AfriCamps Champagne Valley, Drakensberg
Glamping to the breathtaking backdrop of the Central Drakensberg
AfriCamps Champagne Valley offers guests of all ages an exciting close-to-nature experience on the foothills of the Drakensberg, which means loads of adventure and exquisite natural beauty are in store. The sheer scale of the Drakensberg can only be experienced first-hand – whether you seek the reward of the views from the top, or are perfectly happy unwinding to the views of the mountain in the distance. Only 245 km from Durban and 400 km from Johannesburg, this camp is a perfect weekend or holiday destination.
The property is a hiker’s paradise with the popular Monk’s Cowl entrance to the Maloti-Drakensberg National Park only 7 km from the farm. Hike the iconic Champagne Castle and Cathedral Peak trails or book a customised hike with a local licensed guide.
Apart from hiking, the area boasts an array of other outdoor activities including birding, mountain biking trails, hot air ballooning, ziplining, horse riding, golfing, beer tasting, and chocolate tasting. Sumptuous traditional braai meals at the on-site restaurant, The Farm Kitchen, are a must for your itinerary, and don’t miss the chance to hear the Drakensberg Boys Choir perform live! The property also makes the perfect spot for tying the knot and hosting weddings with accommodation available at the guest lodge and the AfriCamps tents.
On the farm, explore the forest where various bird species can be spotted, unwind at the freshwater farm pool soaking up the mountain views, or recharge from the comfort of your private outdoor wood-fired hot tub.
Where exactly is Champagne Valley? Champagne Valley is located in the Central Drakensberg, KwaZulu-Natal. The Drakensberg Mountain Range stretches an impressive 300 km between Lesotho and KwaZulu-Natal. The name translates to ‘Dragon Mountain’ but is simply referred to as the ‘Berg’ by locals. The ecologically and culturally diverse Drakensberg is home to the highest mountain peaks in the country and has been declared a world heritage site. The flat-topped Cathkin Peak (3,149 m) and Champagne Castle (3,248 m) are two of these peaks, and the valley below it is referred to as Champagne Valley. The area is a world-famous destination for hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing.
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About the tents
Wood-fired Hot Tub
South African Braai
- Fully equipped kitchen
- Four-burner gas hob
- Bar fridge
- Cutlery, crockery and glasses for five
- En-suite bathroom
- Large shower
- Basin and mirror
- Towel sets provided
- Flushing toilet
Large Outdoor Deck
- 30 m² deck
- Picnic table
- Two deck chairs
- Braai facilities
- Magnificent views
- Two bedrooms
- Two extra-length queen-size beds
- One single bunk bed
- Comfortable linen and electric blankets
- Sleeps up to five guests
Heating & Cooling
- Indoor wood-burning fireplace
- Outdoor braai
- Electric blankets
- Winter blankets
Things to do
Whether embarking on a world-class hike, searching for waterfalls, taking in the mesmerising landscape from a hot air balloon, or zipping through the dramatic valleys on a canopy tour, there is no shortage of adventure and natural beauty in the Drakensberg.
Hiking Trails Galore
The camp offers easy access to some of Central Drakensberg’s most popular hiking and walking trails. Our team will give you all the advice you need for Drakensberg day trips in the area and beyond. Guided hikes can also be booked with licensed guides.
Take a Dip
Our freshwater farm pool offers exquisite vistas of the surrounding mountain ranges. Cool off on a hot summer day, settle down on the lush lawn for a picnic, or get comfortable poolside with your favourite book. (Don’t forget the sunscreen!)
Monks Cowl Park
With breathtaking views of sweeping grasslands on the lower reaches and towering cliffs with a waterfall cascading for hundreds of metres, Monks Cowl Park is the ideal place for hiking, day walks or even just enjoying a light meal at the tea garden.
Drakensberg Canopy Tours
Nestled within the indigenous forests of the Central Drakensberg and beneath the majestic gaze of Cathkin Peak, the Drakensberg Canopy Tour is your ticket to an unparalleled adventure. Glide through the treetops and get a bird’s-eye view of the world below.
Explore the 250 trees on the Yellowwood Walk and spot various bird species, or the illusive genet, black backed jackal, mongoose, porcupine, common duiker, grey rhebok, wild boar and many other nocturnal animals.
Hot Air Balloon
The experienced team at Hot Air Ballooning SA has been flying in Champagne Valley for 15 years, offering visitors a unique vantage point of the Drakensberg. The perfect activity for an anniversary, birthday, engagement, or any special occasion, this will be something to remember forever.
