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The breathtaking Monks Cowl, Drakensberg

Monks Cowl is one of the most beautiful and least degraded stretches of the Drakensberg, and gets its name from the peak between Champagne Castle and Cathkin Mountains. Monks Cowl is located in the northern part of the Drakensberg Mountains and is known for its lush surroundings and beautiful views.

Hiking through Monks Cowl, Drakensbergen

In Monks Cowls you will find countless hiking trails through the beautiful nature of the Drakensberg. Whether you want to walk for an hour or take a long walk of perhaps eight hours, it is all possible in Monks Cowl. Gaze out over the green grasslands with the high peaks of the Drakensberg Mountains in the background, hike through valleys and forests, cool off in an icy mountain pool or hike to one of several waterfalls. The landscape of Monks Cowls is very special and diverse.


The different hiking trails in Monks Cowl, Drakensberg

At the entrance of Monks Cowl is a large parking lot where you can park your car. This parking lot is located directly at the starting point of Monks Cowl and from here you can walk several hiking trails through the Drakensberg. There are several hiking trails with different lengths. For example, if you are a real hiker, you can even hike a route through the Drakensberg that requires an overnight stay.

Hiking trail Sterkspruit Falls, Monks Cowl

As you can read above, there are several hiking trails that you can follow from the starting point of Monks Cowl, both short and long trails. Because we were in South Africa with two children of 6 years, we decided to take the shortest trail to the waterfall Sterkspruit Falls. The trail to Sterkspruit Falls is a very easy walk, which is mainly flat. This trail in the Drakensberg Mountains was an hour's walk and definitely worth it. Sterkspruit Falls is a beautiful and high waterfall, unfortunately you can't really get close to it.


More to see in Monks Cowl, Drakensbergen

However, after walking this short route to Sterkspruit Falls in Monks Cowl, we didn't think we had seen enough of the impressive Drakensberg mountains. The route was mainly flat over beautiful meadows, but the real mountain peaks of the Drakensberg mountains rwere still to far away. After this short trail, we decided to walk a long route towards Nandies Falls.

Cooling down in Nandies Falls, Monks Cowl Drakensbergen

Choosing to continue walking to Nandies Falls in Monks Cowl turned out to be a great decision. On this hiking trail through the Drakensberg you walk a little deeper into the mountains and you walk along various mountain pools, where you can cool off in the icy mountain water.

Monks Cowl, an unforgettable experience for kids

The children will never forget this hiking trail and wherever there are mountains, they still ask if we can walk a route with such mountain pools as in the Drakensberg. What a wonderful time they had climbing over the rocks here and throwing stones into the water.


Nandies Falls, Monks Cowl, a tough walk

However, the trail to Nandies Falls turned out to be a bit further than expected and we weren't fully equipped for a hike like this. So a tip from us; make sure you wear good hiking shoes, drink enough and put on some sun protection. We really missed the last one. Our red heads were an attraction in itself after this 5 hour hike. The paths themselves towards Nandies Falls are easy to walk, it is mainly the combination with the warm sun that makes this route a little bit difficult

Wild life in Monks Cowl, Drakensbergen

It is quite a walk to Nandies Falls in Monks Cowl, but unfortunately we did not encounter much wild life. In Monks Cowl you mainly see insects and small animals, but not the wild life you might expect in South Africa. The only wild animals we encountered in Monks Cowl were wild horses. These wild horses were blocking the path so it was quite a challenge to get past these animals, because wild horses can also be quite unpredictable. Unfortunately, these wild horses where the most interesting wild life we ​​encountered in Monks Cowl.

Our final destination, Nandies Falls Monks Cowl

After 2.5 hours of hiking in the sun, we finally got closer to the end point of our walk through the Drakensberg, closer to Nandies Falls. As you approach the end point, you will walk through a dense forest. Arriving at this forest we started to doubt whether we should give up and just turn around, because it had become quite a tough walk.

But less than a minute later we heard the water clatter from the waterfall and what a nice feeling it is when you stand at the bottom of this beautiful waterfall, the Nandies Falls. What a magical place, the bottom of Nandies Falls. We actually took a moment here to take in this place. What a beautiful place in Monks Cowl, in the Drakensberg. It was definitely worth the hike.


And then back to the starting point of the Drakensberg

Unfortunately, the walk is not over yet, because you also have to walk all the way back to the starting point of the Drakensberg. So after this great feeling of victory at the bottom of Nandies Falls, we quickly set the trek back to the starting point of Monks Cowl. Because you walked from Sterkspruit Falls, the trail back to the car is different than the trail to Nandies Falls. That makes the trail that we have walked very nice and diverse. If you walk directly from the starting point of Monks Cowl to Nandies Falls, you also walk back the same trail and not a round with different landscapes, as we have now walked.

A 5 hour hike in Monks Cowl, Drakensbergen

Back to the starting point of Monks Cowl it was another one and a half hour walk with the children, which made it a total route of about 5 hours walking. So it is quite a tough walk with children, but because of the various stops in the mountain pools of the Drakensberg, it was doable for our two boys of 6 years. The stops at the mountain pools and waterfalls made our visit to the Drakensberg a special experience, which we will never forget.

Monks Cowl, unforgettable nature in the Drakensberg

Monks Cowl definitely made an unforgettable impression on us and the Drakensberg is a truly unique mountain landscape with the most bright green grass fields I have ever seen, beautiful forests, colorful meadow flowers with high mountain peaks in the background, impressive waterfalls and if you are lucky some more wild animals. We certainly hope to visit this unique landscape again, because we are sure that this landscape hides many more gems, which we have not yet seen.



Accomodaties in de omgeving van Monks Cowl, Drakensbergen


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