ROYAL NATAL NATIONAL PARK
Royal Natal National Park also know as the Maloti Drakensberg Park – Royal Natal Park is located in the north of the Drakensberg and is one of the most popular places to visit the Drakensberg. The attraction is the Amphitheater, a special basalt formation about 5 kilometers long and 1500 meters high.
Here you will also find the second highest waterfall in the world: The Tugela waterfall. This is 947 meters “long”.
HIKING IN THE ROYAL NATAL PARK
The Royal Natal Park is a popular place for walking. There are many hikes, varying in length and difficulty. A number of hikes are only reserved for the adventurous among us because then you have to scramble, climb and even use rope ladders to complete the route.
Some of the routes are also not always passable. This depends on the weather and the rain that fell in the days before.
Royal Natal National Park visitors center
At the Vistors Center you can get a map with walks and estimated walking times. You can also inquire here which routes are passable that day. The most popular route is the route to the Tugela waterfall.
There are two options. The first option is to follow the Tugela Gorge Trail from the Gorge Car Park. This route is in total (so if you also return to the starting point) approximately 14 kilometers long and you need at least 6 hours to complete it.
You will see the waterfall from the bottom. The last part is tough and you will also have to use a rope ladder on the way. The second option is to hike to the top, Mount-Aux-Sources, of the waterfall.
Hiking in the park
This route starts at the Sentinel Car Park at Witsieshoek. This walk is also about 14 kilometers back and forth and here too you will have to work with rope ladders. The walking time will be 6 to 7 hours.
Of course there are also shorter routes. From the Day Visitors Car Park you can do some nice short walking routes. The easiest is a 3 mile walk to and from the Cascades. A longer route is via the Cascades to the Tiger Falls (6 kilometers / 3 hours).
If you have more energy, you can continue hiking to Gudu Falls. This route is approximately 9 kilometers and the estimated walking time is 4 hours and 50 minutes.
We have walked this route. The start is quite steep and Gudu Falls can only be reached via a hiking trail in the woods. This path is quite tough. When you have reached the Gudu Falls you have to turn around again and continue on the main hiking trail.
You are required to register in the “hiking register”. Here you not only leave data but also indicate which route you intend to do, whether you have a first aid kit, etc.
The rule is that you will have to undertake a walk with at least 3 people for safety reasons. In practice, however, this is not carefully checked, but weigh for yourself whether you dare to do this. Keep in mind that you will often have no coverage on your mobile phone while on the road.
There are no facilities in the park so you would do well to travel to the park with a well-stocked backpack. The entrance to the park (without car) is 40 Rand.
Guided tours. Interested in an South Africa holiday and visit Royal Natal. We have lots of short and long holidays where you will be visiting this amazing place. Learn more
Want to do a guided tour with a Dutch guide. Learn more
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