Visit to Ezemvelo Giants Castle Resort
It was a morning of contrasts – of many potholes and a splendid indulgence in the best the Drakensberg has to offer.
We left Nottingham Road about 7am on a chilly but clear morning and drove to the Kamberg Road, past Highmoor and on to Giants Castle – about 80km in total if my trusty Opel Corsa is to be believed.
The first 40 minutes was punctuated with cuss words and the occasional “Eina man” as we banged into a flotilla of mean and nasty potholes on the Kamberg road (you can see there have been some repairs but much more work is required!).
But it’s kind of a “Catch 22” situation, because as you’re cursing and trying to watch the road, you can’t help but admire the gorgeous scenery seen on this splendid drive.
When we got close to Giants Castle Resort (and newly tarred road) and started following the full-to-the-brim Bushman’s River, our jaws almost dropped at quite how magnificent the scenery was. Nature, and the Berg, were quite simply showing off.
It had only been a couple months since I’d been to Kamberg and Highmoor, but it’s amazing how quickly you can forget the visual and sensory feast on offer in these parts.
This was only a quick stab, a day visit, intended for some brisk walking and a picnic. But you can bet your last dollar we will be back.
A walk towards the Main Caves offered many delights but we most enjoyed lazing at a gorgeous pool which was crossed by a cute wooden bridge. Come back in summer for a swim was the mental note we made as we lolled about, eating sarmies and sipping a flask of coffee.
We also took a brief diversion on the Langalibalele Pass trail, stopping to note “75 Rock”, where members of Colonel Durnford’s 75th Regiment had camped in 1874. Durnford would later become an important character in the Isandlwana story five years later, and it’s believed his men marked the rock to indicate they had occupied this spot at the time of the Langalibalele rebellion.
But history aside, this was a gorgeous day for walking, and the reserve, the mountains looming overhead and excellently maintained trails were the stars of the show.
On the way back home, batteries recharged by nature, we decided some pesky potholes were a small price to pay for a great day out and a brilliant way to enjoy a public holiday. – Garth Johnstone
Info: Entry for a day visit is R40pp; If you spend the night, units at the Giants Castle camp start at just under R1000 a night. See the Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife website for full details.