The Farm Kitchen @ Inkosana
The on-site restaurant specialises in traditional South African wood-fired braai meals. Come and indulge in a sumptuous steak, chicken fillet, boerewors, fresh salads, and pap and chakalaka.
Located at the Drakensberg Brewery and framed by stunning mountains, the Brewpub is the perfect spot to kick back with a cold one. Sip on signature Drakensberg Brewery beers on tap, all while soaking in those majestic mountain vistas.
Vertical Rush Cable Trail aka Via Ferrate
Discover the Vertical Rush Cable Trail, a 300 m climbing adventure, while harnessed and attached to a safety line. Set within a lush indigenous forest, the trail is a treat for the senses with a wide variety of vegetation to enjoy.
Birds of Prey
For the avid birder, a visit to the Drakensberg promises tiny gems from the brilliant green flash of a malachite sunbird and the chatty cacophony of masked weavers, to a breathtaking glimpse of the illusive verreaux eagle.
Drakensberg Boys Choir
No trip to the ‘Berg’ is truly fulfilled without experiencing the world-renowned Drakensberg Boys Choir. Located just 2.5 km from the camp, the 600-seat Ken MacKenzie auditorium hosts the choir every Wednesday – bookings are essential.
Dive into adventure with Scootours® Drakensberg! Explore the mountains like never before, coasting through majestic landscapes and soaking in jaw-dropping views of your surroundings. It’s exploration, with a dash of thrill!
Flowers in the ‘Berg’
Discover the floral wonders of the Drakensberg! Thanks to its unique ecological diversity and rugged climate, the landscape bursts with vibrant plant life. With around 2,200 species and nearly 400 endemics, it’s a remarkable botanical experience.
FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE
Extras on the farm
Meals form a special part of any holiday in South Africa. AfriCamps offers delectable locally-sourced breakfast and braai baskets for guests to cook in their fully equipped kitchens or on the braai. Other extra services are also available on request.
Order AfriCamps’ braai baskets – freshly packed with locally sourced meats and side dishes, ready for the braai! Don’t forget to order in advance.
Kids Accommodation Pack
Extra Cleaning Services
- 10 AfriCamps tents
- 5 Guests per tent
- 2 Extra-length queen-size beds
- 1 Single bunk bed
- Outdoor wood-fired hot tub
- Private bathroom with hot shower
- Indoor fireplace
- Air conditioning
- Electric blankets
- Cot and highchair on request
- Bar fridge
- Convection oven
- 4-burner gas stove
- Cutlery and crockery for 5 guests
- All the little extras
- Braai facilities
- Breakfast & braai baskets to order
- Onsite shop
- Swimming pool
Meet Kevin and Chantal, whose hospitality journey began with a tranquil visit to the Drakensberg mountains. It was in this peaceful setting that they envisioned a sanctuary far from the city’s hustle and bustle, a place where guests could breathe pure mountain air and craft lasting memories.
With steadfast determination, they transformed Inkosana from its humble beginnings into a charming lodge, situated on a 20-hectare property offering breathtaking views of the majestic Drakensberg mountains. Their vision is to transition the lodge into a boutique hotel and to become a firm favourite for weddings and conferences in the area.
Kevin comes with a rich background in property, while Chantal has spent a decade in banking and finance before stepping into the real estate realm. Together, they’ve become a dynamic duo in tourism and hospitality for the past ten years.
Armed with a passionate team, Kevin and Chantal cherish the vision of creating opportunities for their dedicated staff and their families and they take pride in the fact that local communities and small businesses will benefit from AfriCamps’ guests. “As we grow, so does our community, reflecting the ‘Ubuntu’ spirit of our beautiful country.”
Joining the AfriCamps family marks the start of a new chapter for the property, offering visitors an unforgettable passage through the captivating landscapes of the Drakensberg.
Check-in & Check-out
Check-in: From 14h00 to 17h00 on day of arrival
Check-out: Before 10h00 on day of departure
Check-in arrangements need to be made and guests are kindly requested to inform the specific AfriCamps host of their estimated time of arrival. This way you are ensured of a smooth check-in experience. Full check-in information will be provided in your booking confirmation email.
Activities on the Farm
Venture into the enchanting Yellowwood Walk right on our property. With over 250 yellowwood trees, it’s a nature lover’s delight. Watch out bird species, the illusive genet, common duiker, grey rhebok, wild boar, and many other nocturnal animals.
