountain range in KwaZulu-Natal, Zulu Waters Game Reserve promises a uniquely intimate experience with the African wilderness. Whether you want to take a horse back ride up close and personal to the herds of wildebeest and buffalo or fish for wild brown trout in the 8km stretch of Bushman’s River, Zulu Water’s blend of exclusivity and adventure makes for an African experience unlike any other. Those who spend time at Zulu Waters Private Reserve are left with a sense that something in them has changed – they are perhaps a little more fulfilled – a little more inspired.

Based in the heart of the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, making it a 4 hour drive from Johannesburg or a 2 hour drive from Durban – Zulu Waters is a perfect escape. Due to our stunning location summer days can go above 30°C whilst winter days reach 18°C. We are also in a malaria free area and incase of medical emergencies we have trained first aiders on site. The nearest hospital is an hour away but we do have access to helicopter emergency services nearby.

Antbear Eco Lodge

Antbear Eco Lodge

The Antbear Lodge is situated in the Drakensberg Mountains and is a perfect base to explore the very best of what this region offers. The Drakensberg Mountains are renowned for their dramatic natural beauty spectacular mountain scapes, waterfalls and sunsets. And don’t forget about the bushman rock art paintings made by the San people over a period of 4000 years. Come and be inspired by their history and spirituality.

Essentially we are an accommodation provider offering 15 individually styled units as either en-suite doubles, family units or luxury suites. Our most unique accommodation is our luxury cave which blends into its environment to create an atmosphere of privacy and seclusion. Glass doors open onto a wooden deck with hammock chairs with an uninterrupted panoramic view of the Drakensberg Mountains. You could even consider a romantic private dining experience on the deck of your cave under the stars.

The natural setting is stunning and we have managed to make the accommodation fit in with ease. Each of the units are different and are separate from each other creating a feeling of generosity. The rooms are smartly appointed and individually designed for comfort. And have the features like fireplaces and jacuzzi spa baths. We have put a huge amount of effort into making our own wooden furniture which includes tables, chairs, headboards, windows, doors and light fittings. In fact you will discover unique and eccentric wooden furniture everywhere in the lodge. Artistic design is captured through wooden hinges, engraved glass and mosaics. If you feel like seeing how we make our furniture feel free to put your nose into our workshop.

We are one of those places where everyone dines together. It makes for great conversation is and is a perfect opportunity to plan your next day. We use our own organic vegetable garden. We have our own chickens for eggs, cows for milk, make own cheese, butter and yogurt and bake our own bread. Sustainability is a huge part of the ethos of our lodge.

 

We have used alternative materials like straw bales to build the place and use solar for heating water and a reed bed filter cleaning waste water.

There is plenty to do here besides relaxing. I have a pilots license and a microlight at the lodge. If the weather is good I love to take guests with me. To glide together with the vultures or fly along the Drakensberg escarpment is often considered as the highlight of a tour. We practice the softer horse whispering techniques to train our horses and offer out rides that are particularly suited to beginners and first timers.  There are hiking trails to fit every level of fitness, even guided. The vulture hides at Giants Castle are perhaps the best options available anywhere to see and photograph these birds. Or add a bit of adrenalin with a canopy tour. Visit the Nelson Mandela Capture site while you explore our local arts and craft route with cheese tastings, chocolate dipping and meeting some of the artists themselves.

So if your looking for a place where art, beauty and time away are important then Antbear Lodge is worth a second look. We invite you to came and share some of our dream, some of our alternative, sustainable and relaxed way of life. We look forward to welcoming you.

Antbear Lodge

Antbear Lodge

What makes this Drakensberg accommodation option so special is that we are offering cozy & comfortable accommodation in a luxury cave. Glass doors open onto a wooden deck with hammock chairs and an uninterrupted view of the Drakensberg Mountains. We also offer accommodation in mountain view suites and garden view suites. This is an upmarket Eco experience.

We are very honored to be able to serve you. We love our work at Antbear Lodge and are proud of what we have achieved together. Some of us have been here from the very first day. We support each other and because we know that together we are stronger. Whats more we would love to meet you and host you at Antbear Lodge soon.

We cook all our meals from scratch and use our own organic vegetable garden. We have our own chickens for eggs, own cows for milk, we bake our own bread and even make our own cheese.

The best way to say this is in the middle of nowhere. We are perfectly located to explore the very best of the Drakensberg offers and are situated towards Giants Castle. Easy access to Kamberg, Champagne Valley and the Kwazulu Natal Midlands

The lodge is artistic in style and offers 2 lounges, a wine cellar, a small bar and a dining room. We offer the option of hosted dinning at a communal table or if you would prefer you can also sit at an own table. We also offer the option of private dining where we setup a table on the deck of your cave and you dine by candlelight under the stars.

This Drakensberg accommodation lodge practices small scale farming permaculture. We have a small flock of sheep, 3 milk cows, horses, donkeys, a pig, and a few chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese. For us it is important that the animals are well kept and live a good life.

There is a lot to do or you could just chill out. The main attraction is the Drakensberg Mountains so a visit to Giants Castle and some hiking is a great idea. Or you could visit one of the best rock art sites in South Africa at Kamberg. We offer horse trails ideally suited to beginners. There is the option to fly in a hot air balloon, glide with vultures in a microlight or a game drive in the Zulu Waters Private Game Reserve.

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