The Giant’s Cup is based on two hiking trails: the Giant’s Cup Trail and the Gxalingenwa Trail, set in the Maloti Drakensberg Park in the Southern Drakensberg.
The Giant’s Cup Hiking Trail is a 5 Day trail situated in the Southern Region of the Maloti Drakensberg Park. At over 60km in length and often above 2000m in altitude it traverses some of the most magnificent scenery found in South Africa. The trail begins 6km past the Sani Pass Hotel on the left hand side of the Sani Pass Road and finishes 5 days later at Bushman’s Nek Hut which is 2.5km from the Bushman’s Nek Resort. The longest hiking day is just over 13km with the shortest being 9km. The 5 overnight stops are in the form of Huts containing bunk-rooms and cold water showers.
The Gxalingenwa Trail is a short and extremely beautiful trail that begins over the road from the Golf Course at the Sani Pass Hotel and intersects with the Giants Cup Trail at the stunning Ngenwa Pool 3.5km later. The trail crosses the Gxalingenwa River a number of times as it ascends the valley and there are a number of magnificent pools along the way. Highlights of the trail include a majestic waterfall that is found at the 2.5km mark as well as the swathes of indigenous riverine forest that cover the Southern slopes of the valley.
A range of wildlife may be encountered on both trails including Eland, Baboon, Mountain Reedbuck, Oribi and Black-Backed Jackal. A variety of reptiles are found such as the Drakensberg Crag Lizard as well as several snake species including the Puff and Berg Adders. Parts of the Giants Cup Trail pass close to the breeding and feeding range of two iconic and rare South African bird species namely the Bearded Vulture and the Black Eagle. Cape Vultures are also encountered together with many other more common raptors such as the Jackal Buzzard.
Much of the Gxalingenwa Trail passes through indigenous Ntshishi bush while the riverine forest contains Yellowwoods, African Holly Trees, Natal Num-Nums and many other indigenous varieties. Most of the Giant’s Cup Trail traverses classic mountain grassland occasionally interspersed by Proteas, Watsonias as well as the famous ‘everlastings’ (Helichrysum) common to the area.
There are a number of Rock Art sites in the Drakensberg Park that have been left behind by the San People who once inhabited the area. These haunting and beautiful images are a national treasure and can’t help but move all those who see them. They are also extremely fragile and interfering with them in any way is strictly prohibited.
More information on the Giant’s Cup and Gxalingenwa Trails and how to book hikes and overnight stops can be found at www.kznwildlife.com and contact can be made at firstname.lastname@example.org or + 27 (0) 33 845 1000/1