Giants Castle Game Reserve FAQ Information
Gate Opening and Closing Times
Summer ( October to March ) 05h00 to 19h00
Winter (April to September ) 06h00 to 18h00
Distance and Time from Gate to Camp: 7 kms and 20 minutes
The office and shop are open from 08h00 to 18h00 from Monday to Saturday and from 08h00 to 16h00 on Sunday. For those who are staying in the camp, check in time is from 14h00, and check-out is before 10h00.
The Main Caves Bushman Museum is a half hour walk from the camp. There is a shop which sells a wide range of curios and supplies. One can also hire rods for fly fishing in a 15kms stretch of river which is full of brown trout. There is a restaurant at Giants Castle camp, which has been extensively upgraded, and includes a pub. The restaurant has wonderful views over the surrounding countryside. There are chalets especially equipped for disabled people.
The weather is subject to change at short notice and hikers must be well equipped as it can get extremely cold. Hikers must also fill in their details in the Mountain Rescue Register before proceeding on a hike. There is no malaria risk.
There are no locks on the chalets at Giants Castle. Although theft is very rare, we recommend that you do not leave valuables and important documentation in your chalet. We advise keeping important items in your locked vehicle.
No pets are allowed into the Drakensberg Ukhahlamba Park with no exceptions.
Visitors from the north turn off the N3 into Estcourt. At the intersection of Conner and Lorne streets turn on to the Ntabamhlope road and follow the signs to Giants Castle. Visitors from the south turn off the N3 into Mooi River, go through the town and follow the Giants Castle signs to the reserve 64 kms away. The nearest town which has a full range of services and garages is Estcourt which is 65 kms away. From Johannesburg it will take approximately 3.5 - 4 hours and from Durban it will take approximately 2 - 3 hours.
Walks, hikes, trails and activities in the Giants Castle Game Reserve
There are magnificently laid out day walks from all the major camps, the self-guided Giants Cup Hiking Trail and a fabulous wealth of rock art sites to rival any in the world. From a gentle amble along a self-guided trail or peacefully fly fishing in a river or dam, experiences extend to the rigours of rock-climbing or mountain biking for those with a taste for the high adventures of life.
A host of other pastimes includes camping, hiking, birdwatching, swimming, riding , photography, painting or simply revelling in the clear mountain air while you take in the breathtaking vistas around you. From time to time, and for a variety of reasons, foot paths may be closed to the public. Your co-operation in only using the walks which are available would be appreciated.
Giants Castle contains many species of wild game, the most famous being eland, caracal, baboon and mountain reedbuck. The area is also famous for vulture sightings, the most sought after being the rare bearded vulture.
SUMMARY OF ACTIVITIES
Prehistoric Rock Art
There is a large sandstone cave containing prehistoric San rock art. This is one of the biggest and best preserved painted sites in southern Africa. This cave is an easy 30 minute walk from the camp office and regular guided tours are taken through this unique exhibition from 09h00 to 15h00 daily for a small fee.
There is a variety of self guided day walks through the lower parts of the park throughout the year, weather permitting. Routes are available from the camp office.
Over 170 known species of birds, including many raptors such as Bearded Vulture and Black Eagle.
The Lammergeyer Hide
Offers excellent viewing of raptors from May to September - limited availability so booking through the Camp Office is essential.
In the streams along the Bushman's River; in season only (closed season 1 June to 31 August).
Limited to parts of the Bushman's River below the drinking water in-take for Giants Camp. (Summer months only).
Mainly Eland and other species of antelope, baboons, also some smaller mammals such as rock hyrax (dassie) and serval. Best sightings are in the winter months, but good throughout the year.
Limited Ice climbing during the winter months only - contact the Officer- in-Charge for details
Mountain bikes are only allowed on the 75 kilometre Mountain Bike Challenge route. This is held annually on the last Sunday in April.