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Didima Restaurant

Central Drakensberg

Travel Info and Accommodation in the Parks

The nature parks in the Central Berg – Cathedral Peak, Monk's Cowl and Injasuthi – are accessed from the town of Winterton on the R74. Because shopping facilities are very limited in the parks, one should stock up on groceries at the SPAR supermarket in Winterton. This small town lies on the banks of the Little Thukela River. It has a museum in Kerk Street, with exhibits and information on the Drakensberg geology, the pioneers and first settlers in this area as well as on the battles of the Anglo-Boer-War at Spioenkop and Vaalkrans. The Winterton Museum is open Monday to Friday from 9 am to 3 pm, on saturdays from 9 to 12. Tel (036) 4881885.

ThokozisaThe farm Ardmore on road R275 is the home of the brightly coloured cotton weaving business called "African Loom". There is also the "Amangwe Craft Centre" which exhibits only KwaZulu Natal craft, it has the largest known collection of traditional Amangwe Zulu beadwork. The internationally respected "Ardmore Ceramic Art Studio" on the same premises is open to visitors 7 days a week. About 50 local Zulu artists work in the studio, and travellers are welcome to visit them. Tel 036 4681314.

Some 10 kilometres west of the town, on the R600 in the direction of Champagne Castle and Monk's Cowl, lies the Thokozisa Centre, a recreational stop-over – designed by a group of artists – with shops, playground, restaurant, bar and various shops, from a boutique, curio shop and art gallery to a delicatessen shop.

Didima ChaletCathedral Peak
Nature Reserve

The entrance gate is open all the time. and the reception ifrom 7 am to 7 pm.

Accommodation: The Didima Camp offers nice self-catering chalets with 2 to 6 beds. And there is a campground. The main lodge offers a restaurant, a bar, conference venues, a little shop and the "San Rock Art Centre", which gives detailed information on the Bushmen (San) in the uKhahlamba region and their rock paintings. Tel: (036) 4888000.

Camping in Monk's CowlMonk's Cowl
(Champagne Castle)

The entrance gate is open daily from 6 am to 6 pm and the reception from 8 am to 12:30 and from 2 to 4:30 pm.

A campground belongs to the park. One can get breakfast and lunch in the tea garden. Tel: (036) 4681103; Fax: (036) 4681150.

Dealing with Snakes

Occasionally one can come across a snake on the hiking trails in the Drakensberg nature reserves. They are usually puffadders or mountain adders. They are basking in the sun. Puffadders unfortunately do not always move away when humans come close. When spotting such a snake, one should slowly go backwards, avoiding jerky movements. Puffadders are very poisonous. If bitten, one needs medical attention as soon as possible.

All in all, snake bites are extremely rare. The risk to get struck by lightning is much higher.

Hiking Routes
The Monk's Cowl Park boasts beautiful hiking trails, ranging from 3 to13 kilometres in length and also suitable for families with smaller children. The easiest route leads to the "Sterkspruit Falls" (3 kilometres circular, one to two hours long). Particularly popular is the hike to "Blindman's Corner" at an altitude of 2100 metres (11 km, about 6 hours duration, 600 metres difference in altitude).

Weather Warning for Hikers: The weather can change quickly in the Drakensberg. In summer, one can expect thunderstorms in the afternoons. Hikers should be well equipped and put their names down in the Mountain Rescue Register before leaving.

DIDIMA / Cathedral Peak Restcamp
Type Max Pers. Rates pp
Chalets s/c
2 - 4
R 360


R 45
Rates per person/night. Children pay half.
Plus Conservation Fee of R25 per person and day.
(No guarantee on amounts)

EzemveloReservations and bookings:
Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife
PO Box 13069, Cascades 3202,
KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Tel (033) 8451000, Fax: (033) 8451001

Lodges and Resorts in the Central Berg

Cathedral Peak Hotel
Prime resort in stunning scenery; rooms with aircon; restaurant, bar, gym, golf course, pools. Tel ++27-(0)36 4881888. eMail

The Nest Hotel
Peaceful resort on large grounds close to Champagne Castle; horse riding; pool; hiking. Tel ++27 (0)36 4681068. eMail

Spotted Horse Country Inn
Rustic rooms on horse stud; dramatic Drakensberg scenery; bar, boma; riding; fishing. Tel ++27 (0)33 2677194. eMail

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