Cayley Escarpment: Fun Facts

The Zulu know it as Mdedelelo, loosely translated as “the one who shoves” due to how it protrudes from the escarpment. The first documented attempt to scale Champagne Castle was in 1861 by David Gray and Major Grantham. They were about to celebrate their successful ascent with a champagne toast when the bottle dropped and broke – thus christening the mountain peak.

Monk’s Cowl might possibly be named after Father Kelly’s attempted ascent in 1914. Before that, it was known by its Zulu name, Nkosana (petty chief). The uKhalamba-Drakensberg Park has been preserved and venerated since the San roamed these slopes. Thousands of paintings depicting the bushmen’s daily life can be found on the rock faces. The park was declared a World Heritage Site in the year 2000.

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