Freshwater farm pool
Sun, swim, and stunning views! Our freshwater farm pool offers panoramic vistas of majestic mountain ranges. Whether you’re diving in to cool off, lounging with a book, or picnicking on the lush lawn, it’s your slice of paradise.
The Farm Kitchen @ Inkosana
Craving authentic South African flavours? Indulge in local favourites like farm-style oxtail or traditional aromatic breyani, or opt for wood-fired braai dishes at The Farm Kitchen @ Inkosana. Relish everything from juicy steaks and chicken fillets to traditional boerewors, pap, and the spicy kick of chakalaka.
Wood-fired hot tubs
All ten tents offer the exclusive use of their own outdoor wood-fired hot tub. A wood-fired hot tub is the purest form of relaxation. Soak up the stunning surroundings while listening to the calming crackle of the fire, or take a dip to cool down on hotter days.
Exploring the Area
AfriCamps Champagne Valley is located near entrances to several popular hiking trails, including the Maloti-Drakensberg National Park (18.5 km) and Monks Cowl (2.3 km). See the Hiking Trails drop-down list for more information on hiking trail options in the area.
Drakensberg Canopy Tours
Are you ready for a treetop adventure? Drakensberg Canopy Tour, located just 5 km from the camp in the Blue Grotto forest, offers an unparalleled nature experience. Navigate across twelve zip lines, all while taking in the forest’s serene beauty. Boasting Africa’s first elevated rock face walkway with a good mix of cliff face and treetop platforms, and cable slides up to 60 metres high, it’s a heart-pounding experience you won’t want to miss. Marvel at the Drakensberg’s majestic beauty, its ancient forests, cascading waterfalls, and the gentle stream.
Discover the breathtaking Drakensberg landscapes with uShaka Horse Trails. Situated at the foothills of Cathkin and Champagne Castle ranges, this 243-hectare farm adjacent to Bell Park Dam promises scenic horseback adventures. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned rider, the panoramic views of Mtoti Valley and Culfargie await.
Vertical Rush Cable Trail aka Via Ferrate
For those seeking a blend of adventure and nature, embark on this 300-metre climbing path set amidst an indigenous forest. Even if you’re not an avid climber, with the harness and safety line provided by Vertical Rush, and the trail’s built-in ladders and brackets, you’re set for a European-style climbing experience of note. Duration: Approximately 1h 30min.
Hot air balloon rides
With 15 years of experience in the Drakensberg, the team at Hot Air Ballooning SA offers our visitors a unique perspective of the ‘Berg’ from the skies above Champagne Valley. Ideal for special occasions, it promises memories that will last a lifetime.
Golf enthusiasts, you’re in for a treat! Central Drakensberg boasts two exquisite golf courses: Champagne Sports Golf Course (ranked among the Top 30 Championship Golf Courses) and Monks Cowl Country Club. Both courses are within 3 minutes’ drive of the camp.
Dragon Rock Reptile & Nature Centre
Embark on a fascinating journey through the world of reptiles and nature at Dragon Rock Reptile & Nature Centre. This captivating destination features a wide variety of display enclosures and interactive experiences. Be sure not to miss the iconic Shiva Statue, a beloved attraction that has drawn visitors from across the country.
Sweet tooth? Head to Chocolate Memories to sample a variety of artisanal chocolates, enjoy chocolate fondue, and savour freshly brewed coffee. Their chocolates are made with care using only the finest ingredients, including pure cocoa butter and natural bourbon vanilla. The Farm Stall at The Airstrip also sells gifts, crafts, and delicious treats.
Birds of prey
For bird enthusiasts, a visit to the Drakensberg promises encounters with a stunning array of avian wonders. From the brilliant-green flash of a malachite sunbird to the lively chorus of masked weavers, you’ll have the chance to witness the majesty of the rare black eagle, martial eagle, lammergeyer (bearded vulture), or lanner falcon in their natural habitat. Falcon Ridge, a bird of prey centre, offers insightful shows demonstrating these magnificent birds in action after being rehabilitated from injury.
Drakensberg Boys Choir
No visit to the ‘Berg’ is complete without experiencing the world-famous Drakensberg Boys Choir. The 600-seater Ken MacKenzie auditorium, located just 2.5 km from our camp, hosts concerts every Wednesday during the school term. To secure your spot, be sure to book your tickets in advance.
