Things To Do in HimevilleGxalingenwa Cave Hike
Where? Start and finish in the Cobham Wilderness Area, southern Drakensberg
When? Daylight hours.
How? Call +27 (0)33 702-0330
How much? Price on request
Start: Cobham Wilderness Area, southern Drakensberg
Finish: Cobham Wilderness Area, southern Drakensberg
Duration: 29 km, 2 day hike
Fitness: moderate to difficult
Our tip: be warned that the last 200 metres or so of the route to the cave is a steep uphill
Gxalingenwa Cave is a big, sheltered lower 'berg cave in the narrow Gxalingenwa valley, probably one of the few caves in the Drakensberg that looks most like a cave and least like an overhang.
The higher and deeper you get into the wilderness area, the better the views (the direct views from the cave might not be all that spectacular, but the views en route certainly are).
There are two ways to reach the cave. Either from Cobham via Emerald Stream (past Emerald Dome and Grandpa and Grandma) and Pinnacle Rock (crossing eh Emerald Stream twice), or via Ngenwa Pool.
Around Pinnacle Rock there are some incredible rock formations, and there are a fair number of rock art sites in the area, if you have time to explore.
The cave provides a wonderful base from which to climb Masubsuba Pass or the route to the top of the Hub, further up the valley.
For those after a multi-day hike there is the possibility of descending into the next valley via Fingall's Rock to overnight in Gorge, Spectacle or Pholela caves.
Gxalingenwa cave is surrounded by indigenous forest and has a waterfall that cascades across the entrance to the cave during summer (around the corner from the sleeping area, luckily), which makes it a beautiful space in which to overnight.
Just downstream from the cave is a great swimming pool.
It sleeps 12 people although during the wet season, a section of the cave can get a little damp (there is even a little 'honeymoon suite' next door).
Return the way you have come, unless you are doing one or other of the alternative routes back to Cobham.