About Monks Cowl


  • Monks Cowl, taking its name from the peak sandwiched between the towering Champagne Castle and Cathkin mountains, is part of the 260 000 ha Maloti-Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site and is the access point to the Mlambonja and Mdedelo Wilderness Area.
  • With breathtaking vistas of sweeping grasslands on the lower reaches, to magnificent towering cliffs and waterfalls cascading for hundreds of metres - Monks Cowl is the ideal place for camping, hiking, day walks or even just enjoying a light meal at the tea garden.


  • An entrance fee is levied at the entrance gate for day visitors.
  • All visitors who have booked accommodation must check in at the reception office on arrival.
  • Monks Cowl curio shop and reception office is open from 08:00 - 15:30 daily.


  • No pets are allowed in the reserve.
  • There is a well stocked supermarket (Oaks Supermarket) a short distance from Monks Cowl (10 minutes).
  • Fuel and charcoal may be purchased from Oaks Supermarket.
  • The nearest village which has a full range of services is Winterton 35 km from Monks Cowl.
  • Entrance gates to the reserve are open daily between 06:00 - 18:00.
  • Firewood is available at Monks Cowl Curio Shop.


  • From the south: Follow the N3, until you pass Estcourt.
  • Take the Estcourt North/Giant’s Castle turnoff to your left (just past the Midway Caltex Garage).
  • Turn left towards Loskop.
  • Stay on this road (approx 20 min), until you get to a 4 way crossing.
  • Turn left onto the R600 (Thokozisa is on the corner on your left).
  • Stay on this road (R600) for approximately 20 - 30 minutes.
  • You will pass Champagne Sports Resort and Champagne Castle Hotel and Monks Cowl is at the end of the road.
  • From the north: Follow the N3 to Harrismith.
  • At Harrismith, turn right onto the N5 towards Bethlehem/Bloemfontein.
  • Proceed for approximately 5 km, turn left on the Bergville/Oliviershoek Pass road.
  • Continue past
  • Sterkfontein Dam, down Oliviershoek Pass, towards Bergville and Winterton.
  • At Winterton, turn right onto the R600, CENTRAL BERG road.
  • Continue for approx 13 km to the crossroad, go straight past Thokozisa which is on the left, continue along this road for approx 20-30 minutes - Monks Cowl is at the end of this road.


  • 29d24'12.27"E 29d02'49.18"S

Monks Cowl Gallery