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Mpumalanga's Jock of the Bushveld Trail takes you through montane grassveld up to the edge of the Drakensberg escarpment, treating you to stunning views overlooking Pinnacle Gorge.
It’s the same wilderness that Sir James Percy FitzPatrick and his dog roamed in the 1880s. FitzPatrick was a lowly ox-wagon operator and not yet knighted. Along with his beloved Staffordshire terrier, Jock, he delivered supplies to the Pilgrim's Rest goldfields all the way from Delagoa Bay (now Maputo) in Mozambique.
FitzPatrick, known as 'Fitz' in his book, loved telling the tales of his and Jock's adventures as bedtime stories for his four children. His friend, writer and poet Rudyard Kipling, encouraged him to write a book. The much-loved South African classic Jock of the Bushveld was the result.
The Jock of the Bushveld Trail offers several paths for you to choose from. The office at the Graskop Holiday Resort is where you’ll start and end your hiking trail. You will be provided with a map detailing routes and points of interest in the area.
Choose between a 3-hour or 5-hour long trail. Pass through Fairyland, just a kilometre away from Graskop, where you’ll see giant sandstone rock formations. FitzPatrick described them as ‘grey sentinels of fantastic shapes’ – a horse, a vulture, a wolf and a sitting hen.
It’s a steep climb up the escarpment, along a stream named ‘Tumbling Waters’ by FitzPatrick. It’s where he made summer camp with Jock all those decades ago. There are superb views from the escarpment's edge, so sit a while and soak up the scenery before ambling back.
TTravel tips & planning info
Who to contact
Tel: +27 (0)13 764 1177
Best time to visit
It’s best to tackle the trail outside of summer, which can be extremely hot and wet.
Things to do
Explore the historic village of Pilgrim’s Rest, which isn’t far from Graskop.
What to pack
Hiking shoes, sun protection and water are must-haves before embarking on Jock’s long walk.