Drakensberg Weekend Adventure- Tugela Gorge




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Tour Details:

Destination:                            Thendele Camp

Type of Tour :                         Self-Drive

Accommodation Type:      Self Catering

About the Drakensberg/Maluti

One of the most interesting facts about the Drakensberg/Maluti is that it spreads across two Southern African countries-namely South Africa and Lesotho. Home to Southern Africa’s highest peak- Thabana Ntlenyana (Maluti) stands at the height of 3482 meters above sea level.  The Drakensberg escarpment stretches for over 1000 kilometres from the Eastern Cape Provinces in the South to the Free State in the North, with Kwazulu Natal in the middle.  It forms the border between Lesotho and the Eastern Cape and the border between Lesotho and KZN. Thereafter it forms the border between KZN and the Free-State.

Exploring this mountain range is an epic adventure for those interested in taking on Southern Africa’s Highest mountain range. You will be exposed to peaks and valleys that you will never find anywhere else in the region. Tugela Falls (world’s second highest waterfall) originates from one of the notable peaks of this range- Mount Aux-Sources.

The Drakensberg can be climbed through various routes and each route gives a climber a different perspective of this diverse mountain range.

Tugela Gorge

The hike up to the Tugela Gorge to the base of the Amphitheatre is a Drakensberg favourite. It’s a long walk but is relatively flat, so it’s not very strenuous and the views are absolutely breath-taking. (the summit being over 3,050 meters (10,000 ft.) above sea level—with Mont-Aux-Sources just over 3,254 meters (11,000 ft.) above sea level).

Expedition Route

Start:                       Thendele Camp- Northern Drakensberg

Finish:                     Thendele Camp

Duration:                14 kms- 7 hour ( includes rests and lunch)

Description of Route:

There are several ways to get onto the path to the gorge but the easiest is from the car park just below Thendele camp, in Royal Natal National Park. Walk past the ablution block onto a path that eventually cuts through a patch of indigenous bush. Just beyond the bush, about a kilometer from the start, turn left onto a path that crosses a bridge over the Vemvaan River, from where you have a stunning view of the dramatically eroded sandstone pillar known as the Policeman’s Helmet. The path cuts back towards the Tugela River and contours above it, meandering in and out of lush forests and protea veld at a gradual gradient.

After about six kilometres, the trail descends into the Tugela River and the start of the gorge section, with its wonderful rock pools and beautiful curved walls. Carry on walking along the path on the right bank through the indigenous forest for a short distance, passing several large and very tempting crystal-clear rock pools, until you literally pop out into the river bed.


Day 1

  • Arrive at Thendele Camp ( Northern Drakensberg)
  • Upon arrival at the lodge – check in and prepare for an interesting day ahead.

Day 2

  • After a quick breakfast, head to the Tugela Gorge.
  • Upon arrival at the gorge you will have an opportunity to relax , explore the gorge and swim in the natural tidal pools.
  • After lunch and resting we make our way back to the lodge for a relaxing evening and dinner.

Day 3

  • Nice breakfast
  • A short hike to Gudu Falls
  • Check-out at the lodge and head back home

Tour Package

R2 850.00 per person sharing


  • Self-Catering Accommodation at Thendele Camp- shared by members of the same household or friends.
  • Lunch on the mountain
  • Mountain Guide fees
  • Park Entrance fees


  • Transport
  • Meals
  • Beverages- alcoholic and non-alcoholic
  • Any items of a personal nature

Payment Plan

  • Cash or;
  • A R900.00 deposit secures your booking and the balance is payable in instalments.


COVID 19 Health and Safety Measures

The following Health and Safety Measures will apply during the tour:

  1. Compulsory Requirements

Any person joining the tour will be required to bring and wear a Face mask or face covering cloth and personal hand sanitisers, although additional sanitisers will be provided for communal use.

Furthermore, a compulsory daily temperature checks may be conducted.

  1. Accommodation and Sleeping Arrangements

Rooms / tents can only be shared with members of the same household or friends, so an additional single supplement may have to apply for solo travellers as prices are normally based on twin-sharing. Please enquire ahead of booking as some flexibility may be possible from the hotels.

  1. Social Distancing and/or Face Mask Requirements during the tour

We will be changing the way we operate slightly with social distancing in place while on tour.

  • Keeping members of the same household together;
  • Reduced group sizes;
  • Reduced passengers in shared transport;
  • Face masks worn at all sometimes.
  1. Additional Hygiene measures to ensure your safety during the tour

We are required to ask anyone joining the trip if they have shown any COVID-19 symptoms the week of and the day before the trip starts. If you have any symptoms or have had contact with a person with symptoms you will not be allowed to join the trip.

Recommended Gear

The weather in the mountains changes very often. In fact, you could move from misty to sunny, rainy, windy and then winter within a space of an hour. This makes your choice of clothing and gear very important.

  • 25 liter daypack;
  • Dry season clothing- breathable or cotton T-shirt, comfortable tracksuit pants, hiking pants or tights for females.
  • Suitable walking/hiking footwear (running shoes are a perfect alternative);
  • Long-sleeved protective clothing/jacket;
  • Sunglasses;
  • Rainwear or waterproof ponchos;
  • Hat/cap;
  • Sunscreen;
  • Camera;
  • At least two liters of water per person (water bottles to be refilled at the way);
  • Electrolytes tabs for energy;
  • Favorite snacks


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