About Drakensberg Amphitheatre

The Drakensberg Mountain Range is nothing short of exquisite in its aesthetics and breath-taking in its proportions. One of its most popular (and photographed) features is the Amphitheatre.

Did you know? The Drakensberg Amphitheatre remains one of the greatest geographical features in all of South Africa, thanks to its sheer size and undeniable beauty.

The Amphitheatre is a dramatic cliff face that measures more than five kilometres (3.1 miles) in length. The cliffs along the entire length of the range are more than 1.2 kilometres (4 000 feet) high. This massive structure lays still and silent, looming over the magnificent Royal Natal National Park in KwaZulu-Natal.

The Amphitheatre is part of the northern part of the Drakensberg, and is home to the Tugela Falls, which tumble into the Tugela Gorge with the kind of power and grace that only nature can create. This is the second-highest waterfall in the world, with sheets of water that drop 948 metres (3 100 feet) before crashing to the bottom.

There is a hiking trail that starts at the car park above Witsieshoek Resort and takes visitors to the top of Mount-Aux-Sources. From here, there is a short climb (on chain ladders) right to the top of the Amphitheatre, from where hikers are privy to one of the most spectacular sights in the world. Drink in views of the gorge, the mountain range, and the best of African landscapes as far as the eye can see.

The hike takes five hours, but you are likely to spend a good hour or two more enjoying the vistas from the top. There is also a 22-kilometre trail to the base of the Tugela Falls, complete with a chain ladder. Hikers will need to set aside a about eight hours for this adventure. Both hikes are fairly challenging and require a reasonable level of fitness.

The Royal Natal National Park is, not surprisingly, a favourite amongst hikers. But, its dam is also irresistible to anglers that have a passion for trout fishing, as are the Thukela and Mahai rivers. These refreshing waters are a must for weary hikers wanting to take a cool dip. There are various natural areas that showcase the many different wildlife and plant species that make South Africa so special.

The Amphitheatre in the Drakensberg is about 4.5 hours from Johannesburg in one direction and Durban in another.

Need to Know

WhereDrakensberg, Royal Natal National Park, Drakensberg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

WhenBest during daylight hours

OvernightStay in Drakensberg Accommodation, KwaZulu Natal

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