State of Mountain huts

28 Oct 2010 07:08 #1968 by Hermann
Hi All
here is a pic from Tseketseke Hut taken in Sept,floor boards gone and no glass on windows.the door is still there,we secured the door with rope to a side column inside. I heard that Giants hut is also in a bad state.Bannerman's hut?..any info

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28 Oct 2010 07:57 #1969 by Stijn
Replied by Stijn on topic State of Mountain huts
Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe that the EKZNW policy i.t.o. all berg mountain huts is NOT to make any repairs and to gradually let the mountain claim them?

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28 Oct 2010 08:44 #1970 by homearanya
Replied by homearanya on topic State of Mountain huts
A discussion about the state of Centenary Hut was started in Mafadi's topic/discussion but I'm copying here again.

SeriousTribe2 asked: What state is the Centenary Hut in at the moment??

My reply: On 20-10-2010 the hut was surprisingly clean, apart from the main area which is full of bird shit. Somebody has obviously been doing some work recently. There's hardly any glass left on the windows and the ceiling is mostly gone too. All in all, it's looking more hospitable than I've ever seen it.

I agree that the hut should have never been built but now that is there it would be great if KZN Wildlife fixed it up. The excuse as usual: no money.


Stijn, one should think so. Bannerman's Hut was fixed up a few ago by the pure initiative of Dave Sclanders with the help of a group of volunteers. It's the only hut in the Drakensberg, apart from the ones in the Giants Cup Trail, that is not derelict. Just by replacing the glass on the windows by fiberglass made a huge difference, and the same would happen with Centenary hut. There's not much more that need to be done.

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03 Nov 2010 15:17 - 10 Nov 2010 16:20 #1996 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic State of Mountain huts
Doesn't seem like mountain huts have a secure future within the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park (not that this is an entirely bad thing). Outside of the park they are still being built (e.g. Mehloding and Maluti Caves areas). The first issue is that much of the park belongs to declared wilderness areas which should be kept in a pristine state, basically with zero man-made structures. There used to be a hut at Keith Bush Camp which was dismantled. The other issue is there seem to be resource constraints: who is to go and rebuild Giants hut, for example. The other issue is what the Basotho do with these huts...

Personally, while I don't want more huts to be built, I too want to see the existing ones maintained. The damage is already done in terms of interfering in a wilderness area, we've all accepted them, and they are very useful shelters. Bannerman Hut is awesome! I'm very sad about Giants Hut, which no longer has a roof, and it seems nothing will be done about it: www.vertical-endeavour.com/blog/54-drakensberg/hiking/72-giants-hut.html . What a nice hut in a superb location!

Agree that huts should be nothing fancy. They should be robust, basic shelters. The frills just get broken and stolen. The Thuthumi/Organ Pipes Lookout is in danger of rotting since part of the roof is now missing. It has been restored before. If only the roof could be fixed and the windows basically closed permanently with metal sheeting, it will remain a robust little shelter. The forestry shelter at the bottom is now destroyed by fire.

Perhaps this is no longer the era for mountain huts in the UDP. Things come and go...look at the old police post on Namahadi Pass and the old ski lodge further North. There used to be a check-point of sorts near Ntonjelana Pass, and also Organ Pipes Pass if I'm not mistaken. Only ruins and rubbish now.

I've created a dedicated sub-gallery for pics of Berg mountain huts here:
www.vertical-endeavour.com/gallery/drakensberg/huts.html

Will add some of my own pics in time.

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.
Last edit: 10 Nov 2010 16:20 by intrepid.

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03 Nov 2010 17:30 #1997 by anthony
Replied by anthony on topic State of Mountain huts
MY opinion is that ,sure we would all like a pristine wilderness environment but been a wilderness area that is used by people i think it is acceptable to have certain things in place that are maintained and which have very little impact.

Just by those huts been there always gives me a sense of security that if something should happen then we at least have a safe shelter to retreat to,the weather could turn really bad or someone that is injured could at least hold out there until help arrives.

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15 Nov 2010 08:20 #2031 by Serious tribe
I would agree, just by man being there, we cause some impact. It wld be good if the huts could be kept and materials used that are functional, immovable and fit in with the environment.

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01 Dec 2010 16:17 #2072 by temp1e
Replied by temp1e on topic State of Mountain huts
I'm not sure if this can help but I've been in Drakensberg mountain at the end of October. It was heavily raining all the time and the wind was very strong. I couldn't get off my rain coat because I would be wet as a fish. So I couldn't reach my gloves in the bag on my back. My hands began to freeze so I decided to look for the hut over the Amphiteater. I found it easy but it was in very bad condition. It was full of water, no glass in the window frames, a lot of garbage on the floor. Door wasn't locked. So at least it was accessible, but it wasn't a real shelter. I froze much more inside as I stopped moving. At least I could get my gloves and put them on.

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04 Dec 2010 14:27 #2079 by domsmooth
Replied by domsmooth on topic State of Mountain huts
Hi Temp1e. Did you happen to take any photos of the hut? I assume that given your freezing state and the fact that you battled to get to your gloves, I am going to assume not, but it would certainly be helpful if you did.

Lets all help maintain the values for which the Berg was proclaimed a World Heritage Site

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07 Dec 2010 16:02 #2082 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic State of Mountain huts
These are not recent photos but nonetheless representative of what the Amphitheatre hut looks like. I've actually seen it with more litter at times.
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Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.

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09 Sep 2011 05:41 #3965 by rinus
Replied by rinus on topic State of Mountain huts
Hi

I see that these posts were a while ago, so I'll just ask for an update, has anyone been to the centenary hut recently, is it safe enough to decide to leave tent and sleep in the hut?

Ps 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.

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