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- Monks Cowl, taking its name from the peak between the towering Champagne Castle and Cathkin Mountains, is part of 260,000 ha of Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park World Heritage site and the access point for the Mdedelo wilderness Area.
- Breathtaking vistas, sweeping grasslands on the lower reaches to magnificent towering cliffs with waterfalls cascading for Hundreds of meters. . . The ideal place for Camping/HikinglDay walks or just a light meal.
- Overnight hiking routes extend deep into valleys and forests of the Central Drakensberg and up onto the main escarpment. Sheer wilderness and breathtaking views. Round trips of up to 5 days.
- For the more adventurous - Up Ships Prow pass to Inkosazana cave on top of Champagne Castle. For the casual hiker - the lower berg boasts meandering routes to Stable cave and Zulu cave or simply camp anywhere within the 22 000 ha wilderness area, bearing in mind no open fires are allowed - gas cookers only.
- The rescue register has to be completed before you begin your hike. Day hikes and walks consist of routes that are graded from easy to difficult that take you through the foothills and river valleys to places like Sterkspruit Falls, the Gorge, lNandi Falls, or up the Sphinx onto the ridge. Our day hikes and walks range from a onr hour round trip to 6 hours. Some of them have gloriously refreshing rock pools, which leave you feeling completely rejuvenated.
- Camping at Monks Cowl consists of 38 spacious Campsites ( 12 Electrical and 26 Non Electrical) with basic barbeque facilities. Firewood and charcoal are can be purchased from the shop.
- The campsite is serviced by Ablution Blocks with hot showers, baths and flush toilets.
- Facilities include dishwashing and laundry basins and instant boiling water is available to campers for tea or coffee by means of a Hydroboil geyser near the dishwashing area.
WHAT TO DO ON ARRIVAL
- 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.
- No pets are allowed in the reserve.
- There is a well stocked supermarket (Oaks Supermarket) a short distance from Monks Cowl (10 minutes).
- Fuel, firewood 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.
HOW TO GET THERE
- 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.
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