Tours and Tickets
Drakensberg Amphitheater Day Hike - Tugela Falls and Chain Ladders - 8 hours

Drakensberg Amphitheater Day Hike - Tugela Falls and Chain Ladders - 8 hours

By GoVertical Mountaineering & Trekking
Leaving the Sentinel car park, we follow the footpath past the mighty Sentinel 3165m – the highest free standing peak in the Northern Drakensberg - contouring our way to the base of the chain ladders. We use these iron ladders to gain access to the Mont-Aux-Sources Plateau. The plateau is the source of many of South Africa’s rivers including the Tugela which winds its way down to the Indian Ocean near Durban. The escarpment is about 3000m above sea level, with the steep walls, great valleys and pinnacles facing roughly east and the Lesotho Highlands filling the horizon to the west. From the edge of the Drakensberg, you will have spectacular views of the Amphitheater, the Sentinel & the Tugela falls disappearing into the vast valleys below as well as the peaks that make up this awesome world heritage site. Distance 16km Duration of Walk 8 hours. Lunch on the Amphitheater, weather permitting.

Ages 12-70, max of 6 per group
Duration: 8h
Start time: Check availability
Mobile ticket
Live guide: English

  • Lunch
  • Safety gear for ascending/ descending the Chain Ladders
  • 4x4 Transfer from the lodge to the trail head and return
  • National Park entrance fees
  • Entry/Admission - Tugela Falls
  • Entry/Admission - Amphitheatre Chain Ladders

  • Witsieshoek Mountain Lodge, End of R57, Phuthaditjhaba, 9870, South Africa
    Meet at the lodge reception. We will return to the lodge in the early afternoon.
End:This activity ends back at the meeting point.

    • Not wheelchair accessible
    If you have questions about accessibility, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 69055P7

    • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
    • Not recommended for travellers with back problems
    • Not recommended for pregnant travellers
    • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
    • Travellers should have a moderate physical fitness level
    • This experience requires good weather. If it’s cancelled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
    • This experience requires a minimum number of travellers. If it’s cancelled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund
    • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 6 travellers

    • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

    If you have questions about this tour or need help making your booking, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 69055P7

