VIDEO: Hiking the Amphitheatre in Drakensberg

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When the opportunity came to hike up one of the most impressive cliff faces on earth we seized the opportunity. The Amphitheatre, an impressive geographical feature of Northern Drakensberg, dwarfs Yosemite’s famous El Capitan by being more than ten times its size! The 5-6 hour hike (including return trip) would be classified as lower-intermediate from my point of view. Many parts of the hike are beginner level; however, certain aspects including parts of the path not being well-defined, having to ascend and/or descent 21 meter chain ladders and a few rougher patches add a layer of challenge. We made it as far as the chain ladders before our ‘fear of heights’ rendered us having a quiet lunch while the rest of the group continued on. Had we made it to the top we would have been able to witness the magnificent Tugela Falls. Sometimes it is good to push through your comfort zone; however, it is equally important to realize when something just isn’t a good fit. In the end we were content we stopped where we did.

Video Script:

Alright, so this morning we are in Drakensberg. That means the dragon’s mountain. And we’re going to be doing a bit of a hike on a stretch that is called the Amphitheatre. And yeah, the Drakensberg are actually the border between South Africa and Lesotho. So that is a pretty cool little fact. We’ve been told to prepare for any kind of weather. It could be sunny. It could be rainy. It could be snowing any minute. So we’re ready for some adventure. Let’s go hiking!

I’ve really been enjoying the views so far. I would classify this as a lower-intermediate hike. It is not for people who really have a fear of heights. There are some vertical parts where you have to go up ladders and down ladders. And that part would be a deal breaker for some people. But as far as the views and just the actual hike itself it is really enjoyable.

So this is actually one of the ladders that you have to climb down on the way back. And I believe there are two sets of ladders to deal with. So something to consider if you are afraid of heights. We’ve actually decided to just stay back and enjoy a very relaxed lunch because neither Sam nor I enjoy heights and this was making us a little bit nervous. But everyone else was very adventurous, very brave so you can give it a try if you come out here.

Okay, so now it is time for lunch. Woo!

Alright, so we are coming to the end of our hike here in Drakensberg. And even though we didn’t reach the top it was still an incredible trip. Like it was so scenic, so beautiful, so I’m glad we came. And if you find yourself traveling through South Africa definitely consider this region.

Hiking the Amphitheatre in Drakensberg, South Africa

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