MHC - Gladstone's Nose, EKZN Wildlife, Central uKhahlamba Drakensberg
07 October 2018

Report and photos courtesy of Dave Sclanders

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

Kamberg Nature Reserve under the stewardship of EKZN, is a very much missed part of the Central Drakensberg. Apart from the world famous Rock Art Site at Shelter Cave (which just about anyone can get to with local guide, and indeed everyone should visit this famous Rock Art site).

An walk is to the base of Gladstone's Nose is a fairly easy day walk, with great scenery, to the West is the great Giant s Castle Buttress , to the East the unmissable Kamberg Mountain, with great valleys running down from the escarpment to form the very rich and fertile Kamberg Valley, and then lunch in a huddle of great rocks and bush at the base of Gladstone's Nose.

The long line of hikers heading East towards Gladstone's. The "Giant" every present on the escarpment.

The first glimpse of our target high on the horizon, and a badly broken way marker on top of a pile of stone and rock

From here there is a steepish climb to get up to the base of the main cliffs. So a short break to refurbish water and energy treats, also a good time to have a good look at the scenery around. Once the climb started there would be no looking around. Eyes would be glued to the steep crumbly path, and now and again a quick glance up to see how much further it was to climb.

The climbing pace was fast and slow. The fitter getting to the designated resting place early, and the slower maybe wishing they had done a bit more training.

Once everyone had caught up, a good look was taken at the cliff above before we set of to look at Settlers Pass around the corner. As we crested the hill, Kamberg Mountain popped up in front of us. This little mountain was named by the early settlers due to the fact that it looked like the "crest of a chicken - Hence the first naming of KAM BERG or COMB BERG"

Lunch was taken in amongst the rocky and bushy outcrop at the base of Gladstone. Hikers were encouraged to spread out and have lunch in a silent and reflectfull way. Then when the whistle blew, to gather at a point to start the homeward leg.

It was decided that on the way back, we would for the last part, leave the normal trail and follow an old Eland track. I had been here once before and remembered that at a certain point we would have to break away from the usual eland track, and pick up a very old track that went down a quite steep little gully. Well, old memories aren' t always what one remembers, I eventually found a way down. But by then I feel some of my fellow hikers had thought I had gone "walk about with the eland" . It was steep, it was rocky, it was slippery, it was knee breaking. It was a totally new hiking way for almost everyone on the hike. Congratulations to all on the hike. Especial thanks to Chris for being the back marker for the whole day, and helping a number of hikers to keep going.

Pics 23 - 25 See Keith' s write up on the same hike for more pictures.

At last we reached the road, and the cars. So much relief for so many to reach their cars. A good day was had by all.


One always learns a lesson when in wild places. If you are going to go off the beaten track, have a good idea of what lies ahead, and especially know how long it may take to get to safe ground. If it becomes very dangerous, or you become disorientated or lost, go back to the last safe place that you were at. Even if it takes a bit of blood ,sweat and tears. To be caught in nowhere land and it get dark, is not a matter to be taken lightly.

Mountain streams will start to run again, make sure you know what streams and rivers you have to cross and what condition they may be in before you start your hike. A dry stream or river could become a raging torrent after a storm high up in the berg. Know your topography.