Tugela Falls
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2 within 6 miles

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles16 reviews
Excellent
14
Very good
2
Average
0
Poor
0
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0

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Zaid Asha
East London, South Africa42 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2018 • Friends
Everything about Tugela Falls hike...

It’s a hike of a lifetime & not too busy, very little people know about the 2nd highest waterfall in the world BUT there is much to this hike than just arriving to the mountain, as it’s located in the Drakensberg of Royal Natal National Park in KwaZulu-Natal Province, you pay an entrance fee for the park & for the hike separately, Guides at the entrance would warn you about the locals of the mountain that they are dangerous and might hurt you if you don’t speak Sotho SO they want you to Hire them to go with you (They charge R350-R400 Per Person), the locals are called the (Heads Men/People of Lesotho), you have to take a lot of food with you to feed them & they would be your best friends very simple & easy going people they are “Shepherds”(Be kind & friendly).

At least be 2 People and if you are camping on the top at least be 3 people to easy the luggage carrying and don’t leave your luggage unattended, (Don’t Forget your personal water If you can’t carry enough water take a water purifier to drink from the water falls water).

Best time to hike is between March-April the least chance to encounter Fog (I was unlucky as it was heavy fog) always hike before sunset the earlier the least foggy & safer, If you are going to hike from the beginning of the trail it’s a 7hour hike till the top and 7hour hike down, if you have a high vehicle that would be a 1hour drive till the parking of the hike trail & 3hour hike till the top of the mountain and 3hour hike down to the parking or you could stay at the Chalets by the start of the trail.
(the last 500m to the edge of the water fall you would encounter a 40m & 20m heigh Steel chain ladder respectively & there’s safe & strong bolts for Rappelling).

Hiking Shoes that don’t slip when wet are extremely important as there is 1 or 2 sections that require such shoes that would give you 50% more safer hike, keep a knife on you Incase you encounter any difficulties & that would guarantee an unforgettable exciting hike...

“The most tiring hike section is the tilled section but that doesn’t last long”
(I would recommend you to use the app [Wikiloc] its a hiking app that would show you the trail & warn you if you go off the trail).

“Pictures doesn’t do this place Justice”
Written March 3, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

kimchixo
Ireland131 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2017 • Friends
There are not many reviews of this place on the internet so I've decided to create a page for it on tripadvisor to share our experiences as i feel it needs more exposure. This is a beautiful hike to see one of the highest waterfalls in the world surrounded in the Drakensberg. The hike is about 11km and its not difficult except for the chain ladders if you are scared of heights. The view is out of this world. There are many different routes so you could opt for longer or shorter hikes. A definite must do and we all agreed that it was one of the best hikes we have done. The waterfall is very high but its a skinny waterfall. The entrance office was constructed halfway and then funds stop coming so it has been like that for the past several years. I only wish they had the funds to complete the office. Beware of off- road to the start of the hike, would highly recommend a 4x4.
Written January 12, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Talisr
Tel Aviv, Israel52 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2018 • Couples
Great trail! We enjoyed it, the views and the silence... It is hard to get with a private car to the starting point and there are some unmarked cross paths on the trail so I would recommend using a map and a 4x4.
Written September 12, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lauren Callaghan
Fort Worth, TX11 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2019 • Couples
Great hike to do with amazing views! The trail is pretty well marked except on top of the mountain plateau. You DO NEED a 4x4 to get to the trailhead but a lodge offers a shuttle if not. About a 5 hour hike (more on the 5+ if you stop for the views and lunch like we did). The gorge route is fun but be careful as rocks sometimes tumble down from hikers in front of you so BE SURE to warn those below you even if you aren't sure there are people behind you. The other route is the chain ladders which are fun unless you are scared of heights! Overall a great hike that doesn't need to much of an experience to do yourself!
Written June 6, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

20jsl
Menindee, Australia39 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023 • Solo
Unofficially the world's tallest waterfall. Most impressive when there is sufficient percipitation to increase the flow of the Tugela River above the falls. On this visit the falls were almost dry.
Written May 13, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Melissa L
San Juan, Philippines8 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2022
We did the Tugela Falls/Amphitheatre hike in November 2022. We were all reasonably fit, and although the hike is long, the paths are not as difficult to walk as we expected. The chain ladder can be difficult if you are scared of heights or not reasonably fit and healthy, but what a thrill if you do like heights!