Cathedral Peak Wine Estate
Just a sip away, Cathedral Peak Wine Estate has been perfecting Pinotage and Merlot in the shadow of the ‘Berg’ since 2007. As custodians of the soil, they nurture what grows in it, resulting in exquisite wines that you can savour. As you sample some wine on their veranda, your gaze will drift over the sprawling vineyards, and the large dam below.
Monks Cowl Park
Named after the peak nestled between Champagne Castle and Cathkin Mountains, Monks Cowl Park is your gateway to the Maloti-Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site. Here, you’ll find breathtaking vistas, from sweeping grasslands in the lower reaches to towering cliffs and a cascading waterfall that stretches for hundreds of meters. Monks Cowl is the ideal destination for hiking, day walks, or simply enjoying a light meal at the tea garden.
Drakensberg Brewery‘s brewpub offers a front-row seat to the stunning Drakensberg mountains. It’s the perfect spot to kick back, relax, and quench your thirst. They also offer a DIY platter menu, giving you the freedom to craft the perfect combination from a range of cold meats, cheeses, pickles, and preserves.
Scootours® Drakensberg Adventures
Experience the breathtaking beauty of the mountains in an exciting new way with Scootours® Drakensberg. Their non-motorised scooters provide an eco-friendly mode of transport, taking you through awe-inspiring mountain paths with views of the landscapes. A 4×4 vehicle will take you up the mountain, where you’ll be briefed on scooter operations. Each tour lasts from 90 minutes to 2 hours, making it a delightful adventure to fit into your schedule.
Flowers in the ‘Berg’
The Drakensberg region’s unique ecological diversity and climate result in a rich botanical tapestry. Our escarpment is home to about 2,200 plant species, nearly 400 of which are endemics – plants exclusive to this region. Designated a World Heritage Site in 2000, the area is globally recognized for its rich biodiversity, captivating landscapes, and ancient San rock paintings. While plants are a sight to behold all year round, they’re especially vibrant from November to February after the spring rains. At Inkosana Lodge, the indigenous gardens have flourished over the decades. Their water-wise, slow-growing trees have been nurtured patiently to provide a spectacular backdrop to the majestic ‘Berg’ views.
Zulu Cultural Tour
Head out on a guided self-drive day trip to the breathtaking Injisithu Valley, a beautiful area that is home to the Emangwen tribe. This picturesque area is dominated by the towering Insjisithu and Mafadi peaks, which rise 3,400 meters above sea level. Join expert guide, Cedric, as he unveils the Zulu way of life, from meeting a traditional healer (Sangoma) to helping a family prepare an authentic Zulu meal. For those looking to combine culture with nature, there are hikes where you can bathe in the “Marble Baths” pools, and optionally, visit the Battle Cave to witness ancient Bushman rock art. This moderate 14 km hike provides ample opportunities to connect with nature and history.
Imagine a night under a canopy of stars or tucked away in a Drakensberg cave. At Inkosana Berg Lodge, we turn that dream into reality. Choose from guided overnight hikes ranging from one to four nights. We tailor each hike to your fitness level, ensuring a unique experience just for you. But remember, spots fill up fast, and advance bookings are crucial. More information is available under the Hiking in the Drakensberg dropdown menu.
Hiking in the Drakensberg
AfriCamps Champagne Valley is situated close to the start of various Drakensberg hiking trails ranging from easy strolls to strenuous adventures. These trails vary in length, from day hikes to overnight experiences lasting up to four nights for the seasoned hiker. Our knowledgeable staff are on hand to offer advice on the best Drakensberg day trips and beyond.
The Drakensberg, easily accessible from AfriCamps Champagne Valley, boasts a variety of day hikes and walks, including sites featuring Bushman paintings. Here are some top route suggestions:
- Monk’s Cowl: This area, centered around the Mpofane River valley, is nestled at the base of some of the Drakensberg’s most awe-inspiring peaks. The park’s well-maintained trails cater to all fitness and experience levels.
- Hlathikulu Forest Trail: For a more leisurely walk, the Hlathikulu trail meanders through indigenous forests and showcases a spectrum of Drakensberg wildflowers. Take a breather in the midst of the magnificent Nandi’s Falls and explore the tranquil pools along the Mpofane River.
- Cathkin Peak: This hike ascends past sandstone rock faces leading to grasslands at the base of Cathkin Peak. Here, you may spot Rhebok and Eland grazing. Don’t forget your binoculars to observe a diverse array of birdlife.
