MHC/MBP Kamberg
Kamberg Drakensberg Reserve
Sinclair’s Cave
uKhahlamba Drakensberg
Central Drakensberg
7 – 8 February 2015

Report and photos by Dave Sclanders

[CLICK ON PHOTOS TO VIEW FULLSIZE - or view pics in accompanying SIMPLEVIEWER Presentation]

Sinclair’s Cave or more a Shelter is in an area that is not hiked much by hikers. It is a bit out of the way, and the way to the cave is not very clear. In fact , from Kamberg there is no defined pat. One follows mainly animal paths, and some cross country wandering to get to the cave.

Arriving at the Kamberg offices early in the morning, the hike looked quite exciting. Only 2 of us had done the route before, we had 2 first time hikers, the others being regular berg hikers. The higher areas to where we would be heading, were covered in an ever changing blanket of thick to thin, swirling grey mist. Not the best situation if you did not know the area and route. The streams were running sort of strong, but did indicate that the rainfall had been less than it should have been by this time of the year. The area was green, flowers and flowering Protea dotted the landscape, and the overcast weather made for happy hiking. As we climbed higher, visibility dropped, and probably made the climb up the hillside a bit easier. One we had reached the top, we looked down into a very pretty area of deep valleys, smothered in a rolling blanket of grey water laden, view obscuring greyness. The grass was wet from the dew, and earlier than later my socks were very wet due to the state of my old hiking boots.

Pics 2 – The highlands above , alive in the mist
Pics 3 - Shelter Falls
Pics 4 – 5 Rivers and valleys
Pics 6 – 8 Going UP !
Pics 9 - On Top !
Pics 10 - Green/Grey valleys

As the party was fit, a good pace was upheld, a early lunch break was taken as some of our hikers had left Durban very early to get to the start on time. Before long we were “just around the corner from our accommodation” At the cave we had a rest, a good cup of tea, erected tents for some, then spent the afternoon exploring the area. A multitude of small valleys and waterfalls, hidden caves, high points and a hidden water spring high up the mountain make for a very interesting relaxed afternoon. Colourfull dashes of colour from numerous small patches of flowers added more to the scenery.

Pic 11- That’s where we are heading, ”just around the corner” ?????
Pic 12 - High on a rock , the views are forever
Pic 13 - The old Roman “ Centurion” looks for his lost footwear ! “Don’t come home without all your army issue kit Centurion!”
Pic 14 – Hidden in the valley lies his lost “ Army issue Sandal”
Pic 15 - Dagga Runners fire in a hidden shelter
Pic 16 - Freshly “birthed” water from a deep mountain spring.
Pic 17 – and there was “Peace and tranquility, and beauty”
Pic 18 - Hidden deep , moist, wet , dark and dank caves.
Pic 19 – Old gates that once guarded entrance to the magical “Kamberg Mountain” valley.
Pic 20 - Grass in full, colourful seed head.
Pic 21 – Tranquil Valley – Fluffy Cloud
Pic 22 - The old walls of a long forgotten sheep kraal
Pics 23 – 24 Back at the cave

Early morning, and a quick dash to the top of the hill raised the question, “were the heavens on fire?” A low cloud across the Drakensberg mountain range caught the early rays of the rising sun, and gave the appearance of a huge fire in the sky.

Pic 25 – Fireball in the sky

After breakfast we packed, a bit earlier than anticipated, and started the hike back. Reaching the summit of the ridge, we stopped for a rest, and had an unsurpassed view of the Drakensberg range from The Giants Castle massive, right around to Monk’s Cowl. A great place to rest and talk about the Drakensberg range. Just around the corner, to our south, views stretched back down the Southern berg to the “3 Bushmen Peaks” far away.

Pics 28 – 29 – Giants to Monks, “just around the corner, and a few sweaty days later!”

By now the day was getting hot, no shade, and still a lot of hard work to do. So, then it was time for more exploring, down the valley, up the valley , down the valley, to look for those long ago painted rock shelters. When we did find some shade, a good rest was taken, the rest of the way home was in a “no shade, blazing hot trio of valleys”

Pic 30 – Up
Pic 31 – Down
Pic 32 – Take a break
Pic 33 – water is a long way away.

The day got hotter and hotter, we decided – there was no more fun in this, so we headed down to the stream where scattered bushes in the stream bed gave some relief from the heat, drowned hot smelly feet in the cool water, and had lunch. As we were a bit spread out, there was some time to contemplate on what we had walked past, seen or experienced the past 2 days, and probably already forgotten in the heat of the moment.

Pics 35 – 45 flowers and art
Pic 46 – Blue waterfall

It was a quick sharp dash, despite the heat back to the cars, and so happy to get there

Pic 47 – Happy to be back at the car park.

Another interesting hike with a great bunch of people.

A question asked of me quite often is “ don’t you get tired of visiting the same place so often?. All I can say is – I only know the way, I don’t know what is around the corner or what I will see , but I can say – “it is never the same, and always incredible” Nature is never the same from moment to moment, every second spent with nature is precious, incredible and non repetitive.

This is the life – savor and enjoy totally.

Remember – all I have said in the above passages rests on one mighty factor. Whatever natural environment that you are in , Never take nature for granted. Go prepared for any condition, and enjoy. Watch the environment and if it starts to change make plans timorously. Go in unprepared, or Gung-ho, and take the consequences which can be disastrous.