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Let's go chas­ing water­falls!

Toyota Connect/Lexus Life - - CONTENTS -

Water­falls are among na­ture’s most beau­ti­ful at­trac­tions and have fas­ci­nated view­ers for cen­turies

– in fact, some par­tic­u­larly nutty in­di­vid­u­als have even tried to see if they could sur­vive go­ing over water­falls in a bar­rel. But I di­gress.

Many of these at­trac­tions are within pro­tected ar­eas, re­quir­ing view­ers to pay an en­try fee to en­joy the sheer size and won­der they pro­vide. Oth­ers are as na­ture in­tended – free for any­one to won­der at. We’ve in­cluded both in our round-up.

Water­falls dif­fer in length and form. It’s as if Mother Na­ture had a free day and wanted to show off her de­sign skills, with some com­pris­ing a sin­gle, mighty drop of wa­ter (a plunge) and oth­ers bro­ken into a se­ries of falls (a tier). Re­gard­less of size or form, how­ever, they’re all mar­vel­lous to be­hold and beau­ti­ful ad­di­tions to their en­vi­ron­ment.

SA has sev­eral spec­tac­u­lar water­falls, so there’s re­ally no ex­cuse not to plan a fam­ily road trip vis­it­ing as many as pos­si­ble. Re­mem­ber, one man’s bucket-list item is an­other man’s day out. And no-one re­ally needs an ex­cuse to get off the beaten track, out­side in na­ture, af­ter all. Here are a few amaz­ing lo­cal water­falls which are well worth vis­it­ing.

TUGELA FALLS, KWAZULU-NA­TAL

From Jo’burg, start your trip by vis­it­ing the Tugela Falls in the Royal Na­tal Na­tional Park in the Drak­ens­berg. Re­garded as the sec­ond-high­est wa­ter­fall in the world, it’s of­fi­cially mea­sured at 948m. How­ever, in 2016, a Czech sci­en­tific ex­pe­di­tion took new mea­sure­ments and mea­sured the falls at 983m, a fig­ure yet to be of­fi­cially ver­i­fied. What­ever the true statis­tic, though, one thing’s for sure: the Tugela Falls is the high­est wa­ter­fall in Africa.

The falls can be viewed from the fa­mous Am­phithe­atre, which is with­out doubt a high­light of any trip to the pic­turesque Drak­ens­berg es­carp­ment. To get to the top of the Am­phithe­atre, vis­i­tors take a hik­ing trail to the sum­mit of Mont-aux-sources. The trail starts at the Sen­tinel car park at Wit­sieshoek and then leads through Phutha­ditjhaba, from which it’s a short climb to the top of the Am­phithe­atre.

An­other way of get­ting close to the falls is hik­ing to their foot, up the Tugela Gorge, through an indige­nous for­est. A climb up a small chain lad­der takes you to a stun­ning view of the wa­ter rush­ing down the Am­phithe­atre in a se­ries of spec­tac­u­lar cas­cades.

View­ing fee: R75 per per­son, payable at the Sen­tinel car park and R45 per per­son at the en­trance to the Royal Na­tal Na­tional Park. Con­tact: KZN Wildlife: tel: +27 (0)33 845 1999

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