The Jock Trail from Graskop
The Jock trail is dedicated to the famous South African classical novel, Jock of the bushveld.
For those who haven’t read the novel, it was written by Sir James Percy-FitzPatrick and is based on his special relationship with his dog, a Staffordshire bull terrier, named Jock. FitzPatrick and Jock had many remarkable adventures during the 1880s as they ventured through the Bushveld of the old Transvaal. The book is about the loyalty and bravery of Jock and it has become folklore among many South Africans.
“…exploring the Jock of the Bushveld Trail is one of the best ways to bring the book to life…”
As you travel through Mpumalanga, you may have various Jock of the Bushveld experiences. You’ll come across Jock statues, memorials and plaques. There is even a five-star private lodge in the southern section of the Kruger National Park that is named after Jock. You could even opt to stay at the Jock Safari Lodge, however expect to pay around R5,000 per person per night.
It’s a great idea to familiarise yourself with Jock’s journey by either reading the book or watching the animated movie. This will help set the scene for the kind of life Jock once led in the area you’re about to travel through. if you’re visiting the Motlatse River Canyon Nature Reserve, the detours are not massive as they’re in the same area.
The Jock of the Bushveld Trail consists of a circular walk along the edge of the scenic Drakensberg escarpment, where you’ll get to take in the dramatic views over Pinnacle Gorge along the way.
There is the option of a three or five hour trail. You begin the trail at the Municipal Holiday Resort at Graskop and this then takes you along the very same routes FitzPatrick and Jock used to take when they delivered supplies to the Pilgrim’s Rest gold fields.
Places of interest are pinpointed on a map that is given to you at the start of the trail. Once you’re on the trail, it won’t be long before you see the massive sandstone formations described by FitzPatrick in the book as ‘grey sentinels of fantastic shapes’. Then you’ll take a steep climb to the top of the escarpment. Here you’ll find the camp where FitzPatrick and Jock used to stay for the summer, and once you’ve reached the top you will understand why. If your fitness levels are down, there are a few other less strenuous ways to enjoy the legacy of Jock.
The cairn of rocks holds a sentinel for the memorial, there is a Jock of the Bushveld waymark in the form of an original bronze ‘Jock Trek 1885′ plaque – basically saying, Jock was here. In Barberton, you can stop and take a photo of the Jock of the Bushveld statue in town.
This journey really helps you to visualise and relive the trail of South Africa’s most favourite dog, Jock.
Jock of the Bushveld Trail
Tel: +27 (0)13 767 1886
|More info on the town of Graskop||More info on the Panorama Route area|