Tugela Falls and Amphitheatre 2 Day Hike

A weekend hike-No need to take leave

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 Tugela Falls and Amphitheatre 2 Day Hike is just what you’re looking for. The hike often takes place over weekend so no need to take any leave, isn’t that great?

Devils Tooth Storm
A passing storm behind Devils Tooth

Why join this Amphitheatre hike?

  • It is perfect for novices – The Amphitheatre 2 day hike only covers about 14km in total with 1 night spent on the escarpment
  • Enjoy some of the most spectacular Drakensberg scenery
  • A safe and enjoyable hike- our groups sizes are between 6-12 people. Safety in numbers hey?
  • Check out the Tugela Falls, highest waterfall in the world. It 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.
Chain ladder
A happy face on the chain ladder

Amphitheatre Hike overview

If you’re looking for a quick an easy getaway into the mountains well then the Drakensberg Amphitheatre Hike is for you. Alright… so let’s sort the hikers from the slack packers and the strollers from the rollers and those who trust us from those who don’t.

The Amphitheatre 2 day hike is the easiest and quickest overnight hike in the high Drakensberg.  When we say quickest, we don’t mean a 5-minute stroll. The hike will still take 2-3 hours compared to other hikes in the berg which require full days of walking. Easy peasy not Japaneasy.

Tugela Falls
Tugela Falls with a cloud inversions below it during sunrise

Where the hike starts

Our meeting location for the Amphitheatre 2 day hike is at Witsieshoek Mountain Lodge. The first day involves a 7km hike to the Tugela Falls ( the second highest waterfall in the world) via The Gully or the Chain Ladders, depending on your preference and fitness. The 7km 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 hire a porter.

The evening is spent in tents. We camp along the source of the Tugela River about 50m from the edge of the escarpment. On the second day, we head back done again via the Chain Ladders. 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 by say 5pm. Enough time to soak in the bath, have a cry and get ready for work on Monday.

Amphitheatre View Point
A quick stop at the Three Witches View Point on the Tugela Falls Hike

About the Amphitheatre Hike

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 breath-taking.

The vertical drop into the Kwa-Zulu Natal valley below is nearly 1000m. And of course it is here that we find the second highest waterfall in the world, Tugela Falls. (best viewed in the summer months when the Drakensberg gets most of its rainfall).

Milkway in the Drakensberg
Sleeping underneath the starts at Tugela Falls

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 of 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 what mountaineering is all about. Enduring whatever conditions come your way and just enjoying the experience.In summer you can expect a vibrant, green mountain range with cloud inversions (clouds below you), flowing rivers and of course, waterfalls. In winter you can expect the occasional snowfall dusting the escarpment with a blanket of white with frozen rivers.

How fit do you have to be for this hike?

Did we mention the word ‘fit’? Let’s break that word down into context here. You don’t have to be super fit for this Amphitheatre 2 day 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 may suffer a little.

But the suffering is short lived. 7km is not too bad. And we take it super slow if need be. So just chill. The Amphitheatre hike is totally doable.

What will I need for the Amphitheatre hike?

We supply most of the gear. No clutches I’m afraid. So stress not, we supply:

  • equipment including 4 season tents, sleeping bags, dry bags and backpacks
  • cooking and eating utensils
  • dinner’s, breakfast’s and hot drinks on the mountain
  • sleeping mats. Or peters if you so prefer. But Mat is pretty cool. He loves sleeping in the mountains
  • and professional photographs from the hike by our resident photographer.

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 equipment, meals on the mountain, hiking permits and shuttle from Witsieshoek to Sentinel Car Park. All for the ridiculously low price advertised on the site. It’s a deal, it’s a steal, it’s 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, 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.

Tugela Falls Sunrise
Tugela Falls seen from our campsite at Bilanjil Falls

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 你疯了吗@sorryforyou.com

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 the Amphitheatre hike.

Amphitheatre 2 day hike

Why climb the Amphitheatre with us?

  • Qualified and registered mountain guides and wilderness first responder’s
  • Over 700 successful guided hikes into the Drakensberg over the past 20 years
  • Intimate knowledge of the routes and environment
  • Direct access to out Drakensberg guides and experts
  • Fully catered hiking experience
  • Pre climb support in terms of preparation and advice
  • Discounts when purchasing from Mama Alles
  • Discount when purchasing equipment from Drifters
  • Superior dad jokes to keep you motivated throughout the entire Amphitheatre hike.


  • Qualified mountain guide and wilderness first responder plus assistants
  • Dinners, breakfasts and hot drinks on the mountain which our team will cook and prepare
  • Equipment including 4 season tents, sleeping bags, sleeping mats, backpacks and eating utensils
  • Dedicated Drakensberg trip planner
  • 2 days/1 night in the mountains
  • Local taxes
  • Advice on how to avoid getting into an argument with you toaster
  • Discount when purchasing equipment or clothing from Drifters


  • Transport to Witsieshoek
  • Items of personal nature
  • Meals and rinks not specified
  • Optional but highly recommended travel and medical insurance
  • Snacks and personal medication
  • My wife
  • Powdered water
  • Authentic and interactive hiking experience
  • Pristine, unspoilt and secluded mountain scenery
  • No need to take leave
  • We have a 100% success rate on this route
  • The shortest and quickest route to the Drakensberg Escarpment
  • Fully supported Drakensberg hiking experience

Day 1

Our meeting point for the Amphitheatre 2 Day Hike is situated at Witsieshoek Mountain Lodge at 9:00am. The drive from Johannesburg is roughly 4 hours. Once at the lodge we will do an introduction as well as hike briefing and then a pack check to make sure you have all the essentials like your teddy bear for the night.

We aim to be hiking by about 10:30am. 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. Another, easier option would be to use the chain ladders. Our team carries ropes and harnesses for this hike in case you are feeling uneasy about the ladders.

The gully 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 towering 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.

Day 2

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 chain ladders that always seem to bring a tear to the eye.

Once we have climbed down, it’s a 1.5 hour hike back to the starting point of the hike. We aim to be down the mountain at the latest by 12pm.