Jock of the Bushveld Trail

The Jock of the Bushveld Hiking Trail is situated in Graskop in Mpumalanga, South Africa.

The trail offers several routes which you can follow, routes that Sir Percy Fitzpatrick and his beloved Staffordshire terrier know as Jock, rode and hiked along in the 1880’s. The pair, Percy only a lowly ox-wagon transport-rider back then and not yet knighted, delivered supplies to the Pilgrim’s Rest goldfields. He would tell his children true stories of his and Jock’s adventures at bedtime and his friend, Rudyard Kipling, persuaded him to write a book of the stories resulting in the very popular South African classic, “Jock of the Bushveld”.

The Trail is a circular day walk trail that starts and ends at the Municipal Holiday Resort. The office will provide you with a route map which also shows the hiker where points of interest can be located along the way. The trail will take you to the edge of the Drankensberg escarpment providing stunning views of Pinnacle Gorge. Here Fitzpatrick and Jock made their summer camp near the Tumbling Waters Stream, a perfect spot to sit awhile and soak up the superb scenery.

There is a choice of doing a 3 hour or 5 hour trail and both will pass through “Fairyland”, where you will see giant sandstone rock formations. Fitzpatrick described them as “grey sentinels of fantastic shape” and named them after their shape for example; The Sitting Hen or The Seahorse.

The trail is considered easy to moderate with a fairly steep climb up the escarpment, but if you walking-fit you will easily manage the hike. Don’t forget to take along enough water and be sure to remember your sunscreen.

Things to do and see

  • Fairyland
  • The Seahorse formation
  • The Sitting Hen formation
  • The Wolf formation
  • The Vulture formation
  • Viewpoints from the escarpment
  • Tumbling Waters Stream


No permit or admission fee is required for this trail.


Rainfall occurs mainly in the mid-summer months, with December and January seeing the highest levels. 

Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 15˚C and 26˚C.

Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 5˚C and 20˚C.


There are daily flights from Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town into the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport in Mombela (Nelspruit). Car rental companies are available for easy access to the surrounding areas with Graskop being just over an hour away along the R537. Road trips from Johannesburg to Graskop via the N12 and N4 will take a little over 4 hours.

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