The reserve is 35 300 hectares in extent and offers the visitor a variety of experiences. Dominated by the Rhino a 3051m Peak which extends about 2km from the main escarpment, the area is characterized by many unusual sandstone buttresses and other formations.
The wildlife is diverse and the walks particularly scenic with many rock art sites in the sandstone caves and overhangs. A challenging hike takes visitors from 1840m up to the top of the Rhino with the reward of magnificent views from Lesotho to East Griqualand. The reserve has three of the Giants Cup Hiking way huts, each of which provides 30 beds with mattresses. Visitors provide their own sleeping bags, lighting and provisions. Overnight hikers have the choice of numerous caves or may use a tent to camp but must carry all other requirements for their hike. The Umzimkhulwana hiking way hut in the Bushman's Nek Valley may be booked separately from the Giants Cup Hiking Trail and makes a superb base for exploring the area.
A new tents only campsite serviced
by an with hot and cold water has recentltly been completed. Camping
in the wilderness area is also available. The hiker provides his/her
Giants Cup Hiking Trail Huts: The reserve has three of the five Giants Cup Hiking Trail huts. The huts each accommodate 30 hikers with bed and mattress. Visitors provide their own sleeping bags, food, cooking and eating utensils, and lighting. The huts form part of the trail and are booked accordingly or may be used as single entities. However the Giants Cup Hiking Trail hiker will be given preferential bookings.
Caves: The reserve offers numerous caves for overnighting. These provide shelter for the hiker, who needs to supply all other requirements. No fires are allowed in the caves.
Self-Cateering Cottages & Bed & Breakfasts close by:
What to do on arrival:
The entrance charge to the reserve is payable at the office.
What to bring: x
The reserve caters for the casual or overnight hiker with numerous walks available. The wildlife is diverse and the walks particularly scenic. A picnic area is situated just outside of the car park. Because of the hazard of veld fires, making fires is prohibited.
Visit the many rock art sites - Garden Castle has many rock art sites. Visitors are reminded that these paintings are irreplaceable. Any disfiguring of the rock destroys the paintings for future generations.
Hiking - Rhino Peak Hike - This hike offers the more adventurous a challenging route, which has become very popular. The hike covers an altitude from 1 840 m to 3 051 m above sea level. All overnight hikers are to ensure that the Mountain Rescue Register is completed before undertaking their hike.
How To Get There:
Take the Pietermaritzburg-Boston-Bulwer-Underberg provincial road (R617). Take the MR317 district road to Drakensberg Gardens (approximately 3 km after Underberg). The 35km gravel road ends at the Drakensberg Gardens entrance gate. Proceed through the entrance gate and follow the signs to the reserve.
Caves · Trail/Mountain Huts · Camping