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champagne Castle overnight hike

Champagne Castle Overnight Group Hike

23-26 May 2024

Embark on a magnificent 2 day group hiking adventure, to the top of South Africa’s 3rd highest mountain, from 23-26 May 2024. Join Gary Blenner-Hassett (Deputy GM), along with a professional guide, and 9 others on this 42km round trip.

Experience the beauty and tranquility of the Ukhahlamba / Maloti Drakensberg Park, a night in Zulu Cave and the majesty of Champagne Castle.

Price includes:

  • 3 Nights Accommodation:
    • Two nights at the Hotel on 23 & 25 May 2024
    • One night in Zulu Cave on 24 May 2024
  • All meals.
  • Professional Guide.
  • KZN Wildlife Hiking Permit

Single Rate: R4 120
Double Rate: R6 380

Space is limited to 10 people, and reservations can be made directly through the Hotel, either via phone, email, or by using the form below. If you call or email, please let our Reservations Team know you are booking for the Champagne Castle Group Hike.

Trail Description

Summiting Champagne Castle is achievable for people who have a moderate to high fitness level. Having some hiking experience will make this a more enjoyable trip. Keep in mind that the Central Drakensberg can experience all 4 seasons in one day, and so plan your wardrobe carefully. You don’t want to take too much, and you don’t want to find yourself with the wrong kit either.


Arrive on the afternoon of 23 May, check in, and join the group for dinner in the evening (19:00). This will be an opportunity for everyone to meet each other. We recommend an early night’s sleep.


We’ll leave early on Friday morning (08:00) from the Hotel, and make our way past The Sphinx and then up to Breakfast Stream. From Breakfast Stream we’ll head towards Blind Man’s Corner, where we’ll make a right turn towards Hlatikulu Neck.

From Hlatikulu Neck we follow the path towards the river, and then into the Mhlatswini Valley, where you’ll see Intunja / Gatberg and Dragons Back.

We then head to Zulu Cave, where we’ll spend the night. Zulu Cave sleeps 12 people, so you’ll only require a sleeping bag (no tent).


Early wake up on Saturday morning, pack up camp, and head towards the spur to Gray’s Pass (make sure you have water). This climb is steep and we’ll be taking it really easy.

We keep going until we’re in the shadow of the basalt cliffs before we enter the final rock scramble to the top, where we’ll refill our water bottles at the stream.

It’s not too much further top, where we’ll enjoy some incredible views across KZN. From the top we’ll also be able to see Mafadi and Injasuth (SA’s two highest peaks).

We’ll not be staying for too long as we then follow the path we came on, back to the Hotel, where there’ll be ice cold refreshments and the warm welcoming faces of the Hotel staff.

Hopefully we’ll still want to have dinner together, to share the adventures and stories of our 42km hike 🙂


After a long, deep and restful sleep, it’s breakfast, pack up, and heading home time.

What to Bring?

  • As we’re doing this in May, we don’t expect rain (but this is the Drakensberg).
  • The temperatures should be mild/comfortable (but this is the Drakensberg).
  • Remember, the lighter you pack, the easier it’s going to be on day 2 (don’t under-pack).
  • It’s a 42km round trip, please ensure a high level of fitness. This hike involves challenging terrain, steep inclines (from Zulu Cave to the top) and a longer than usual distance. Ideally you’ll require minimal breaks and can maintain a steady pace throughout the hike. Remember, the only way there and back is on foot.


  • Backpack (clothes, water bottle, your share of the food provided by the Hotel)
  • Hiking boots
  • Water bottle
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping mat (optional)
  • Torch
  • Insect repellant
  • Small shovel (to dig a cathole)
  • Toilet paper
  • Energy snacks (this is optional, as the Hotel will provide some snacks)


  • A Tent
  • Food


DISCLAIMER: I agree that Champagne Castle Hotel, its organisers, and guests are not responsible for any death, illness, injury, loss or damage of any kind sustained by any person while participating in this hiking event and any related activities, caused in any manner whatsoever.

DESCRIPTION OF RISKS: I acknowledge that I am aware of the possible risks, dangers and hazards associated with participating in this hiking event and all related activities, including the possible risk of severe or fatal injury to others or myself. These risks include, but are not limited to:

  1. TRAVEL: the risks associated with travel and all related activities including transport by public or private vehicle
  2. WEATHER: any injury, illness, death, loss or damage resulting from exposure to weather elements; and/or
  3. PHYSICAL: physical injuries such as muscular injuries, bruises, scrapes, cuts, sprains, dislocations, burn wounds, broken bones, and head, facial or dental injuries which might result from an accidental injury; illness resulting from food poisoning or parasites; and/or physical confrontations whether caused by myself, some other person or persons, or any living creatures, wild or domesticated, I may encounter, resulting in injuries and/or death. I accept and assume all such risks, dangers and hazards and the possibility of personal injury, death, permanent disability, property damage or loss resulting thereof.

RELEASE OF LIABILITY, WAIVER OF CLAIMS AND INDEMNITY: By participating in the hiking event, I agree as follows:

  • TO WAIVE ANY AND ALL CLAIMS that I have or may have against Champagne Castle Hotel, its organisers, and guests as a result of my participation in the hiking event and all related activities;
  • TO RELEASE Champagne Castle Hotel, its organisers, and guests from any and all liability from any loss, damage, injury or expense that I may suffer, or that my next of kin may suffer as a result of my participation in the hiking event and all related activities due to any cause whatsoever;
  • TO INDEMNIFY AND HOLD HARMLESS Champagne Castle Hotel, its organisers, and guests from any and all liability for any damage including
    consequential damages to the property of the relevant hiking venue, or personal injury to, any third party, resulting from my participation in this hiking event and all related activities;
  • IN ENTERING INTO THIS AGREEMENT, I am not relying upon any oral or written representations or statements made by Champagne Castle Hotel, its
    organisers, and guests; other than what is set forth in this agreement.

Reserve your spot using the form below…


We have a live weather station at the Hotel. The information below describes the current weather conditions at the hotel.