Drakensberg Caves & Huts Database

Corncob Cave


Garden Castle Wilderness Area

Corncob Cave is situated near the base of the red-walled ridge that forms the prominent southern wall of Mzimude Pass (South). It can be accessed either from Walker's Pass or from the escarpment below Walker's Peak. The new KZN Wildlife map does not clearly indicate the route up this pass, and there are several options. Corncob Cave is situated in a narrow little gully which quickly opens out down to the bottom of Mzimude Pass, and this may be the easiest route up from Hidden Valley. However, if you approach from Langalibalele Cave or Whyte's Cave, it is easier to make your way up to the base of the main ridge and then head towards the escarpment for about 500 metres.  Here you will find a cleft which will allow you to climb to the top of this part of the ridge and cross over onto its southern side. There are two more gullies, both marked with painted crosses, further along the ridge before you reach the third and final gully in which Corncob Cave resides. The first of these gullies has a nice 2-man cave just below its summit. There are two other 2-man caves in the valley behind Corncob Cave, at about the same altitude as it, but these will not provide good shelter in poor weather.

Co-ordinates (WGS84 / dd mm.mmm):

S29 46.567 E29 08.029 at 3043 metres



Corncob Cave is a proper hole rather than an overhang, formed when gas was trapped below the lava which now forms the basalt layer of the escarpment. Its floor is strewn with very coarse, rough pebbles formed by the erosion of the basalt.

Corncob Cave derives its name from the numerous corncobs that were found scattered around inside it when it was recently rediscovered by a group of backpackers who were climbing Walker's Pass to the escarpment.


The flat sleeping area has so many sharp pebbles covering it that only a lot of hard work could clear them all out. However, when covered with a ground sheet and mattress, the sleeping area is quite adequate.


On the other side of the ridge, about 50 metres behind the cave, is the start of one of the Bushman's River's main tributaries which comes out just below Bushman's Cave. There is so much exposed bed-rock at the head of this tributary that surface water is fairly abundant, although there can be no guarantee of this in the dry winter months. However, you may then find snow lying in the shadows of the terraces.


There are no pools in the vicinity of the cave.


The cave faces more or less east, and it is so deeply recessed in the head of the gully that it offers excellent shelter from the elements. There are a few small drips in the sleeping area.


The cave overlooks the base of Mzimude Pass and one of the tributaries of the Mzimude River. The scene is one of rugged beauty. A short walk up the ridge below Walker's Peak offers even more spectacular views both north and south along the escarpment.


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Last updated: 2009-08-18 16:31:47 | Report Listing Report Listing
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