Drakensberg Caves & Huts Database

Wilson's Cave


Garden Castle Wilderness Area

The most direct route to the cave is from Castle View farm via the Mlahlangubo River, which takes one past a small but unusual Bushman rock art site.  Alternatively, for those wanting a more challenging route or for those wanting to take in several caves over a multi-day route, Wilson's Cave be be reached from Cobham.  A walk along the Sea Serpent to Chameleon Cave, Venice Cave, No-Name Cave, Weaver Cave and The Island makes for an interesting day-trip from the cave.  Wilson's Cave is also the best starting point for those wanting to venture up one of the Stones Passes.  These passes are very easy and can both be done during a circular day-walk from the cave.  For the more adventurous, the spur immediately opposite Wilson's Cave leads up to Pitsaneng Pass.  However, there is no path and one should research this route thoroughly before attempting it.  A more extensive day exploration can include an ascent of any one of these three passes, a short traverse south to Sandleni Cave, and a descent of Sandleni Pass.  It is also possible to reach Fun Cave and Verkyker Cave from Wilson's Cave via Eland Flats.  This route is interesting but complex, and should not be undertaken in mist!  The lack of paths in the area adds to the uniquely isolated feel of this cave.

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

S29 39.697 E29 15.279 at 2063 metres


Accommodation: 12

Wilson's Cave is a very large overhang which can easily accommodate the maximum of 12 hikers that are allowed.

The cave is named after Brian Wilson, who laid the foundations for the Drakensberg Gardens hotel in 1935 and supervised its construction for the original owner, Stanley Stiebel.  In 1938 Wilson left the valley to take up a position as manager of the Hilton College farm and grounds.  Wilson's Peak, which is a few kilometres south of the Rhino, is also named after Brian Wilson.  It is uncertain whether Wilson named the peaks himself, or whether someone else did so in his honour.


Sleeping accommodation is split between the lower and upper levels of the cave.  The single, large, lower area is sectioned off by a substantial stone wall.  The upper level consists of three small walled sections which can accommodate a total of four people.  All the sleeping areas are level and comfortable, but the straw put down by hikers also proves to be a convenient source of food for Grey Rhebuck, which like to shelter in the cave during wet weather - long enough to deposit the end result of their meal right where hikers like to sleep!  There is plenty of space to move around in, lots of rocks and ledges to sit on or dry clothes out on, and there is even a little amphitheatre where extroverted members of your group can put on a show!


The cave overlooks a narrow section of valley - almost a gorge - through which a reliable stream runs all year round.  The stream is conveniently close to the cave and within easy reach.  In mid-winter the stream is usually iced over in places.


There are no large pools in the immediate vicinity of the cave, although there are several streams with countless small, bath-sized pools and several small waterfalls for those who want to freshen up after a hard day's walk.


Being located in a narrow section of valley, wind can roar through the cave with considerable vigour, and in exceptionally heavy weather rain can also be driven in underneath the overhang.  The upper sleeping quarters provide the best shelter under these conditions.  Usually, though, the cave provides excellent protection from the elements.  This cave, located near the bottom of several passes, is at a relatively high elevation for a lower berg cave, and not surprisingly it is often cold, even in summer.  It does, however, get warming rays from the sun in the morning, since it is east facing.


The cave partly overlooks a steep hillside, into which is embedded a large rock appropriately named Menhir Rock.  The Island and Little Bamboo Mountain are visible in the middle distance across a level plain, and Point South can just be seen projecting from the escarpment above the cave.  If you venture out on top of the cave, or onto the spur opposite it, you can enjoy breathtaking views of the Sea Serpent and the Southern Drakensberg from the Minaret in the north to Devil's Knuckles in the south.


+27 (033) 7011823


Last updated: 2009-08-18 09:36:20 | Report Listing Report Listing
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