GRADE: C+
TIME: 8 hours
DISTANCE: 14 km.
TERRAIN: Very steep at times, with some “bundu bashing”. Go with a hotel guide because the paths are not well marked on the escarpment.

The Cavern school is the starting point. Take the jeep track north for about 2.5 km. Turn left at the gate, following the path up past a kraal. From here the path bears right near the top of the outcrop. A series of virtually parallel paths continue north; all cross and link for the next kilometre as one travels around and up the Ace of Clubs. Cross a couple of streams, still on the grassy slope below the main rock face. The path now enters Sungubala Pass into the valley before dropping into the river bed. This might be the last watering point on the hike. The path continues up the valley. At the top of the pass is a wide gate, the boundary with Qwaqwa. Return the same way, or there are several alternatives.

Turn left within the gate, following a track leading around the slopes of Hlolela, above the rock face. Stay above the rock face and the track arrives at Scilla Gully. Downhill from here leads directly to The Cavern. Alternatively turn left beyond the gate into Qwaqwa. The path meanders around the westerly side of Hlolela, emerging at Venus’ Bath. From here go either to Sugar Loaf Gap, or take the Metsi Matsi detour.

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