Let's go chasing waterfalls!
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