Guided 3 day Champagne Castle Drakensberg Hike

3 Day Champagne Castle Drakensberg Hike

Memorable 3-Day Champagne Castle Drakensberg Hike

The Drakensberg is home to many multi day hiking tours including this 3-day Champagne Castle Drakensberg Hike. One such tour includes a fantastic 3 day hike to the summit of Champagne Castle. The hike covers about 40km with an altitude gain of over 2300m. Situated in the area known as the Central Drakensberg, this hiking experience is must do for any avid hiking enthusiast.

Not only does the area boasts some amazing mountain scenery but is also a perfect test and training ground for our Kilimanjaro treks. The second day of the hike sees completing an ‘up and down’ hike. Basically we set up camp at Keith’s Bush camp the night before and hike to the summit of Champagne Castle and back again in one day. So no heavy backpacks needed. Our campsite is nestled in an incredible valley with Monks Cowl, Cathkin Peak, Dragons Back and of course, Champagne Castle soring majestically above us.

Fitness levels on the 3-Day Champagne Castle Drakensberg Hike

The hike is rated at pretty challenging and hikers need to have a relatively good fitness level.  The average distance hiked every day is about 14km over 7 hours. What makes the hike pretty challenging is the gradient.  There is nothing better than a bit of gradient in the mountains. Keeps you humble and of course a bit of pain is good for the human spirit. It gives perspective. The outside of a mountain is good for the inside of a man so they say.

The Champagne Castle Drakensberg hike follows the traditional protocol of all our Drakensberg Hikes & Tours. Basically we are self-sufficient. Hikers carry their own backpacks. We sleep in tents or caves. Our water is found in the pure mountain streams. The food is cooked over gas stoves and served under the starry skies with nice soft rock as your only source of comfort.  This is the best way to hike in the Drakensberg in our opinion. Back to basics and face the elements of nature purist style. And all of this in a remote part of the Drakensberg. In fact we usually never see another soul for the 3 days we are up in the mountains.

Guided 3-Day Champagne Castle Drakensberg Hike

Our guides have done the Champagne Castle Drakensberg hike over 30 times each. So you are in good hands when it comes to your safety and enjoyment. They even cook up one the best Drakensberg Mountain dinners ever!!!

Please note!!! The hike is totally eco-friendly. That means No toilet facilities. No showers. No litter bins. No electricity. So water is taken form the rivers to drink. All litter is carried out. Number 2’s involving the digging of a hole.

Our tours begin and end in Johannesburg


Day 1

Travel day. Our scheduled trekking tour of the Drakensberg starts at 05H00. You will be met by your guide, load up the vehicle and take the 5 hour drive down to Monks Cowl Nature reserve, the starting point for the hike. Upon arrival we will take a short break and prepare for the hike ahead.  Part of the provisions, tent and camping equipment will be divided amongst the group to carry. If you are not to hiking with heavy backpack ( day 15km) then you have the option to hire a porter for the duration of the trip.  The hike covers about 14km over about 6 hours.  The first 2 km is a nice ‘warm up’ as we ascend about 500m to the middle “Berg”. Once we get to Blindmans Corner, we contour along a flat route for about 6km before making the final slog up to Keith’s Bush Camp.  Once camp is set up, its dinner and some good conversation under the watchful eye of Champagne Castle and her magical companions of Monks Cowl and Cathkin Peak.

Day 2

We bang the pots and plates at 06H00 in an effort to get hikers awake. We then have breakfast, pack our day packs and start our ascent up Grays Pass. The hike only covers about 6km but with an altitude gain of over 1200m. We rapidly rise up the Pass and after 3 hours find ourselves levelling out on top of the Drakensberg escarpment. After a quick break we make our final assault to the summit of Champagne Castle. The tents can be seen far below in the valley. We spend 20 minutes on the summit before making our way back down the way we came. We follow the same path down as we did on the way up the mountain. We should be back in camp by about 17H00-So a good 8 hours hiking today.   At least there are no heavy backpacks to carry!

Day 3

After breakfast, we break down camp and have breakfast. The hike back down to Monks Cowl takes about 5 hours covering 14km.  When we get down we have a beer and lunch and then take the 5 hour drive back to Johannesburg. We should be back by 18H00.


  • Return transfers Johannesburg to Monks Cowl Campsite Return (unless self-drive option selected)
  • Hotel Pick Up
  • 2 Nights’ accommodation in tented camps at Keiths Bush Camp
  • All climbing permits
  • Tents, sleeping mats, cooking and eating utensils
  • Breakfasts and dinners on the mountain
  • Basic first aid kit
  • Guide for the duration of the tour
  • Dedicated Trip Planner
  • Local Taxes


  • Flights and airport taxes
  • Hiking Equipment (can be hired)
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Visas for South Africa
  • Health requirements (if any)
  • Optional but highly recommended travel and medical insurance.
  • Snacks, personal medicine
  • Meals & drinks not specified
  • Incredible Drakensberg Scenery
  • The Drakensberg is a world heritage site
  • Isolated and remote hiking experience
  • Fully supported hike in terms of equipment, transport and guide
  • Authentic South African hiking experience