Drakensberg, South Africa
Destination
2 Days
Duration
4/10
Physicality
12-65
Age recommendations

Drakensberg Amphitheater Hike – 2 Days

The massive basalt formation of the Drakensberg Amphitheater is considered as the most famous landmark in the Drakensberg mountain range. The area has been crowned as a World Heritage site in 2000 due to its incredible biodiversity and cultural importance. When you do the Drakensberg Amphitheater Hike you will see the massive cliff walls rise nearly 1000m from the valley below in what is truly a magnificent sight. The entire width of the Amphitheater spans nearly 5km/3.1 miles from the Sentinel in the East to the Eastern Buttress South of that.

Our camp site on this hike is situated right next to the second highest waterfall in the world-The Tugela Falls. The waterfall which is best seen in the rainy summer months cascade over the edge of the escarpment into the valley of the Royal Natal National Park some 947m/3100ft below.

The hike is for hikers of a moderate fitness level who want to not only take in the incredible views but also get to experience a night of camping in the mountains. The hike up is relatively easy and is the quickest route up to the escarpment. All of the other routes to the escarpment of the Drakensberg entail a minimum of 2 days to summit. Access to the summit is via two options depending on your level of adventure and ability to handle heights.

The first option is summiting via two chain-ladders bolted to the cliff face. The first ladder is 40m/131 ft. high while the second one is 20m/65 ft high. Our guides will bring rope and set up a safety line for your safety. If heights are not your thing then we access the summit by hiking up The Gully. A steep scramble up a 150m/492 ft gully which although a lot more challenging physically does offer some rewarding views from the top.

Complete the Drakensberg Amphitheatre Hike with South Africa Adventures!

The 2-day Drakensberg Amphitheater hike requires a hiker with moderate hiking skills and the ability to use both upper body strength  and moderate fitness levels. The qualified guides provided by South Africa Adventures will be with you all the way.

Drakensberg FAQ

1

Day 1

Our tours begin and end in Johannesburg (self-drive options also available)

Drakensberg Amphitheatre Hike start to finish:

Distance: 14km / 8miles in 2 days.

Elevation Gain: 700m / 2296ft.

Elevation Loss: 810m / 2657 ft.

Day 1: Travel day. Our scheduled tours leave from Johannesburg at 05H30. Hikers are picked up by our Drakensberg mountain guide from your hotel. Once all your gear is loaded up, we take the 5 hour drive through to the start of the hike with is situated at the base of the Sentinel Peak. We will have breakfast along the way in a town called Harrismith.

Our scheduled tours leave from Johannesburg at 05H30.Hikers are picked up by our mountain guide from your hotel. Once all your gear is loaded up, we take the 5 hour drive through to the start of the hike with is situated at the base of the Sentinel Peak. We will have breakfast along the way in a town called Harrismith.

Once we arrive, we will have a quick climb briefing and check the equipment before we head on up into the Drakensberg mountains. The first part of the hike involves a steep scramble for about an hour before the path levels out for the next 2km/1.2 miles.

The next challenge is either ascending the final part of the hike to the escarpment summit via the Chainladders or The Gully. We can decide on the route on the day. We set up camp next to the Tugela Falls and watch the sun set over South Africa.

Drakensberg Amphitheater Climb Summary: 

End: Tugela Falls Camp 3,090m / 10,137ft.

Elev gain: 700m / 2296 ft.

Time: 6 hours on average

Distance: About 6 km, 3.7 miles.

2

Day 2

After breakfast, we take a 2 hour stroll in a Southerly direction along the edge of the Amphitheatre escarpment returning to the campsite. We then pack up the camp and hike back down to start of the hike.

The trek down will take about 3 hours. Once we arrive back at the 4×4 we will take a slow drive back to Johannesburg finding somewhere local for lunch along the way. We aim to be back in Johannesburg by about 18H00.

Drakensberg Amphitheater Climb Summary : 

Base of Sentinel 2600m / 8530 ft.

Elev gain: 1200m / 3900 ft.

Elev loss: 600m/1968ft

Time: 3 hours on average.

Distance: About 6km, 3.7 miles

Pristine, unspoilt and secluded mountain scenery

Easiest hike to access the escarpment of the Drakensberg

We have an over 98% success rate on this route

Camp next to the second highest waterfall in the world, the Tugela Fall (947m/3100ft.)

Experience the solitude and wildness of the Drakensberg

5 star camping experience

INCLUDED

Return transfers Johannesburg to the start of the hike return
1Nights in camping in the mountains
All Drakensberg National Park gate fees, camping fees and climbing permits.
Rescue fees (Mountain Rescue Team)
Basic first aid kit
Qualified mountain guide, assistant guides, and cook
Salaries for mountain crew
Breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as hot drinks on the mountain
Camping equipment (tents, & sleeping mat)
Water for washing up daily
Dedicated Drakensberg Trip Planner
Certificate for your successful summit attempt
Local Taxes

NOT INCLUDED

Flights and airport taxes
Items of a personal nature
Tips for guides, porters and cook
Porters ( can be hired on a daily basis for an additional fee)
Visas for South Africa
Health requirements (if any)
Optional but highly recommended travel and medical insurance.
Personal hiking/trekking gear – you can rent some of the gear from us once in South Africa
Snacks, personal medicine and water purifying tablets
Meals & drinks not specified

Drakensberg FAQ

Drakensberg Amphitheatre slackpacking adventure tour_4

3 Day Drakensberg Slackpacking Adventure FAQ

3 Day Drakensberg Slackpacking Adventure Frequently Asked Questions What you need to know about the 3 day Slackpacking Adventure in the Northern Drakensberg The pick-up
Read more
Guided Drakensberg Hikes 3 Day Champagne Castle Hike_14

