Things To Do in WitsieshoekGudu Falls Hike
Where? Start and finish at Witsieshoek Mountain Lodge in the Drakensberg
When? Daylight hours.
How much? Price on request
More? See website
Start: Witsieshoek Mountain Lodge, Mahai campsite or Thendele Camp, Royal Natal National Park, Drakensberg, KwaZulu Natal
Finish: Witsieshoek Mountain Lodge or Mahai campsite, Royal Natal National Park
Duration: a full day, there and back, trail
Fitness: relatively easy, although it's a good idea to have some level of fitness when hiking in the Drakensberg, as, veer off course and you can find yourself walking for hours
Our tips: include the Cascades and the pools above Gudu waterfall for a really enjoyable day
Contact: KZN Wildlife or Witsieshoek Lodge
When: any time of year; summer is best for swimming in river pools, although autumn and spring are more temperate for the Drakensberg.
This relatively easy day hike is often a portion of a greater trail that not only includes Gudu Falls but also ventures up the Crack to the top of the falls. There you will find some wonderful pools worth exploring, particularly in summer. The extended hike includes going up Plowman's Kop and then down the Mudslide, overnighting in a hiker's hut somewhere in the vicinity.
But the longer venture is not for the feint hearted as the Crack is fairly intimidating and the heights, should you have a fear of heights, more than a little daunting. The steep chain ladder up the Crack is enough to thwart even keen hikers. Even if the climb is worth the views at the top.
A walk to the falls allows for a more sedate pace and relaxing walk, and is an ideal way to see the smaller, enjoyable aspects of the Drakensberg, like forest, birds and insects. The walk heads towards the mountains too, which means the views are inspirational.
The Gudu Falls themselves, when in full fall, are magnificent. They lie at the head of a valley filled with afromontane forest.
If venturing to the Falls from Thendele camp, one can follow the path first past Tiger Falls to Gudu Bush and then up to the falls.
Return the same way as you came.