Bushman's Neck hikes - 2 days

10 May 2011 11:04 #2825 by splatacat
Hi there,

I'm Chris, new to this forum.

I have been to the berg on several occaitions but have not been in a while.

I am planning a trip in the beginning of august to the bushmans nek area, and was thinking of doing Thomathu peak by going up Ngwangwane Pass and spending the night on the escarpment, then do Thomathu peak and back down Thomathu pass. So its just an overnighter.

I am taking a friend up and thought this to be a good choice as it will be his first taste of the high berg and it is not to severe.

My question is about any concerns i should have regarding the passes, safety and the water situation in august.

Any info would be appreciated.

Thanks and hi to everyone on here.

Chris

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10 May 2011 14:10 #2826 by JonWells
Hi Chris

As far as I know water isn't an issue on Ngwangwane Pass, but I have in the past struggled to find water in Thomathu Pass even in May, so its quite likely that it will be dry in August. There should be water available in the river on the escarpment above the passes.

As far as the passes go, both are pretty straight forward, Thomathu Pass has a path all the way to the top. Ngwangwane Pass has a path up to Bushmans Cave, then afterwards this disappears, but its a just a case of climbing a relatively short but steep grassy hill to the escarpment.

The last time I was up there, we encountered a few Basutho Shepherds, but they didnt approach us or anything, mainly just carried on with their usual business. But I suppose if you are camping on the escarpment you should be vigilant and take the usual precautions.

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10 May 2011 14:53 #2827 by splatacat
Thanks for the info Jonwells

Its good to know what the water situation is like in an area i have not been i yet.

It is good to find a place on the net where people are glad to help and share info, thanks.

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10 May 2011 16:46 #2829 by anthony
ON finishing the GT we camped in the valley bellow walkers peak in between all the Kraals we did not have a single problem the locals were very friendly and even came round to make conversation, but as with any situation always be vigilant.

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13 May 2011 09:51 #2861 by intrepid
Welcome to this community splatacat.

When you fill up from the valley on top of these passes, consider boiling or treating the water. There is a lot of grazing and activity in that area, and while I seldom treat water in the Berg, sickness from water contamination does happen.

Enjoy it! And remember we always like to hear afterwards how it went.

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.

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14 May 2011 11:51 #2868 by splatacat
Thanks for all the info guys, appreciated.

hopefully we will have a good trip, now to start getting gear together again.

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26 Apr 2016 08:11 - 26 Apr 2016 08:45 #67982 by Bigsnake
Sorry, not a very exciting topic.

I'm taking a social crowd to Bushman's Nek this weekend. The same members found the route to Tarn Cave
hard work but managed in the end.

How would you compare the routes to Tarn Cave vs. Bushmans Cave? Is the latter somewhat easier?

Would appreciate your thoughts.
Last edit: 26 Apr 2016 08:45 by Bigsnake. Reason: spelling

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26 Apr 2016 08:29 #67983 by no4stopper
Bushmans Cave is easier but has quite a few river crossings.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Bigsnake

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26 Apr 2016 08:31 #67984 by ghaznavid
The walk to Bushman's Cave is very easy, the slope is continuously gradual. There is a short overgrown bit, which isn't always that pleasant, but nothing major otherwise. You do climb a bit near the end, but nowhere near as much as the bit below Tarn Cave.

The cave itself, however, isn't that great. I slept in it 2 years ago, I deliberately chose it as it was winter and therefore wind was more likely than rain. As it turned out, we had strong winds, but no rain. Large walls have been built around the sleeping areas, so it is well sheltered from the wind, but the roof is small and very high.
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26 Apr 2016 08:33 #67985 by JonWells
Looking at previous gps tracks in the region I get:

Bushman's Nek to Tarn Cave = 8.7km, 650m ascent
Bushman's Nek to Bushman's Cave = 9.7km, 520m ascent

I would say Bushman's cave is probably easier due to there being less of a climb, and also because the climb is more gradual.
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