The Amphitheater Day Hike is a must do when visiting South Africa.
Tell me about the Chain Ladders
Woah is me will be the cry when the man on the ladders passes me by. The chain ladders can be one of the more daunting parts on this trek but not to worry, you are in safe hands. Safety is our number one priority. That’s why our guides carry ropes and harnesses along on this trek, just as an added safety bonus for the ladders. So no need to fear too much, leave the worrying to us.
Best Time to Hike the Amphitheater Day Hike
The Amphitheater Day Hike can be completed year round however there are risks to each season. Summer can be magical. Lush green landscapes, flowing waterfalls and running rivers, and let’s not forget about the Dragons Breath which involves a spectical of mist as well as incredible cloud inversions. You’re probably wondering what the downside is to summer now? Well unfortunately summer in South Africa is the rainy season, this means that there is a likely chance that you may walk in rain during your trek. Thick mist can also cover the entire mountain range for multiple days at a time which is not ideal considering you’ve come here to see the mountain.
Winter… the good part about winter is that there is no rain. However, this means that Tugela Falls will most likely be a trickle of a waterfall and dried up. The landscapes are also quite brown due to lack of water.
If you’ve got an extra day to kill we recommend joining our two day Drakensberg Amphitheatre and Tugela Falls Hike, it is an incrdieble spot to watch the sunrise and star gazing at night is a must!
Where is our meeting location?
Our meeting location for this hike is at Witsieshoek Mountain Lodge. We recommend staying here the night before the trek as there are not many other close lodgings in the area.
Why go with Soul Adventures?
We have been leading treks in the Drakensberg Mountains for over 20 years now and most of our guides have over 1000 nights experience in these mountains alone not to mention all our international expeditions that we’ve conducted.
Our hikes have a sceduled start time of 6:00, 7:30 and 9:30am. We aim to meet 15 minutes before this departure time at the reastaunrt area of Witsieshoek Mountain Lodge. We will then take the 4×4 shuttle to the actual starting point, Sentinel Car Park. Your guide will then fill out the mountain registry and conduct a hike breifing. He/she will walk you through all the steps of the hike. Then it’s onwards and upwards the Zig Zag which is one of the harder sections of the day. we ascend 250 vertical meters over a 2km period. we will stop about 1.5km into this section to check out the 3 Witches Viewpoint. After the 2kms its a pretty gentle walk to the chain ladders, about 2.5kms. Alternatively there is a secondary option to ascend to the escarpment. This path is known as the Beacon Butress Gully. it is quite a steep, boulder hopping ascent and should only be taken if you have a reasobnable fitness level. If we decide to ascend via the chain ladders then be prepared for 2 sets. The first one is the longer of the two at 16m while the second is an easy 7m. Easy peasy not Japaneasy. It is then a nice gentle stroll through to Tugela Falls along the escarpment top. We will have lunch and coffee at the waterfall and maybe even a swim on a nice warm day! Then its back down to the lodge.