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    • You'll start at
      Witsieshoek Mountain Lodge
      End of R57, Phuthaditjhaba, 9870, South Africa
      Meet at the lodge reception. We will return to the lodge in the early afternoon.
      See address & details
    • 1
      UKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park
      Stop: 30 minutes
      See details
    • 2
      Tugela Falls
      Stop: 30 minutes - Admission included
      See details
    • You'll return to the starting point
    About the operator
    Don’t take it from us – here’s what people have to say about this operator:
    • Journey38239186071
      0 contributions
      Guide was a no-show!!!
      We arrived 20mins early and waited 15minutes past the allotted time for the guide who never showed. Neither of the provided contact numbers worked. I requested a refund and this too had not received any response. Just walk the trails without a guide. Not worth the money.
      Written 3 January 2022
    • Leenamt
      0 contributions
      Great hikes in the Northern Drakensberg
      Otto from GoVertical took us to three different day hikes in the Northern Drakensberg in Kwazulu-Natal.We had a splendid time and he took good care of us - his couscous salad at the rocks under Tugela falls was the best picnic lunch we've had. We did the Chain ladder hike, the Tugela Valley hike and the Mudslide-crack hike( which was quite a fun hike we wouldn't have dared doing on our own). The hikes and scenery exceeded our expectations, and we were really satisfied to have taken a guide as everything was so easy for us.
      Written 3 January 2020
    • JonathanS5689
      0 contributions
      4-Day Mafadi Hike
      Recently hiked up to Mafadi (4d/3n) as a solo traveler with Gerhard Lamprecht as my guide. This was my first visit to the Drakensberg and I booked rather short notice but everything worked out perfectly, and Gina answered all the questions I had prior to the hike. I met up with Gerhard at the Injisuthi car park on day 1 and immediately felt I was in good hands. Gerhard is not only an experienced and knowledgeable guide, he is also friendly and engaging which made for a great experience throughout the 4 days spent hiking together. I had arranged to hire some equipment (tent, sleeping bag) and all items were in good condition. Gerhard organized all the meals and everything was delicious and just what you need to fuel up for the long days. Given the lack of rain recently in the Berg, water supply was an issue but Gerhard's planning was impeccable and we never ran out of water. We were lucky with the weather and got to experience the Berg in full sunshine and clear starry skies. Altogether a unique and very rewarding climb up to Mafadi made possible thanks to Gerhard and the GoVertical team.
      Written 1 November 2019
    • Resort776783
      0 contributions
      4-day Cape Peninsular Hike
      Just did a 4-day hike with GoVertical. Wasn't sure how it would turn out at first but it was wonderful! Great walks with beautiful scenery. I had two good guides - Kyle for one day and Keith for the other 3 days. A great way to enjoy Cape Town and its surroundings from a different perspective. Highly recommended.
      Written 8 May 2019
    • Judith H
      0 contributions
      Excellent guided walk
      Really enjoyed a day with Garth walking the Robberg peninsular. He pointed out lots of points of interest that we would have missed and guided us safely around stunning scenery. We are both experienced walkers and had to do a bit of scrambling which I found challenging - I'm a nervous middle aged woman but Garth was patient and encouraging. He also provided a delicious lunch. Would highly recommend this activity.
      Written 3 May 2017
    • hikingenthusiast2016
      0 contributions
      Great guiding on a wonderful Tsitsikamma Trail
      We're a middle-aged fit couple who were delighted by both the beauty and variety of the Tsitsikamma Trail which starts on a magnificent Indian Ocean beach and extends over five days into the mountain area overlooking the ocean, through a beautiful unique landscape of "fynbos" (gorgeous varied heathers and hardwoods). The hiking is manageable for fit folk. But the highlight for us was the quality of the guiding by Garth Oldacre, one of the two owners of GoVertical. Garth, though quiet, brought a wealth of knowledge, expertise, observation to our experience of the trail -- the flora, the fauna, the geology, the ecosystem -- drawing our attention to things we would never have noticed. And he is an excellent cook and provided three delicious meals a day. We have hiked all over the world and would highly recommend this one to anyone.
      Written 23 April 2016
    • travelandtrek
      0 contributions
      Outstanding guide, great trek
      We were fortunate to hike the beautiful Tsitsikamma Trail with Garth at the beginning of South African autumn. The hike itself is beautiful, with so much to see, learn and enjoy. We're experienced older hikers, and Garth was among the best guides we've worked with. He is passionate about South Africa's wild world, possesses exceptional knowledge of flora and fauna and understands how to be helpful without being intrusive. I cannot recommend his company and services highly enough.
      Written 23 April 2016
    • Sybille2901
      0 contributions
      Hiking the Tsitsikamma Trail
      I set out to hike the Tsitsikamma Trail with Garth but, after the second day we were evacuated from the Trail due to a bushfire not too far away and, unpredictable regarding where it would go in the next days. We were driven to the second last hut and thus, could walk the last section of the Trail. But now we were 2 days ahead of schedule. Garth handled this really perfectly. He came up with two additional day hikes. We went from Nature Valley to the Salt Water River and did another really nice hike near Harkerville / Kranshook - both hikes with fantastic views along the rugged coast line - definitely making up for the shortened Tsitsikamma Trail.
      Written 17 February 2016
    • Donna H
      0 contributions
      Drakensberg traverse
