No need to take leave!!!! Join us on this epic 2 day weekend hike to the top of the Amphitheatre escarpment in the world famous Drakensberg mountains.
A perfect hike for newbies and zombies alike
Dear oh dear oh dear…. Your boss won’t give you leave but you would love to go hiking in the Drakensberg. Well it would seem that we have a solution to your terrible circumstance. Our 2 day hike to the Amphitheatre is just what you are looking for. We leave on a Saturday morning at 5am and return on Sunday afternoon at about 5pm.
Why join this hike?
- It is perfect for novices-The hike only covers about 8km in total with 1 night spent on the escarpment of the Amphitheatre
- Enjoy some of the most spectacular Drakensberg scenery
- A safe and enjoyable hike- our groups sizes are between 10 and 15 people. Safety in numbers hey?
- Check out the second highest waterfall in the world-its plunges nearly 1000m over the edge of the Drakensberg escarpment into the valley below.
- Leave all the logistics, planning and food up to us.
- No need to take leave
- The quickest and shortest route to the Drakensberg escapement-All other hikes involve 3 days and over 40km of distance to reach the top.
- Sometimes we get to see a coke can left by a hiker in 1998.
- You get a free stone from the summit.
An overview of the hike
A calm as a coma we leave Johannesburg at 5am. We take the 4 hour drive through to what is known as the Sentinel Carpark. The first day involves a 4km hike to the Tugela Falls ( the second highest waterfall in the world) via The Gully. The 4km takes on average about 3 hours to hike. There are a few steep sections but nothing that cannot be accomplished. In fact we have never had anyone turn around on this hike.
And yes sunshine…you will have to carry a backpack with your sleeping bag and clothing in it. So cry us a river, build a bridge and get over it. Hiking in the Drakensberg is an interactive experience. Carrying a backpack in our minds is interactive and helps build character, leaving hikers with an overwhelming feeling of perspective and accomplishment. If, however…you still feel that you cannot hike with a backpack, we can provide a porter.
The evening is spent in tents. We camp along the source of the Tugela River about 100m from the edge of the escarpment. On the second day, we head back done again via the Chainladders. And yes, you are going to love these suckers. There are 2 of them that you need to climb down. We bring safety rope and harnesses for those hikers who feel the need for them. We usually get back down to the start of the hike by about 12pm. Back in Johannesburg again by say 4pm. Enough time to soak in the bath, have a cry and get ready for work on Monday.
About the Amphitheatre
The Amphitheatre is situated in the Northern Drakensberg mountains. It is the closest range from Johannesburg. The route is also the fastest and quickest way to the top of the escarpment. The massive bulk of the Amphitheatre wall stretches for 5km from the Western to Eastern Buttress. The views from the top of truly breathtaking. The vertical drop into the Kwazulu Natal valley below is nearly 1000m. And of course it is here that we find the second highest waterfall in the World. ( best viewed in the summer months when the Drakensberg gets most of its rainfall).
Best time to hike?
We say anytime. Depends on what you are willing to endure and forfeit. A bit like any other choice made in life hey? In summer from say October to March there is a high probability f rain, thunderstorms and heat. In the winter months from say May to September, there is freezing cold conditions, high wind and the occasional snow storm. But that is why mountaineering is all about. Enduring whatever conditions come your way and just enjoying the experience.
Why climb the Amphitheatre with us?
- Superior Safety standards
- Qualified guides trained in First Aid
- Guides are MDT accredited (South African Mountaineering Development & Training Trust) and Advanced Mountain Walking Leaders
- Over 200 successful guided hikes into Drakensberg over the past 10 years
- Intimate knowledge of the routes and environment
- Direct access to our Drakensberg guides and experts
- Fully catered hiking experience
- Low climber to guide ratio. 1 guide for every 3 climbers
- Our guides are active members of the Mountain Club of South Africa
- Pre climb support in terms of preparation and advice
How fit do you have to be for this hike?
Did we mention the word ‘fit’? Lets break that word down into context here. You don’t have to be super fit for this hike. In fat, I mean fact, most of our clients are novices who have never hiked before. Obviously if you are a couch potato and never partake in any sweat inducing activities, you make suffer a little. But the suffering is short lives. 4km is not too bad. And we take it super slow if need be. So just chill. The Amphitheatre hike is totally doable.
What equipment will you need for the hike?
We supply most of the gear. No clutches I’m afraid. So stress not. We supply:
- Cooking and eating utensils
- Dinner and breakfast on the mountain
- Transport from Johannesburg
- Sleeping Mats. Or Peter’s if you so prefer. But Mat is pretty cool. He loves sleeping in the mountains. Unlike Peter who suffers from insomnia.
The basic equipment you will need is:
- 65 Litre Backpack
- Sleeping bag. ( we ask that you keep quiet on the hike in case you wake the sleeping bags up)
- Hiking boots or even trainers/trail shoes. (takkies for our South African clients)
- Hiking clothing for 2 days. Check out our equipment list for more details.
- Powdered water. You will need at least 2kg in case there is lack of water on the Amphitheatre summit.
Renting vs buying?
If you are new to hiking in the Drakensberg I’d say you start with renting first. We have backpacks, sleeping bags, walking poles, gaiters, rain ponchos and orange ping pong balls available to rent. And of course…if you are travelling from overseas and don’t want to travel with heavy hiking equipment, then renting is the way to go.
The most cost effective way to hike in the Drakensberg
So you won’t have to sell your dog to join this tour. Our cost includes transport from Johannesburg, park fees, breakfast and dinner on the mountain, a guide and all hiking equipment. All for the ridiculously low price advertised on the sight. Its a deal, its a steal, its the sale of the frikken century.
