To beat the heat we woke up at 5:30am and quickly ate our breakfast before heading off to hike Monk’s Cowl. It is located in Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park, just a short drive from our backpacker accommodation the Inkosana Lodge. There are several hiking options within the park. At the entrance you can register the number of people in your party and let them know which trail you plan to hike. This precaution would come in very helpful in case you got lost or injured.
Along with the spectacular scenery, this nature park offers chances to see the Western Cape Otter. We spotted their droppings a few times, but no otters themselves. We did witness several Baboons alongside the trail. They are very large and intimidating creatures, but they had little interest in us. As we passed by they just stared at us from the rocks they were perched on.
As we wound our way along the trail we got glimpses of Cathkin Peak looming above us in the distance. The last part of the trail was strenuous with the sun pounding down upon us. By 9am the heat was becoming intolerable. Thank goodness for sunscreen and brimmed hats. We finished up the hike by 11am and could think of nothing more than heading back to our accommodation for a cold drink and an afternoon nap!