For the fit and seasoned hiker, two mountain peaks beckon as day hike challenges:
- Sterkhorn: After a 4-hour ascent, culminating in a rock scramble, you’ll stand atop Sterkhorn (2,970 m), offering unrivaled views, including the Devil’s Tooth and the Amphitheater to the north, and Giant’s Castle to the south.
- Champagne Castle: A more demanding 10-hour round trip takes hikers to the plateau of Champagne Castle (3,337 m), one of the Drakensberg’s loftiest peaks. Here, you can relax atop a 1,000 m drop, watching the rare bearded vultures soar.
AfriCamps Champagne Valley is a short drive from other iconic day-hiking areas of the Drakensberg:
- Cathedral Peak: A 45-minute drive from the camp, this region offers breathtaking hikes, including the Rainbow Gorge, where waterfall sprays create mesmerising rainbows.
- Battle Cave: Situated 45 minutes away by car in the Injisithu area, this cave showcases captivating Bushman rock art.
- Tugela River Gorge: Located in the Royal Natal National Park, a 90-minute drive away, this hike reveals the splendours of the Tugela River Gorge. A further drive and hike present the spectacular Tugela falls, Africa’s second-highest waterfall.
- Giant’s Castle: A short 1.5 km walk from the entrance gate, discover enchanting Bushman rock art caves and a museum depicting Bushman life. For the adventurous, the top of the Drakensberg escarpment is accessible via Langalibalele Pass.
If sleeping under the stars or a night in a cave is on your bucket list, you’re in for a treat! The camp happily arranges guided day or overnight hikes ranging from one to four nights, led by a licensed guide. Learn more about overnight hikes here.
Meals & Extras
We offer ‘Cook-Your-Own’ breakfast baskets with freshly packed ingredients for guests to prepare. Pre-order your breakfast basket when making your booking. Breakfast baskets should be booked a day in advance.
Each breakfast basket includes the following:
Cost: R165 per adult | R125 per child (0 to 12 yrs)
We offer ‘Cook-Your-Own’ traditional South African braai baskets for guests to prepare. Pre-order your braai basket when making your booking. Braai baskets should be booked a day in advance.
Each braai basket includes the following:
A selection of 400 g meat (kids basket includes 200 g meat)
Marshmallows on a stick
*Vegetarian or other option is available on special request
Cost: R225 per adult | R160 per child (0 to 12 yrs)
Load Shedding Measures
In order to mitigate the effects of load shedding on our guests, we’ve installed battery power backups in each tent at AfriCamps Champagne Valley for your convenience. These backups ensure uninterrupted lighting and warm water during load shedding periods. Please note that wall plugs won’t be operational during power outages.
Our tents sleep up to five guests, but our rates are based on a two-person stay. Please note that the rates below are a price indication. Please use our online bookings calendar to check live rates and availability. Extras like meals, activities, and tours are not included in the price unless otherwise stated.
Rates from 3 November 2023 – 30 September 2024
All rates exclude a once-off R250 cleaning fee per booking. This fee will be added to your total during the booking process.
1 March – 30 April 2024 (excluding Easter Weekend)
14 June – 31 August 2024
20 September – 30 September 2024
R2090 per couple sharing
3 November – 7 December 2023
7 January – 29 February 2024
1 – 13 June 2024
1 – 19 September 2024
Midweek (Sun – Thu): R1840 per couple sharing
Weekend (Fri – Sat): R2090 per couple sharing
8 December 2023 – 6 January 2024
29 – 31 March 2024
R2590 per couple sharing
Midweek (Sun – Thu): R1590 per couple sharing
Weekend (Fri – Sat): R1840 per couple sharing
*Rates for additional guests (up to 5 guests per tent allowed):
R295 per adult, R195 per child 3 – 16 years, child 0-2 years stay free.
Terms & Conditions
Please find our full terms and conditions here: www.africamps.com/terms-and-conditions
All tents sleep a maximum of five people. The following items or services are not included in the price unless otherwise stated:
- Food and beverages
- Activities and tours
- Additional daily cleaning service (available on request)
- Wood and firelighters for the wood stove and campfires (for sale at the property shop)
We do not allow pets at our camp. Please note that there are wild animals roaming certain areas of the property.
No noise, parties or music are allowed in the camp unless the guest has booked the entire camp for a function.