Imagine you had to do the hike on your own. Or with mates? It would work out way more expensive. And of course, you would have to do all the planning, driving, getting lost and feeling grumpy all by yourselves. Leave those worries to us we say. Call now for the best Amphitheatre hiking experience in the Drakensberg.
But wait!!!!!!! Don’t leave our sight. There’s more!!!!!!
Call within the next 5 minutes and we will give you 50% off the listed price. T&C’s apply. See explanation below.
Of course you are going to have to prove to us that you called within the 5 minutes agreed. How do you do that you may wondering? Well all you need to do is think of the Amphitheatre hike in the future. Take that thought and divide it into 2 equal parts.
Take the part that answers to the name of Dave and isolate it in a freezer. Once it has frozen, take the thought and throw it against the wall. It will shatter into many pieces. Take the smallest piece of the thought and speed it up by 34.6 and divide it by the past. The answer will give you the exact time that we made the offer of a 50% discounted rate. All you have to do then is call us within 5 minutes. Easy peasy…not Japanesy. If you do not agree with these terms, please dial 7 now or email us on
READ THIS NOW TO SEE IF YOU CAN PASS THE TEST!!
Thank you. You are so obedient and would therefore love to have you on our hiking tour. We love obedient clients-they listen to us when the weather conditions change or we need help building a snowman. So what we need you to do is this…. Take a stopwatch. See if you can hold your breath for 60 seconds. When you are done continuing reading to see the results below. WARNING!!!!DO NOT READ THE RESULTS BELOW UNTIL YOU HAVE COMPLETED THE TEST!!!
I told you not to read this until you did the test!! But anyway, if you managed to hold your breath for 60 seconds the results are very favourable indeed. Our primary objective was to try and keep you on the webpage for as long as possible so Google ranks us higher on their search engine platforms. Your dedication to the cause will result in an influx of customer sales, massive profit margins and fame. And of course, the economies of scale produced will allow us to keep our pricing very competitive so you future generations can also enjoy hiking in the Drakensberg.
What time does our tour leave?
We’ve got a tough job us mountain guides and we need your cooperation. It’s pretty serious so I wont beat around the proverbial privet. Frankly we are too busy to be cluck-clucking like a decapitated feathered fowl, so I’ll get straight to the point. Time waits for no man as the proverb goes, and what I say is, Soul Adventures waits for no man. So with that in mind, I shall cut the bovine feces altogether. When it comes to leaving on time, we cut the niceties, we avoid irrelevance, disregard herrings ( red or otherwise), and above all, we do not fanny about. We leave at 5am from Johannesburg. The end.
Where does the tour depart from?
All of our hiking tours depart from a central point in Johannesburg. Namely, our current offices situated in Fourways. And of course we are willing to make exceptions. Namely for our oversees guests. We understand that transport in foreign country is a tad difficult. So we will pick you up form you hotel on route.
Transport from Johannesburg
Dinner and breakfast on the mountain
Cooking and eating utensils
Free stone from the summit
Advice on how to avoid getting into an argument with your toaster
Breakfast on route from Johannesburg on Day 1
Rental of backpacks, sleeping bags and other camping equipment
No need to take leave
The shortest and quickest route the Drakensberg Escarpment
A fully supported Drakensberg hiking experience
Transport from Johannesburg included
Authentic and interactive hiking experience
We depart from our offices at 5am. The pick up address is: The Stables Village Market. 212 3rd Ave , Chartwell, Fourways.
We then take the 3 hour drive through to Harrismith. We have a 45 minute stop here for breakfast, weehs, poohs and to buy a small orange ping pong ball from a shady character on the second road on the left. We then take the 1.5 hour drive through to the Sentinel Parking lot-the starting point for the hike. Once we have unloaded, packed and checked the backpacks, we start the hike.
We aim to be hiking by about 11:30am. The first part of the hike takes about 45 minutes. We stop at the view point for about 20 minutes. There is an incredible view of the Amphitheatre wall from here. And then its onwards and upwards old chap. After another 45 minutes of hiking we have a 3 minute lunch break at the base of The Gully. One we are powered up, we slog our way up the Gully.
This part of the hike is probably the most challenging as we ascend about 200m in height and involves quite a bit of bouldering style hiking. The views at the summit though are well worth the effort. We basically summit on the Western Buttress with the towing bulk of the Sentinel to the left. From there its a 45 minute hike downhill into the camp site for the knight-which is usually for King Arthur.
We set up camp next to the Tugela River and about 100m from the escapement edge. Then its nesting time. No hanky panky with a blankie in the tents please. We are a reputable hiking company, not an impregnation inducing facility. A scrumptious mountain dinner is served at about 7pm. We then tuck you into bed with your favourite teddy bear and a tell you a story about how my mom divided a packet of peanuts equally between 5 children in a snowstorm.
4 small red ants and a middle aged toaster will wake you up with a series of gentle overtures from Beethoven. The next 2 hours is dedicated to breakfast, making up camp and finding a suitable place for a pooh. We then take the journey back off the mountain. The first challenge will be the decent of the 2 notorious chainladders that always seem to bring a tear to the eye.
One we have climbed down, its a 1.5 hour hike back to he skating point of the hike. We then pile you back into the car and take the 4.5 hour drive back to Johannesburg. And stress not..we will stop in Harrismith so you can feed your pie hole. Back in Johannesburg by about 4:30pm