Tugela Falls is the very best waterfall in Africa at a 950m drop. Located within the Drakensberg of Royal Natal Nationwide Park in KwaZulu-Natal, this climbing path isn’t any youngster’s play. On a very good day.
Adventurer Matt Cressy and his merry band of travellers determined to deal with this route – within the snow.
‘I had seen that snow was forecasted the complete week, nevertheless, on Friday night time it modified and appeared we have been solely in for a cloudy, moist day,’ mentioned Matt. All of us agreed to proceed with our hike, whatever the forecasted unpleasantries and arrived at a cool -3 diploma Sentinel automobile park with freezing rain. We layered up, raincoats on, and started our hike.
Beginning out, the group encountered excessive chilly and sleet. ‘The sleet then turned to snow and the interior youngster spirits have been unleashed amongst us, with a number of of us seeing snow for the primary time,’ he provides. ‘Quickly, the trail was coated in a white blanket and as we made our method in the direction of the chain ladders, some jaws dropped in awe and the joy was placed on pause. “Are we actually climbing that 40m dodgy ladder?” one in every of us innocently requested.’ Certainly, they did.
‘A scramble to the highest and we have been on prime of the Amphitheatre the place all we noticed was white. After a few pictures and all of us putting the necessary stone on the established cairn; we made our method alongside the river to the mighty Tugela Falls; a flat 3km trek from the ladders, leaving some snow angels alongside the best way. Sadly, there was a big build-up of cloud and the total Cathedral Valley couldn’t be seen, however the Falls are all the time a spectacular sight being the second highest waterfall on the planet.
‘We took some pics, acquired into the freezing rock swimming pools for a fast sensory test, and made our method again. There are two routes onto the Amphitheatre; one being the chain ladders and the opposite being a VERY steep gully,’ he continues.
The gully is much more bodily demanding, each up and down, however nonetheless the higher choice for individuals who have a concern of heights. ‘A implausible leg-burning climb to the highest and we noticed a critically suspect gully full of snow, an honest stream working down and numerous moist rocks. All of us agreed it will be a lot better doing that than the ladders backwards and determined to rigorously descend, paying further consideration to the place we stood and checking for any free rocks earlier than we stood on them.
The hike is about 14km out and again with 650m elevation acquire. Matt’s group accomplished the hike in 6 hours at an off-the-cuff tempo with numerous breaks.
‘To date, this must be one in every of my favorite hikes however there’s the complete Drakensberg that also wants exploring,’ Matt concluded.
Footage: Matt Cressy & Angela Cilliers