Giants Castle day hiking Safety

07 Jan 2019 11:28 #74462 by NikkiBliss
Hi! My husband and I are planning a trip to Giants Castle nature reserve in April, to stay in the chalets for a couple of nights and do a couple of day hikes (no more than 5 hours per day) Does anyone know about the current safety levels of hiking in that area, and have any recommendations for safe + moderate level hikes? Would it be best for us to try find a guide or will we be ok going out on our own? Thanks

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07 Jan 2019 12:27 - 07 Jan 2019 12:31 #74463 by Dave
There are a number of short hikes near the Main Camp to the river and the Rock Art Site, then some longer hikes along the ridges, e.g. to World's View (~10 km round-trip). A guide isn't necessary, but this depends on your own confidence and navigational skills.

If by "safety" you mean security, then the chances of an encounter in the Little Berg at Giant's Castle are very slim, though it's always prudent to take precautions (see  here ).

As for general hiking safety, always fill in the mountain register; always have a map, cellphone, and emergency contact details with you; and always take food, water, and rain gear, even on day hikes. Be wary of mist and storms - the weather in the Berg can change very quickly.

Hope this helps. Most importantly, enjoy!
Last edit: 07 Jan 2019 12:31 by Dave.

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07 Jan 2019 15:17 #74464 by NikkiBliss
Thanks Dave, yes my main concern is "security" vs mountain safety :D I've read about attacks and all sorts of trouble in the berg so was a bit nervous to hike long distance just the two of us! We'd like to do the World View hike one day, but just wanted to make sure it wasn't in an area of trouble.

Many thanks!

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07 Jan 2019 20:28 - 07 Jan 2019 22:49 #74467 by intrepid
Welcome to VE, NikkiBliss.

While there are no absolute assurances, security issues in the Drakensberg tend to be pretty area specific and follow certain trends. The Giant's Castle escarpment used to be a very significant problem area, but these issues date back 10 years and more now. We are not aware of recent issues at Giant's Castle and do not consider it a problem area at present. There is a lot of information and detail on security related issues in the Berg on this site.  In the Frequently Asked Questions thread , look for "I have heard reports of people getting attacked in the Berg, is it safe to go?" and follow the links from there. You will also come across detailed reports of the historic security problems at Giant's Castle.

It is also a good idea to always ask at the information desk where you are staying about any current advisories.

The access roads to Injisuthi and Giant's Castle have also had security problems in the past. I am not aware of recent problems. Avoid driving those roads in the dark and be sure to have good directions/GPS.

The following threads may also be of interest to you:
General help for overseas visitors to the Berg
Safety for International Visitors to South Africa

As for guides, I would second what Dave has already said. Get the day hikes leaflet at Giant's Castle as well as a proper map - these will give you some good starter options. Also refer to the Giant's Castle day hikes thread.

Depending on your fitness and confidence levels from there you can progress to longer hikes that link into the contour path system, which generally is in pretty good shape in that area and the views are good. These will typically not fit into your preferred time of 5 hours or less, but you could still try hike out towards Giant's Castle Pass, Langalibalelele Pass or Bannerman Hut and simply turn at a pre-determined time cut-off.

We hope you enjoy Giant's Castle, please let us know how it goes afterwards! We are also happy to answer more questions.

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.
Last edit: 07 Jan 2019 22:49 by intrepid.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Dave

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