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“Majestical Mountains”

Amphitheatre Chain Ladders
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Reviewed 13 September 2016 via mobile

There is a lot that can be said about the beauty of the Drakensberg, but unfortunately the only way to truly know it is to see it for yourself in person.
The chain ladders from the Sentinel car park offers a easier way up to the top of the mountain, that makes it great for people who dare to explore nature.
A round trip hike from the car park to the top at Tugela waterfall (2nd highest waterfall in the world) and back can be done within a day. Although if you are not experienced or fit hiker have an earlier start.
The chain ladders might look or seem daunting to climb, but worth it when you get to the top.
If you are brave enough to camp overnight on top next to the Tugela steam you will be rewarded by an awesome sunrise in the morning, with spectacular views.
It's an experience of a lifetime.

Thank Shamanjustin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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22 - 26 of 33 reviews

Reviewed 5 September 2016

quite a long bumpy ride up from witsiehowk lodge although they are currently working on road improvements.
quite a long walk in to reach the chain ladders with a few slightly difficult sections to traverse.
reached base of ladders after about 3 hour walk but unable to climb the ladders because of the high winds. base section of ladders slightly sheltered but as soon as started climbing could feel the wind and guide deemed it unsafe for group to climb ladders

Thank cannytraveller2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 August 2016

There are two options for hiking to the top of Tugela Falls: either via the gully or via the chain ladders. Use the chain ladders as the gully is steep with loose rocks - it is significantly more dangerous.

Thank aidandaniel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 July 2016

This is not for those with vertigo, but if you can bring yourself to climb the two ladders, the view on top is more than enough of a reward. This is one of those places that one wishes everybody can experience, because photos do not comprehend the fantastic views.

Thank Pinky2011_4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 4 June 2016

We only did one hike in the Drakensberg area, but we could not have been any happier with the one we chose. When you get to the top of the amphitheatre you see wast distances into Kwazulu Natal and Free State. It is amazing to stand at the edge of the great plateau. All of a sudden you are no longer looking up at the Drakensbergs, you are in them. We are in our mid twenties and did the walk up the gully and down the chain ladders in less than five hours. We had a few questions before we went on the hike, and we did not find answers to all of them before the hike, so here are the answers to the questions we had before the hike:
- The chain ladders are safe, but falling of them are far from safe (the highest one is probably more than 10 meters high). They could have been rigged as a via feratta in Europe.
- It is safer and absolutely possible to walk up and down "the gully". However it is very steep and we found it to be a little strenuous. When you see "the gully" you will know it. The gully will be visible to the left along the path. A few meters up you will also find a wooden pole, but up through the gully you will not find additional marking apart from the path itself.
- We found the transfer from the transfer from the Witsieshoek Mountain Lodge to the Sentinel car park well worth it (R110 pp) and were happy that we did not try to drive our two wheel rental car there.
- Before we travelled we read that one had to register to do the hike. This is not something you have to worry about. This is something you do at the Sentinel car park. You will also have to pay a small fee there (less than R50).
- You do not really need a map in clear weather. If you really want to know where you are and your progress, I can recommend the app maps.me (free). The map of South Africa is not perfect, but the section covering this path is surprisingly good. It shows the two different routes to the waterfall (which is not very exiting on its own) in addition to a viewpoint which there also is a signpost to along the trail. It is a short detour which is well worth it.

1  Thank ultimatedotvoyage
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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