Tugela Falls

TomassoRizzi's picture


Royal Natal National Park
South Africa
28° 45' 8.208" S, 28° 53' 39.588" E
General info: 

Tugela Falls is the world's second highest waterfall after the Angel Falls in Venezuela. The Tugela River makes a series of five consecutive leaps down the amphitheater wall in the high Drakensberg Mountains. The total drop of the free-leaping falls is 948 m (3,110 ft).

The falls is extremely high but to be frank, it is not among the strongest waterfalls. The water that collects on the rather flat surface of Mont Aux Sources flows mostly either west or north. Only a small portion of the water flows east, and this accounts for several very tall, but meager waterfalls, Tugela being the largest. It is really only after the rain periods, when Tugela flows well. But when it does flow, it is really impressive.

In the dry summer months, don´t count flow to exist.

Getting there: 

There are two trails to the Tugela Falls. The most spectacular trail is to the top of Mount-Aux-Sources, which starts at the Sentinel car park. The car park is approximately 90 minutes drive from Harrismith via the R712. (driving through Phuthaditjhaba on the R57). From the park it is a relatively easy climb to the top of the Amphitheatre, however it does take about 4.5 to 8 hours round trip depending on fitness level. Access to the summit is via two chain ladders. This is the only day hiking trail which leads to the top of the Drakensberg escarpment.

Another trail to the foot of the Tugela Falls starts at Royal Natal National Park. The easy 7 km (4.3 mi) gradient up the Tugela Gorge winds though indigenous forests. The last part of the hike to the Tugela Falls is a boulder hop. A little chain ladder leads over the final stretch for a view of the falls rushing down the amphitheater in a series of five cascades.


There is an entrance fee to the Royal Natal National Park and a nominal fee to hike the mountain.

You might be interested in

Valkiajärvi is popular among scuba divers due to the very good visibility and lively lake life. The visibility is typically over 10 meters and can be up to 30 meters on the best days.

Located in Hollola, Kiikunlähde is a rare sight in Finnish nature, a turquoise lake! It is 400m long and 100m wide and all of the water comes from the springs in the bottom.

Nature might not be the first thing that comes into your mind when thinking about Hong Kong. However very close to the city you can experience Hong Kong in a whole different way.

The Everglades National Park is one of the largest wilderness areas in the United States. It stretches over the area of more than 1.5 million acres and is one of the most popular destinations in Florida.

The astonishingly vertical cliffs of the Alabaster Coast are most picturesque in the small town of Etretat. The cliffs are up to 70m high and create a perfect contrast with the plateau of the Pays de Caux above the cliffs.

The Trango Towers is a group of tall granite spikes located in northern Pakistan. The Towers offer some of the largest cliffs and most challenging rock climbing in the world.

Interesting places nearby

Soweto (South Western Townships) is an urban area of the city of Johannesburg bordering the city's mining belt in the south.

The Satyagraha House, commonly known as Gandhi House, is a museum and guest house that belonged to Mahatma Gandhi: he lived and worked there between 1908 and 1909. It is registered as part of Johannesburg's historical heritage.

The Lion Park is a lion wildlife conservation enclosure in Gauteng province in South Africa.

The Apartheid Museum is a museum complex in Johannesburg dedicated to illustrating apartheid and the 20th century history of South Africa. Opened in 2001, it was the first of its kind, showing the rise and fall of apartheid.