The Drakensberg Gorge Walk
Grade: ***** An outing NOT to be missed!
Time in Hours Outward: All Day
Time in Hours total: All Day
The Drakensberg Gorge walk involves driving one’s car to the “parking” just below Tendele in the Royal Natal National Park (about2 hours). From this point, the path is well sign-posted and extremely well-defined, to the point that it is seldom that other walkers are not encountered. This is probably the most walked trail in the whole of the Drakensberg and it is still one of the most popular and most beautiful walks to do. Provided one starts off early, there is plenty of time; so stop, look and listen; absorb the very essence of the Berg as one trudges toward the Amphitheatre as it looms ever closer and closer. The walk takes one into a gorge, where the rocks on either side tower above one, where in summer one has to wade up the Tugela River, which narrows down to about 3 metres wide at times, with the ever present rock face of the Amphitheatre before one.
It is an awe-inspiring experience, with the “Tunnel” at the end, giant swimmable pools, a chain ladder to challenge the adventurous who would like to explore further and the majesty of Devil’s Tooth, the Toothpick and a host of towering peaks above one. For the energetic, it is possible to continue a further kilometer or so, up the riverbed and almost to the foot of the mighty Tugela Falls, which tumbles down for over 1000 metres to create a slippery route for those attempting to get too close! The excursion of the chain ladder and “Falls” trek adds on at least two hours and more, depending on how far one wants to go. Return the same way.