Giant's cup- hiking trail
The Drakensberg is one of South Africa's most beautiful mountain ranges. The Giant's Cup Trail is a five day walk, but also one of the Drakensberg's easier hikes.
Giant's Cup Trail 101
Best time to hike
The weather is milder in spring and autumn, but it's always unpredictable. It gets chilly in winter and there’s a chance of snow, but at least your hike won’t be rained out!
59km over five days.
The trail has five overnight places – you can stay at Bushman’s Nek hut on the last night or push through the last 1,5km to the end of the trail. The huts on the first, third and fourth day are close to roads, so friends in the area can bring you provisions.
• Day 1: Pholela Hut. This old farmhouse could use a lick of paint inside, but it has hot showers and flush toilets. And you can make a fire.
• Day 2: Mzimkhulwana Hut. This building has flush toilets and showers, but there was no running water when we stayed there. There is a stream nearby and there’s a pool in the river about 2 minutes’walk away. You’re not allowed to make a fire and there’s no rubbish bin.
• Day 3: Winterhoek Hut. There are seven rondavels, of which one serves as the kitchen and one as the bathroom. There is cold water and flush toilets, and you may light a fire in summer.
• Day 4: Swiman Hut. An empty house with hot water, flush toilets and a fireplace. Youmay make a fire.
• Day 5: Bushman’s Nek Hut. We didn’t stay here, but there are flush toilets and cold water.
Where to park
it’s not a circular route. You can leave your vehicle at the ranger outpost where the trail officially starts or at the office at Bushman’s Nek at the end of the trail. Underberg resident steve Botha will drive hikers between the two points for R750 per trip. Call 033 7012477 or 083 233 0713.
Where to stay before and after the hike
• Accommodation in a four-person room at sani Lodge Backpackers costs R100 per person per night. You can also leave your vehicle here.
Contact 033 702 0330 www.sanilodge.co.za
• The himeville hotel has shared backpacker rooms from R175 per person per night; R440 per person per night for a double room, breakfast included. The restaurant offers good value for money.
Contact 033 702 1305;
R75 per person per day
ezemvelo KZN Wildlife 033 845 1000;
(Note: prices accurate in April 2011)