Drakensberg Caves & Huts Database

Glade Cave


Cobham Wilderness Area

This unmarked cave is situated about halfway between Venice Cave and Weaver Cave, on a huge tributary of the Mzimkhulwana River.  This "tributary" (according to Slingsby's map) is so much larger than the tiny stream marked as the Mzimukhulwana River that tumbles down a small waterfall into it, one would think they should have been named the other way around!  The path from Lakes Cave to Venice Cave or Chameleon Cave passes indistinctly just above the cave.

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

S29 40.285 E29 17.291 at 1947 metres


Accommodation: 4

This cave can accommodate 4 people.

This cave appears to be used quite often - probably by hikers looking for Venice Cave or Weaver Cave.  Indeed, maps show the route from Lakes Cave to Weaver Cave as passing right by this overhang, and the path to Venice Cave as passing over it.  Weaver Cave is about 2 km down the Mzimkhulwana valley, and Venice Cave about the same distance in the opposite direction.  Hikers can be easily confused by the naming of the rivers in the area: the Mzimkhulwana River appears to originate in Minaret Pass, forming a very significant valley before flowing past the cave and taking a right angle turn on down the main Mzimkhulwana valley, whereas maps show this major river as the insignificant little stream and valley which originate above Venice Cave.  The author has chosen to name the cave Glade Cave after the little glade in which it is located.


The floor is a hard, pink gravel terrace but it is quite level and comfortable.  However, the terrace is narrow and there is not much space to spread out and cook in.  There may be a few small drips in summer, otherwise the cave is very dusty and this can be irritating in windy conditions.


The cave is situated about 20 metres from a major tributary of the Mzimkhulwana River, so there is a reliable and convenient source of water all year round.


There are several medium-sized pools in the river above and below the cave, and an interesting little rock gorge nearby where the river plunges down into a larger pool.  There is also plenty of nice sandstone bedrock on which to sun oneself.  These features are the cave's main attractions.


This cave should provide adequate shelter from rain, but is very exposed to the wind which is prone to gust up the valley through it.  This wind may carry rain in with it, but only the lower, sloping end of the cave is likely to get wet.


The cave overlooks some low cliffs and a long, grassy hillside on the other side of the river.  Immediately in front of it is an almost level glade of rose-bush ("ouhoud" in Afrikaans), and during the summer season numerous little Christmas Bells bloom amongst the carpet of weeds.  The glade includes some unpleasant thorn bushes and is also very muddy in places.  The view from the river towards the escarpment is quite spectacular, and includes the Minaret and the Amakehla Amabili.


+27 (033) 7020831


Last updated: 2009-08-17 14:03:30 | Report Listing Report Listing
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