Lower Injisuthi Cave
Injisuthi Game Reserve
Central uKhahlamba Drakensberg
2 – 3 June 2012
Report and Photos courtesy of Dave Sclanders
11 hikers from the MHC and MBP clubs , of which 2 were first time hikers, met at the Injisuthi Reserve offices for a week end hike to the comfortable Lower Injisuthi Cave. The cave is high up in the Injisuthi River Valley, and offers great views of the Injisuthi Cut Back area. As usual, when walking up a river valley there are a number of rivers to cross. Winter is fine, but summer with its unpredictable rains can cause problems when attempting to cross swollen, fast running mountain streams.
The path offers great views of the high escarpment in the far background. We stopped at Fergies Stream for a rest, and for lunch
This stream can rise very quickly in a rainy period as it has a very big catchment area hidden around the corner. But today it was peaceful, with the sun extenuating the splashing ripples on the rock under the water.
Great views of Sandstone and Basalt rock towered above us as we walked up stream.
Eventually after some steepish rock scrambles the cave came into view, but it was well hidden by bush and tall grass, and some took a bit of time to see the long low cliff overhang where the cave was,
The cave is very comfortable with a good flat floor, and well designated and grassed sleeping areas. The central cooking area made a very pleasant place to sit and gossip and sip comforting sundowners.
Early Sunday morning we rose to a great sunrise on the high berg . The magical golden colors only last a few minutes, then the normal mountain colors take over for the rest of the day.
After breakfast and packing up , we headed down the valley for a while before dropping our back packs to climb a long fairly steep ridge to get a better view of the great escarpment views that are well known in this part of the Drakensberg.
One of the first sights , high up and to our right was the formation known as “The Ape”, and to the left the free standing pinnacle know as “Scaly Peak”
From the top of our ridge we looked straight into the area known as the “Injisuthi Cutback” with its many pinnacles and buttresses. A view well worth the week end hike , and climb.
On our way we passed many Bottle brush trees in the act of loosing their colorful leaves . They made a great sight in the fast browning landscape.
Carrying on downstream , one has to be carefull with the boulder hoping so as not to twist and ankle , and also keep an eye on the wonderfull scenery of the area and moment.
We went on to visit Fergie’s cave, which because it has some rock art in it, hikers are not allowed to overnight in this cave. Unfortunately, as we will always get, there are hikers who will not appreciate the duty we have to protect this wonderful vanishing art , and will only think of themselves and sleep right up against this art, without any regard for the painting. It shows total lack of any self disciple or thought about the future of our National Heritage. That is why many of our rock art sites are not shown on any of our present day hiking maps – because some hikers are selfish, thoughtless , and they call themselves naturalists - !!!!
Another great week end spent in out mountains, unfortunately spoiled by some selfish hikers.