The views are simply breathtaking, and you will need to stop often just to admire and take photos. The altitude can be difficult in the beginning, particularly if you are someone who hasn't really been in high altitudes, you may find yourself short of breath in the beginning, but you do adjust. The walk across the plateau on the top is easy. The hike took us about 8 hours, but we did stop frequently to snack and enjoy our surroundings. We also spent about an hour sitting at the falls and soaking our feet in the crisp water. This hike has been on my bucket list for a very long time, and I am so stoked to have done it! It was even better than I expected. Nothing beats the Drakensberg!

Note: Be careful to check the weather as storms come up quickly in the Berg and you would not want to be up there with lightning. It would also not be advisable to hike in poor visibility conditions, especially in winter where it can get dangerously cold up there. We were lucky to have perfect weather the whole hike. We stayed at Kiara Lodge just outside the Golden Gates park and it only took less than an hour to drive to the beginning of the hike at Witieshoek Mountain Lodge. You should contact them beforehand as they will need to take you in a 4x4 to the beginning of the hike at Sentinal carpark. If you go up early, you can also pay the park entrance fee there. I don't advise trying to drive there on your own, even if you own a 4X4. We saw people destroying their engine on that road, it's realllly bad.

The number supplied is for Witieshoek's whatsapp.
Written May 10, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Pieter019191
Kroonstad, South Africa53 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2019 • Couples
Beautiful!! Beautiful!! Unfortunately the chain ladder was out of order. We could only see the falls from a distance. Would like to get closer next time.
Written April 27, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Michelle A
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2021 • Couples
If researched this hike but would like to contribute the following:
Definitely use the transfer provided by Witsiehoek Mountain Lodge. You will get stuck or destroy your vehicle. We hired an SUV but automatic transmission would never cope with this. Besides we have excess insurance but this does not cover off/ road/safaris. R160 return each well worth every penny.
No guide needed- it’s not always obvious where the path is but you’ll figure it out! It feels like forever to get to those chain ladders.
Shoes- need some grip. No standard running shoes will suffice! I used Adidas trail run which has grip but the sole was soft and felt slippery on the chain ladders. A decent pair of hiking shoes fit me going forward but wouldn’t say that proper/ costly shoes are necessary.
Clothing- I saw many ladies on YouTube using gym tights! The grass is along especially once you get the the top of the chain ladders on the way to the waterfall. Jeans is best or walking trousers.
Chain ladders- I prepared my mind fir this and went there determined. Ok going up but refused for my husband to be on the ladders at the same time, There are 2 ladders- I chose to use the one with handles as they are more secure to the rocks. The other has parts that are free from the rock and results in swaying. Going back down was scary and anxiety provoking. Issue is you have to look down and it is high! I felt myself panicked but recognised this and reminded myself to slow the breathing and take my time. A little pep talk to oneself helps. Get a good footing using the arch of your foot. Difficult in some places especially if you have big feet so need to place your foot almost parallel to the odd ladder to get a good footing. Be determined!
Fitness- we walk about 5-10 weekly so was hoping this will be enough and it was. Having some core strength will help with reducing slips. We found ourselves breathless on the incline but did settle into it after an hour or so. We think we are not used to the altitude but it might be that we are just not cardiac fit.
Wildlife- We were told that it’s possible to see the odd small snake but we saw none. Lots of lizards running away from the path. There are wild mountain baboons but they move away from you. Feels vulnerable but all good according to the locals as they’ve not been fed by people so don’t come close for your food, Beautiful flowers in spring.
Weather- We had excellent weather. A Misty morning but this cleared by 8am and we set off. Not a cloud in the sky by afternoon but the wind does pick up in parts of the mountain. My sim hat kept blowing off so handy to have one with strings. A headband/ bandana is helpful to keep warm and hair off the face.
Do this hike- it’s worth the 18km- sore feet and tired legs for a day but you’d accomplish seeing the highest waterfall in the world within just 6 hours!
Written November 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Nitrameieiei
Rosenheim, Germany521 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Friends
The starting point is the car park - currently (as of 01-2024) only accessible by 4WD. It is best to stay overnight at the Witsieshool Mountain Lodge and book the transfer from there. Then you will have plenty of time for this alpine hike. You need good hiking boots and you should also bring rain gear. The weather here changes quickly and is unpredictable. We had sun on the way up, fog at the top, then it cleared up at the waterfall and after the descent we were caught in a hailstorm.
Google
Written January 21, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Tugela Falls - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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