THE AMPHITHEATRE is the most famous geographic feature of the Okhahlamba Drakensberg World Heritage Site and is widely regarded as one of the most impressive cliff faces on Earth. It's basalt wall is over 5km in length and the Tugela River - which plunges almost 1 km down its facade - is the 2nd highest waterfall on the planet, and the highest in Africa. The Amphitheatre has precipitous cliffs, rising approximately 1,220 metres along its entire length. Royal Natal National Park, in the lower valley, is over 1,830 metres below the highest point - Mont-Aux-Sources. The escarpment wall is flanked by two magnificent peaks – the Sentinel and Eastern Buttress. It usually takes 2 - 3 days to hike from the base to the summit and back. We offer this longer version to those of you wishing to do
THE TUGELA FALLS DAY TRIP
We offer a condensed version of the multi-day hike, achieved in ONE DAY by beginning at a higher altitude. This is a hike that can be done by anyone who has an average fitness level.
- The group departs from Amphitheatre Backpackers at 07h30.
- The guide drives the group to the beginning of the hike, 2500m in altitude.
- The summit is reached via a beautiful gully filled with wild flowers.
- Lunch is enjoyed on the escarpment with breath-taking views into Royal Natal right at the point where the Tugela Waterfall spills over the 1 km basalt drop.
- It is not uncommon to spot the endangered bearded vulture at this point.
- After lunch the guide navigates across to a second, smaller waterfall - the Eland Falls - where baboon and dassies often sunbathe.
- We descend using two sets of chain ladders and ropes if requested.
- During our return hike we enjoy stunning views over Qwa Qwa National Park and Fika Patso Dam.
- We arrive back at the lodge between 18h00 and 19h00 at night.
The highest point on the summit is just over 3,254 metres above sea level and so weather can be treacherous. One minute the group might be swimming in the Tugela River and the next, blanketed in thick fog. Paths are not clearly marked and the ladders slippery when wet, so for this hike we use a registered guide carrying a first aid kit and safety ropes.
The tour includes:
Transport, Guide’s fees, Park fees, Community levies, Lunch, Ropes and First Aid Kits.
Hike Length= 12km
You need to bring:
Decent hiking boots, warm and waterproof clothing, a hat, sun cream, extra water, a small backpack and personal medication.
PLEASE NOTE as this trip is very popular we are able to reduce the rate to R690 per person but we do need
a minimum of people to offer this price. If only 3 sign up, you will pay the set R720 per person ... so spread the word!