Giants Castle, Drakensberg

About Langalibalele Pass hike

Start: Giant's Castle camp
Finish: Giant's Castle camp
Duration: 6.5 km, roughly 5 hours
Fitness: moderate
Our tip: always remember seasonal clothing as the 'berg can change seasons without warning

The hike up Langalibalele Pass is one of the quickest passes into the Drakensberg, but it is also fairly steep. Think of it as 'no pain, no gain'. For those who do not have all day to reach the views, this is well worth it. Once up on the escarpment, you come out between the Sanqebethu and Durnford ridges.

Best of all: the route has a good path throughout and there are no ridiculously steep scrambles. Seasoned hikers consider this a good one for those new to hiking.

Langalibalele, which is isiHlubi for: the sun is boiling hot, was once a pass used by the Hlubi people, under the leadership of Chief Langalibalele, mainly as a route through which to transport stolen cattle.

Giant's Castle is famous for the Langalibalele Rebellion when the chief refused to register his tribe's firearms resulting in a subsequent battle during which three colonial troops were killed on the Bushman's River Pass, now known as the Langalibalele Pass.

Langalibalele was subsequently tried by a British special court for treason and banished to Robben Island. The court was a kangaroo court and there were more than a few procedural irregularities involved in the process.

In retrospect, Langalibalele then was one of the very first black activists banished to Robben Island, almost 100 years before Nelson Mandela.

Giant's Castle is a wonderful part of the Drakensberg and worth visiting all year round, particularly during autumn and spring for hiking. But in winter, whilst you may not manage to hike up the pass, the snowfalls on the Drakensberg remain a highlight.

Need to Know

WhereStart and finish in the Giant's Castle camp in the Drakensberg.

How muchPrices on request.

OvernightThe closest town is Giants Castle, in KwaZulu Natal

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