      We booked GoVertical months prior to our fantastic South African adventure for a 6 day traverse of the Drakensbergs. We had extra days following (a great day hike to local pictographs was arranged!) and required shuttles to and from Durban and Lee-Anne coordinated all of this perfectly! This provided us with a wonderful adventure of a lifetime but without any details to worry was awesome! Garth was a great guide throughout our trek! We were led to wonderful campsites, shown fantastic views, had delicious wholesome food cooked for us , provided much information about flora and fauna, and generally given the passion he has for this area! It was truly one of the best treks I have ever done and I would wholeheartedly recommend GoVertical Mountaineering Adventures!
      Written 10 December 2014
    • StacaRaca
      0 contributions
      Perfect Adventure
      We booked our two day adventure from Australia and found the correspondence and booking process smooth and informative. First day was a hike in the Outeniqua Mountains followed by a lovely stay at Candlewood lodge (booked by GV and included). Second day was a beach walk and canoe around Knysna. Great personal touch from a family business and felt valued as a customer. The guide (Garth) was very knowledgeable and felt comfortable with his experience and preparation. We had a fabulous time! We were collected and dropped to our accommodation and the lunch provided was all home made, lamb ciabatta and chococinno, YUM! We will be recommending them to family and friends and would book again. Thanks Lee-anne and Garth :)
      Written 3 January 2014
    • KateMaclean
      0 contributions
      Very disappointing
      I booked two spaces to go Kloofing in December and was very disappointed in the service received. We planned our holiday from the UK to South Africa at the start of 2012 and I have always wanted to go Kloofing (cannoning) so decided to plan ahead and book in early to ensure we could go Kloofing in Knysna in the busy December period. I booked in March 2012 and also contacted GoVertical a couple of weeks before to ensure all was ok with booking and was informed it was. However the day before we were due to go Kloofing we contacted GoVertical to get directions from out accommodation in Knysna and was first told that they did not have our booking and were later told that Kloofing had been cancelled due to health and safety failures. We were very disappointed by this. They were very unhelpful and didn’t seem to care that they had let us down. We were able to book Kloofing last minute with Eden Adventures in Wilderness who were very professional and we had a great day out.
      Written 14 January 2013
    • Gina G
      0 contributions
      Stunning Canoe trail and Beach walk, a great way to explore Knysna!
      This was the highlight of our 4 day stay in Knysna, it was a superb way to escape the holiday frenzy in the town of Knysna itself during December. We did Go Vertical's Full Day Knysna Adventure Trail which is a combination of Canoeing and then a Beach walk. They provide all the life jackets, a waterproof bag for your car keys, camera etc. Our guide Garth gave us a safety briefing before we started and then the group started the paddle the Jetty where we'd parked. The kids loved the canoeing, the boats are sit on tops, really easy to paddle and you don't feel like you're going to fall out. We paddled towards the heads first it was really beautiful, the kids had a ball on the small waves at Leisure Isle. For us it was great to be out on the water, we saw quite a few birds, fish etc our guide told us all about the lagoon, I must admit, we were having too much fun and I can't remeber the details.He did say that if you're a keen bird watcher the full day canoeing trip (they offer different trips) it the best. We finished paddling and got off at Brenton (the otherside of the Lagoon) where Garth said we'll take a 'short walk to the top of the hill' so we'll have a view with our lunch. That short walk is quite stiff! Took quite a bit of puffing, but the views worth it and that's how we got to the beach. We were apparently lucky with the tides so after lunch which was sandwiches (not the run of the mill though, nice bread, salad, decent cheese, amazing iced choccocino - a coco and coffee combo, snack bars) we went down some steep stairs called fishermans walk and onto the 'hidden beaches'. We didn't even know about Brenton beach, let alone these beautiful coves, caves and gorgeous mini beaches. The tide was low so we spent some time looking at the rock pools. This was really really beautiful. We then headed onto the main section of the beach, stopped for a swim and walked at a really relaxed pace to Buffalo Bay. Amazing experience, we ended the tour with coldrinks and beers and then Garth transported us back to our car in Knysna. All in all this was a stunning experience, Garth our guide was great, the food was good and well, the scenery is spectacular. I can only recommend this trip. Be aware, the next day you'll feel that canoe trip in your arms! We booked about 2 weeks before the trail, we found them on the net, but you can book by phoning them the day before. They cater for vegetarian's which was great for us, the lunch was a treat and you can't believe how hungry you get. You need to take beach wear and a pair of shoes to walk up the hill in,e.g. trainers Sunblock, a hat and sun glasses are an absolute must. You're given a bottle of water, but I'd take extra, it's thirsty work. There are other canoing options available, full day, half day and I recon the sunset paddle must be great, but I think the option we chose was the best. Only thing I regret is we didn't take a camera........
      Written 12 January 2012
    • Lee007_12
      0 contributions
      Best day out of our holiday
      This is a very professional company who run exciting and safe excursions that are great for the whole family. As a family with one young child and two teenagers we were all catered for exceptionally well. The guide was extremely knowledgeable and pointed out many interesting pieces of fauna and flora along our route, I would use them again on our next trip into the Knysna area.
      Written 12 January 2012
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    Drakensberg Amphitheater Day Hike - Tugela Falls and Chain Ladders - 8 hours provided by GoVertical Mountaineering & Trekking