Drakensberg Amphitheatre Hike

The Amphitheatre hike is certainly one of my favourite hikes in the Drakensberg Mountains. It's scenic, it's short, and it’s relatively easy compared to other hikes in the berg.

The hike is only 14km long with a big portion of the terrain being somewhat flat, so it can easily be done in a day, although I prefer to spend the night on top as it is more rewarding. When I say rewarding, I mean getting to see thousands of stars light up the night sky, and then when morning comes around, you get to witness one of the most epic sunrises imaginable with a delicious cup of coffee.

Mornings on top of the escarpment can be mind-blowing, especially when you’re sitting on the edge of the cliff staring down into the lower valleys, or even better, looking down onto a sea of clouds while the golden rays of the first light of day start to hit the escarpment wall.

This hike may not be as remote as the other hikes in the berg, but it is just as beautiful and it has two things that the others don’t. Firstly, the infamous chain ladders, if that doesn’t give you a sense of accomplishment with a tad of adrenaline then nothing will, but if that doesn’t tickle your fancy then there is an option to walk up the gully instead which also offers a different perspective of the Amphitheatre.

Secondly, Tugela Falls - the second longest waterfall in the world. Not only is it an amazing sight, but the water is also very tasty. Summer is the best season to visit the falls because that is when it flows at its highest, and trust me you don’t want to miss out on that.

Not sure what to pack? Get the comprehensive kit list for winter day hikes here.

Need to Know:




Moderate to Difficult

Permit Needed

Yes, included in entry fee


+- 14km

Elevation Gain

+- 3,000m (depending on route chosen)

GPS coordinates

28.7594° S, 28.9122° E
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