Injusuthi translated from Zulu means satisfied dog. It got its name from the fertile valley where game was always abundant and dogs could hunt with ease. Situated in the central section of the Maloti- Drakensberg Park, Injisuthi is cradled between the Injisuthi (or Little Tugela) and Cowl Fork Rivers at the head of the Injisuthi Valley. Injusuthi is surrounded by magnificent scenery and is dominated by Cathkin Peak, Monks Cowl and Champagne Castle.
The Ukhahlamba mountains were formed around 150 million years ago, as the continents split and the basalt oozed out of big fissures. You can find fossils and footprints of dinosaurs around Giants Castle and parts of Lesotho. Most mountains are not particularly high; around 3,000 meters in general, however it does boast the second highest waterfall in the world – the Tugela Falls.
The Drakensberg is one of the oldest mountain ranges on this planet and a World Heritage site. The name comes from the Dutch who thought it looked like a dragons back, some even said they saw dragons flying around the peaks in the mist. The Zulu call these mountains Ukhahlamba, meaning barrier of spears.
Hikes at Injusuthi
No.1 Van Heyningen’s Pass to View Point.
Cross the bridge over the Delmhlwaziwe River at Chalet 3 and take the path towards the stand of alien trees and on up the hill to an intersection near the field ranger’s accommodation.
Turn right and continue to the forest. Cross the stream twice and follow the path through the gate and narrow gorge to the top of Little Berg.
Turn left and make your way to the edge overlooking Injisuthi Camp. Giant’s Castle may be seen to the south. On top of the Little Berg, on the far side of the Injisuthi River, is the Injisuthi Outpost. This is a good spot from which to orientate yourself. Looking down you can see the paths in all directions.
No.2 Junction Pool
Walk down the road to the bend before the vehicle bridge. Follow track to the right past the Mdedelelo Wilderness sign. A large eroded rock on left marks Junction Pool. Time (one way) 25 minutes.
No.3* Old Kraal- Dipping Tank -Yellowwood Forest
Facing west in the camp, looking towards Monk’s Cowl, the path starts up the hill. At the top, turn left, passing a clump of trees surrounded by the stone wall of an old kraal. At the junction turn left again, past the Dipping Tank and continue down the hill, crossing over the stream. Take the left path at the junction and proceed to the bridge. Return through the Yellowwood forest to the camp. Time (round trip) 1 hour.
No.4* Field Ranger’s Accommodation -Dipping Tank
Proceed as for Route 1. At the intersection turn left and continue to the Field Ranger’s accommodation. Follow the path through the huts, cross the river, turn left and continue beneath the sandstone cliffs to the Dipping Tank. Proceed as Route 3 back to camp via the Yellowwood Forest. Time (round trip) 1 1/2 hours.
No.5 Boundary Pool
Cross the bridge behind the group cabin and turn left and follow the path parallel with the Injisuthi River to the indigenous forest at the river crossing.
Continue to Poachers’ Stream and after crossing, take the path leading off sharply to the right and back to the Injisuthi River. Cross the stream and follow the path on the left bank of the river to the large rock overlooking Boundary Pool. Time (one way) 1 hour.
Walk down the road to the vehicle bridge across the Injisuthi River. Fifty metres past this bridge the path starts on the right and proceeds up-river.
Turn left before the forest and climb steeply through the sandstone band, joining the path to Poachers’ Stream. Return via Boundary Pool (Route 5). Time (round trip) 2 1/2 hours.
No.7 Tanglewood Forest
Proceed as for Route 6. Do not turn up to the sandstone band but continue into the forest. Cross the Injisuthi River at a suitable point and return on the Boundary Pool path. Do not attempt this crossing at the height of rainy season. Time (round trip) 1 1/2 hours.
No.8* Grindstone Caves -Cateract Valley
Cross the bridge behind the group cabin and turn right and proceed upstream to the next bridge. Cross this bridge and turn left into Yellowwood Forest. Cross a third bridge and turn right, taking the path to the left up a steep hill towards the sandstone cliffs. Proceed round the corner of the hill into the gorge and towards the waterfall. At this point the path zigzags up towards the caves in the sandstone band. Time (to caves) 2 hours.
Continue past the caves and around the corner. The path crosses above the waterfall and climbs up a grassy slope into Cateract Valley. Follow the stream to its junction with the Delmhlaziwe River. Turn right at this point and proceed down the valley to the camp. Time (round trip) 4 1/2 hours.
No.9 Wonder Valley via Van Heyningen’s Pass
Follow Route 1 up Van Heyningen’s Pass. Continue up the ridge to a fork in the path. Take the right-hand path over a grassy ridge. There is a patch of forest with a cave and a waterfall on the left. Leave the path at this point and cross the slope to see these features. Return through the protea trees to the path and down a steep zigzag to the stream. Continue down the valley to a second stream and a Field Ranger Outpost. Proceed round the corner and keeping up on the plateau return to camp. Time (round trip) 7 hours.
No.10* Round trip on the Contour Path beneath Monk’s Cowl
It is important to make an early start on this long walk. Follow Route 1 up Van Heyningen’s Pass. Continue on the path leading straight up the ridge towards the mountains, (keeping left where there is an alternative) until reaching the contour path. Turn left along the contour path to Cowl Fork.
Turn right along the stream bank for about 1/2 km and cross at a cairn of stones. Proceed across the valley to Ship’s Prow Pass Stream and cross where the stone cairn indicates. Continue through another small valley and over grassy hills away from the mountains then down into Cateract Valley. Turn right at the junction of Delmhlwaziwe River and proceed to the camp. Time (round trip) 10 1/2 hours.