The Champagne valley lies at the foot of Monks Cowl and is the bussiest
region of the Central Drakensberg
Champagne Valley is situated in the central Drakensberg at Monks Cowl. The
Champagne Valley is towered over by the Champagne peak which is one of the
highest peaks in the Drakensberg Mountains, although the
prominent peak from here is Cathkin. But it is the enchantedness of the Champagne
Valley that draws visitors away from city stressors to escape to a place
of rare beauty that manages to remain almost entirely unaffected by development.
Winterton marks the entrance to Champagne Valley, which is said
to have received its name from the first climber’s need
to celebrate at the peak with a bottle of champagne, only to drop it before
he could commemorate his notable achievement.
Hot air ballooning in this
part of the world is a fairly popular pastime and a wonderfully languid way
to experience the ‘berg
from a bird’s
eye view. The valley, which is easily accessible from the N3 - the major
route between Gauteng and KwaZulu Natal, is home to more than 150 species
of bird making it popular with birders. Champagne Valley is renowned for
the number of activities available to visitors here. One can hike, horse
ride, river raft, quad bike, mountain bike, abseil, glide, fish, and there
are a number of golf courses from which to choose. There are a few areas
of local interest too, including the Anglo / Boer War battlefield sites of
Spioenkop, and Winston Churchill’s capture and ambush site - all this
only two hours from Durban and three-and-a-half hours from Johannesburg.
Ideal accommodation options to explore the Cahmpagne Valley
Guest House - Indeed a special find. One of those places
you wished you would have stayed longer where the accommodation, view,
location, service and food are just perfect. This is the nearest private
accommodation option near to Giants Castle and also offers one of the
best deals available.
Guest Farm - While this guest house is a little further away
in the Champagne Valley it still a great option to stay when you visit
Giants Castle. Also centrally situated this guest house makes for a special
few days in the Drakensberg. Ardmore is especially suited to families
with units that can accommodate 6 persons.