The Majestic Tugela Falls
The Tugela River drops over 3000 feet in 5 major cascades to form the Tugela Falls which is the 2nd highest waterfall in the world. The source of the Tugela Falls is at Mont-aux-Sources, the highest peak on a plateau of the Royal Natal National Park.
Tugela Falls Hiking Trails: Route 1
The first route is to the base of the Tugela Falls and is called the Tugela Gorge Trail. This walk starts from the car park is a wonderful experience of gentle walking. Although it may seem a flat walk do not let this distract you from the magnificent scenery. For the first 4 km there is a very good path and no special directions are needed, the path winds along, above and parallel to the Tugela river. The scenery is spectacular. The path meanders in and out of lush forests cascading down the hills into the river below. View sites of the Amphitheatre wall get increasingly more magnificent as you approach the Gorge – the wall rises over 1800m from the valley floor. The last kilometre through the Gorge entails three boulder crossings of the river – simple enough unless in flood.
Do not make the mistake of turning back at this point. With a little bit of effort the most picturesque scenery in the park lies at the far end along. Once at the Gorge, one encounters the Tunnel where the river flows through an impassable rock formation. This can be bypassed by a scramble up a chain ladder to the right. Use the chain ladder to skirt the tunnel and get into the Amphitheatre and boulder hop up the Tugela for about half a kilometre, where for each step you are rewarded with a complete change of scenery.
Tugela Falls Hiking Trails: Route 2
The second route brings you to the point where the Tugela Falls start their tumble down the escarpment. The spectaclarly beautifull mountain hiking trail to the top of Mount-Aux-Sources starts at the Sentinel car park at Witsieshoek via Phuthadjhaba from where it is a relatively short climb to the top of the Amphiteatre. (About 5 hours return) Via two chain ladders you can can gain easy access to the summit. This is the only day hiking trail which will take you to the top of the Drakensberg escarpment.
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