Walking to the Three Pools and Bushman's Rock - Castle Garden - Drakensberg - South Africa

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We have a B & B in Underberg, so we do not have to drive far to the parking lot. We drive the road to Castle Garden and drive through the ground of the hotel Castle Garden. At the gate we indicate that we want to walk in the nature reserve. Therefore we do not have to pay to drive through the hotel area.

We drive on the grounds of the hotel, past the golf course and eventually arrive at the parking lot of the Nature Reserve Castle Garden. At the rangers station we fill out the form with our details and pay the entrance fee. We get a ticket and g hiking. Fortunately, we got a large topographic map from the owners of B & B. From the ranger station we only get an A-4 paper with some lines.

According to the route we would have to cross a bridge but the bridge is gone for a while. We step through large rocks across the river and walk up quietly. The view during the walk gets more beautiful every step. When we are almost at the top, we break one of the big stone. Unfortunately, the trail then goes quickly back down. Through small curvy tracks we walk further and keep the direction of the Three Pools.

Soon we arrive at the Three Pools. They really look like little round pools! And because it is spring in South Africa, there are all different colored flowers. We walk to a little waterfall. This is the ideal place for a lunch break! It's a nice small hidden waterfall with a nice lake before. The path to it goes from one side to the other side of the creek and you cross it three times. But it's worth walking up to it.

We leave the Three Pools and walk toward Bushman's Rock. This is the only cave with rock paintings in the Drakensberg which you can visit without a guide. We are happy with some clouds crossing an open plain, because is quite hot in the sun. The vegetation on the plateau, pampas grass, gives us both a lot of almost tripping.

Soon we arrive at Bushman's Rock and watch the murals. The murals were created by the San and are well preserved. They are really about what they experienced in life. One mural is clearly a drawing of hunting experience.

After a short stop we descend again with a short walk to the river and follow the path back to the parking lot. The path is not good visible and there are occasional large potholes in the path. So we walk gently. We walk the curvy path up again. On top we see a moose scat. Elks are found in Drakensberg but are seldom seen by hikers. We are lucky that we saw one, but he left behind the hill quickly.
A little further, we noticed a group of monkeys. They keep us closely and we will keep an eye on them. We have one last look at Castle Garden before we return to the parking lot.

We're back just in time for the picnic area of Castle Garden. The weather changes quickly and it becomes colder. The clouds are above the mountains of Castle Garden, and it looks like it will rain soon. We drive back to our B & B and cooking a big meal.

Length: 10 km
Elevation: 100 meters rising and descending

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