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Drakensberg 8 - 10 August 2015

As Giants Castle has no camping facilities, we stayed at White Mountain resort on Friday night. Just to let you know the cost for a 6 bed chalet is R1700.00 per night, and a camp site is R125.00 per person or R250.00 for a 4 person camp site per night. The food at the restaurant is R140.00 each.

It was a pleasant hike, the weather was perfect, and the company was good.

Early Saturday morning we all set off to Giants castle KZN resort. A distance of 25km from White Mountain resort. At 7.45 am we were all ready to start our hike. It is quite a distance to reach the top of Giants Ridge. We arrived there by 3.00 pm. At the top Gert Jan mentioned that the MCSA were doing abseiling and climbing exercise up and down the frozen waterfall coming off Giants Castle rock face. Gert-Jan has put pictures of it on Facebook. On their return we set off and looked for a decent camp site, but were all was wet and uneven.

That evening the wind came up and the night became very cold even though we had thermal clothing and down sleeping bags. On Sunday we set off to Bannermans pass. The route we took to get there was basically following the escarpment. In some places the views were fantastic. We arrived at the top of the pass by 3.00 pm. We all had to get down the pass quite quickly as there was a lot of snow in the pass and walking down was quite treacherous. We managed to get to the hut by 6.00 pm. Luckily we had booked the hut as other hikers were already in the hut unpacking their backpacks and were already making supper. Unfortunately for them, they had to move and camp outside.

On Monday it was very misty and the walk back to base was done in 3 hours. The only disappointment was that Giants KZN camp site did not have any gas for us to shower, so we had to travel back to JHB feeling grubby.

In conclusion it was a challenging hike. I estimate that we walked at least 50 km. The team consisted of - Neil Ransome, Gert Jan Rijsewijk, John Goddard, Roy Harris, Estelle Muller, Simon Delaney, Lisa Krumnikl, and Alette Brink who met us down in Natal.

Photos By: Gert-Jan van Rijswijk