Drakensberg 3 Day Hike FAQ’s

What you need to know about a 3 day Drakensberg Hike The pick-up location for the tour? The pick-up location for the tour is “The
Read more
Guided Drakensberg Hike Champagne Castle_7 South Africa Adventures Guided Tours

Guided Drakensberg hiking tours from Johannesburg

Our guided Drakensberg hiking tours from Johannesburg South Africa Adventures are the leading tour company when it comes to guided Drakensberg hikes from Johannesburg. We
Read more
Your body at altitude by south africa adventures

Your body at altitude

What happens to your body at altitude?  So, you’ve made the decision to tackle some of the best travel adventures offered by South Africa Adventures?! Let’s
Read more
What to do in an emergency in the Drakensberg

How to Handle Emergencies in the Drakensberg

What to do if faced with an emergency in the Drakensberg  So you are looking at going on an epic hike in the Drakensberg but
Read more
What food to take on a Drakensberg Hike with South Africa Adventures

What food to take on a Drakensberg hike

What food to take on a Drakensberg hike - All you need to know One of the biggest questions we get asked- ‘what kind of
Read more
drakensberg hike fitness tips and advice

Drakensberg Hike Fitness

How fit do I need to be for a hike in the Drakensberg? Drakensberg Hike Fitness - not only is this one of the most
Read more
Drakensberg mountains tips to stay warm

5 tips for staying warm in the Drakensberg Mountains

5 tips for staying warm in the Drakensberg Mountains I have been around for 40 years and have been hiking in the Drakensberg mountains in
Read more
TRekking equipment for the Drakensberg

Trekking equipment for the Drakensberg Mountains

Our advice on trekking equipment for the Drakensberg Mountains Making sure you have packed the correct trekking equipment for the Drakensberg Mountains can sometimes be
Read more
Tips for hiking in the Drakensberg Mountains

Tips for hiking in the Drakensberg

Tips for hiking in the Drakensberg What to expect on a Drakensberg hike and how to prepare? A hike into the Drakensberg is not to
Read more
Luxury Drakensberg hiking Tour

Best time to hike Drakensberg

Best time to hike Drakensberg Hello!!! My name is Darren and I have been leading hiking tours into the Drakensberg for the past 10 years.
Read more

Why climb mountains?

A idiots guide to what I think and why I climb Mountains. Climbing big mountains basically has the human experience condensed into a very, very
Read more

Mountaineering Medical FAQ

Iron Deficient Anemia

Iron Deficient Anemia

Do you have Iron Deficient Anemia? Do you ever just have this overwhelming feeling all day, every day, that you have no energy?! Ever just sat
Read more
HACE explained by South Africa Adventures

When things go wrong – HACE

Today, we come to the end of our Altitude Sickness blogs. I hope by the end of this blog, you will know the ins and
Read more
High Altitude Pulmonary

When things go wrong - HAPE

Now, what happens when things go from bad to worse. What can you do? What can others do for you? How do you know it
Read more

Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)

Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) Explained  Over the last couple of weeks we have discussed all the changes that your body will go through and how
Read more
Preparation for high altitude trekking _Kilimanjaro safety tips and effects of high altitude

Preparation for high altitude trekking

Preparation for high altitude trekking advice from us to you! Last week we discussed the physiological changes your body will go through at high altitudes.
Read more
Your body at altitude by south africa adventures

Your body at altitude

What happens to your body at altitude?  So, you’ve made the decision to tackle some of the best travel adventures offered by South Africa Adventures?! Let’s
Read more
Drakensberg amphitheater hike with south africa adventures_1
Drakensberg amphitheater hike with south africa adventures_18
Drakensberg amphitheater hike with south africa adventures_17
Drakensberg amphitheater hike with south africa adventures_16
Drakensberg amphitheater hike with south africa adventures_15
Drakensberg amphitheater hike with south africa adventures_14
Drakensberg amphitheater hike with south africa adventures_13
Drakensberg amphitheater hike with south africa adventures_7
Drakensberg amphitheater hike with south africa adventures_8
Drakensberg amphitheater hike with south africa adventures_9
Drakensberg amphitheater hike with south africa adventures_10
Drakensberg amphitheater hike with south africa adventures_11
Drakensberg amphitheater hike with south africa adventures_12
Drakensberg amphitheater hike with south africa adventures_6
Drakensberg amphitheater hike with south africa adventures_5
Drakensberg amphitheater hike with south africa adventures_4
Drakensberg amphitheater hike with south africa adventures_3
Drakensberg amphitheater hike with south africa adventures_2
Hike the drakensberg amphitheater_13
Hike the drakensberg amphitheater_12
Hike the drakensberg amphitheater_11
Hike the drakensberg amphitheater_10
Hike the drakensberg amphitheater_9
Hike the drakensberg amphitheater_8
Hike the drakensberg amphitheater_7
Hike the drakensberg amphitheater_6
Hike the drakensberg amphitheater_5
Hike the drakensberg amphitheater_4
Hike the drakensberg amphitheater_3
Hike the drakensberg amphitheater_2
Hike the drakensberg amphitheater_1

Tour Reviews

5.00 based on 4 reviews
October 19, 2016

Excellent experience hiking with South Africa Adventures.

October 23, 2016

What spectacular views from the top of the escarpment! This trip is definitely worthwhile and well within the capabilities of most people.

October 31, 2016

The Drakensberg is one of the most magical places I have ever seen!!! Hiking with South Africa Adventures was what made our tour that much special. Myself and my wife were treated like gold and the motivation and support was truly appreciated. Thankyou Darren and your team!!!

November 3, 2016

Outstanding service. The team at south africa adventures have got an infectious passion for the drakensberg. I felt safe and they were incredible at motivating us to the summit. Book a hike with these guys. You wont be dissapointed

Leave a Review

Rating