Drakensberg Caves & Huts Database

John's Cave


Garden Castle Wilderness Area

Garden Castle Wilderness Area, Southern Drakensberg.  This small, low overhang is located in a short sandstone face at the bottom of Little Bamboo Mountain near the confluence of the Sandleni and Mlahlangubo rivers.  It can be reached via Castle View Farm or from Cobham via the Mzimkhulwana River.  Please note that it is common courtesy to obtain permission from the owner of Castle View Farm before crossing his property.  Ask the booking office at Garden Castle how to contact the owner.

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

S29 41.963 E29 17.075 at 1768 metres


Accommodation: 4

The cave is small but will accommodate 4 people fairly comfortably.

The overhang was probably used for shelter by herd boys when the area was part of a cattle farm.  The author has chosen to call it John's Cave after John C. Durno (junior), who lived on neighbouring Castle View farm from 1926 to 1933, the year in which he died at the tender age of 15.  He is sure to have been familiar with the area and no doubt would have visited both the pool and the cave on many occasions.


The sleeping area is fairly level and the low roof and surrounding boulders impart a feeling of coziness.  Since it is largely unused, it may be necessary to clear away some weeds before moving in.


A small stream flows down the little valley alongside the cave.  However, the area above the cave was once part of a cattle farm and is badly eroded.  This may affect the water quality at certain times during the year.  Water may always be fetched from the Mlahlangubo River about 250 metres from the cave.


Although it is about 250 metres from the cave, John's Pool is one of the best and little-known pools in the berg and is the main attraction of the cave.  This huge, deep pool is at the bottom of a chute which cuts its way through bedrock above the pool.  Besides some nice rock on which to lie and soak up the sun, there are plenty or rock ledges to plunge into the pool from and the view of the escarpment from the pool is magnificent.


Although providing good shelter from rain and wind, long people may find that their feet get wet when it rains hard, because the overhang is not much deeper than the average man is tall!


The cave offers a magnificent view of much of the southern escarpment, centred on Rhino Peak.


+27 (033) 7011823


Last updated: 2009-08-18 09:55:33 | Report Listing Report Listing
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