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Zingcuka Loop

Hogsback, Eastern Cape

The Amatola Trail is widely regarded as the toughest and best hiking trail in South Africa. A six-day and five-night hike starting at Maden Dam near King Williams Town, traversing the incredible Amatola Mountains and ending in the iconic village of Hogsback. 

The Amatola is not for everyone but if you want to experience some of the Amatola, than the Zingcuka Loop is for you.

Trail Details

Zingcuka Loop – 2 Day 1 Night – 38km – 1896m Ascent

Day 1 – 22km – 1041m ascent
Day1 – Between the Hogs and Day 5’s waterfalls and pools.

A WORLD CLASS DAYS HIKING. With more ascent than any of the 6 days of the Full Amatola Trail.  Get a shuttle from Away with the Fairies very early to the start (the end point of the 6-day trail / start of the 2-day trail) just past Madonna and Child Waterfall. Follow the stream up a ludicrously steep path and then hike between Hog 1 and Hog 2 Mountains. Follow the footprints to meet up with Day 5 of the Amatola Trail, following the stream to waterfalls and swimming holes. You then walk along the edge of a cliff path with breath-taking views, and then down a steep precipice to the stunning indigenous Schwarzwald Forest and onto the Zingcuka Hut to overnight.

This day is around 22km, and very strenuous, through intense terrain and at high altitude. It must only be undertaken by fit and well-prepared hikers. 

Day 2 – 16km – 855m ascent
Day 2 – Up and Under Hog 1 – Day 6 of the 6 Day Trail.

Day 2 is the final day of the 6-day trail. Set off as early as you can, starting low in the indigenous forest at Zingcuka Hut and work your way up the back of Hog 1 Mountain. You skirt the side of the peak of the mountain then work your way down towards Hogsback. The views are unbelievable. Towards the end you find yourself following a stream down a steep mountain side with its many waterfalls and swimming pools to the end of the 6-day trail. Maybe opt to do Amatola+ which is to hike through the Auckland Nature Reserve visiting Madonna and Child and The Big Tree to end up in the Away with the Fairies Viewpoint. This makes a big day’s hike – huge. Alternatively follow Wolfridge Road back into Hogsback.

Pre & Post Hike Accommodation

We have 3 options of where to spend the night before and after the trail.

Striders Shared Self Catering: is tailor made for hiking couples who want to have a touch of extra privacy before and after the trail. There are 9 private Self-Catering rooms that sleep between 2 and 4. 

Single Hikers wishing to have their own room will be charged a single supplement – which is the price of the room you sleep in on your return to Hogsback.

Dorms at Away with the Fairies Backpackers: Perfect for hiking groups.  Our dorms at Away with the Fairies have access to a shared Lounge, kitchen and 2 bathrooms. Dorms have bedding and pillows, though you will have to use your own towels. You have a choice of either an 8, 6 or 4 bed dorms. 

Camping at Away with the Fairies and Striders Cottage: Our campsite at Away with the Fairies is mostly located in and around the forest.  Bring all your own camping equipment.

Please let me know how many singles / couples within your group – so we can book your accommodation as best as needed but please note the STRIDERS price is per person sharing so 2 single hikers will be required to share a twin room or pay a single supplement if they require their own room.


Rates are from 1 January 2023 – 1 December 2023

Basic Hikes:
  • R1200.00 pp – Adult
  • R1000.00 pp – Student / Scholar (Student card proof needed)
2 Day – 1 Night Zingcuka Loop

The Zingcuka Package includes the permit for the 2-day/ 1-night trail, pre and post hike.  Accommodation (Shared Private Rooms, Dorm or Camping) at Away with the Fairies, Shuttle to the start of the trail, Safe Parking and Hikers Assistance.

  • Zingcuka – Striders En-Suite per person sharing – R2200.00 per person
  • Zingcuka – Fairies Dorm – R1700.00 per person
  • Zingcuka – Camping Package – R1400.00 per person
  • Zingcuka – Scholars* – Striders En-Suite per person sharing – R2200.00 per person
  • Zingcuka – Scholars* – Fairies Dorm – R1500.00 per person
  • Zingcuka – Scholars* – Camping Package – R1200.00 per person

Please note that the differences in packages only apply to the pre and post hike accommodation. On the actual hike you will be sharing a hut at each of the stops with your fellow hikers.


Admin Fee:

  • R55.00 once off per reservation.

Zingcuka Loop

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