Drakensberg Amphitheater Trek - 3 Days


Activity Description

The spectacular Amphitheater escarpment towers above Kwa Zulu Natal at 3000m above sea level, with the steep walls, great valleys and pinnacles facing roughly East and the Lesotho Highlands filling the horizon to the West. From the edge of the Drakensberg, you will have spectacular views of the Amphitheater, the Sentinel & the Tugela falls disappearing into the vast valleys below as well as the peaks that make up this awesome world heritage site.

If luck is with us, we will be able to see the endangered Bearded Vulture, Jackal buzzards, Mountain Rhebuck and perhaps some baboons. This sensitive and pristine wilderness area is an absolute must in the Drakensberg.

A scenic 3 day and 2 nights Circular Trek on the Escarpment incorporating the summit of the Highest point in the Northern Drakensberg – Mont-aux-Sources

Day 1
Meet at the Witsieshoek Mountain Lodge so that we can start at 08h30 and then transfer up to the Car Par. Leaving the Sentinel car park, we head up to the Mont-Aux-Sources-Plateau, climbing the famous chain ladders to get there. We set up camp along the bank of the Elands River, you can relax while your guide prepares dinner for you to enjoy with awesome views of the sunset over the Maluti Mountains.
Distance is 8 km approximately 4 hours altitude gain of about 450m to the Escarpment which is about 3100m, these distances and times are approximate and once at camp there are multiple options to take pack off hikes to enjoy the views.

Day 2
We climb (non technical) to the highest point on the Northern Drakensberg Escarpment, Mont-Aux-Sources 3282m with it’s commanding views of the Amphitheater and the plateau riddled with streams far below. The plateau is the source of many of South Africa’s rivers including the Tugela which winds its way down to the Indian ocean near Durban.
We descend and make our way to our second night’s camp on the Amphitheater near Mt Amery and Ribbon Falls, close to Devil’s Tooth.
Distance is 12 km 6 hours highest point 3282m and camp is on the escarpment at about 3100m

Day 3
After breakfast we break camp and trek towards to the Famous Tugela Falls and the magnificent views of the Amphitheater and Devil’s Tooth. On our descent to the Car park we follow the Tugela River towards its source and pass the imposing Sentinel Peak. Depart from car park in the afternoon.
Distance is 8 km 4+ hours
NB, This trek is flexible and the distances and times can be extended or shortened as necessary.


ProviderGoVertical Mountaineering & Trekking
DurationOpen Ended
WhenAll year round
WhereWitsieshoek Mountain Lodge Reception. GPS Co ordinates -28.6855, 28.8986
WeatherAll weather
What to WearPlease see kit list
Things to BringKIT LIST: ABSOLUTE ESSENTIALS – We will not proceed with the trek unless you have all of the absolute essentials. • Back Pack MINIMUM 75 liters, must have waist belt ** Available for hire see below • Tent light weight mountaineering tent ** Available for hire see below. If you are using your own tent please let us know what make and model it is. We would like to ensure its suitability. • Sleeping bag sub-zero -8 recommended (it can get cold even in summer) ** Available for hire see below • Sleeping mat – foam or Thermarest - We include foam rubber mats • Waterproof outer shell • Light weight waterproof rain pants • Hiking boots & socks ESSENTIALS • Water bottle 1 – 1.5 liters • Changes of clothing- layering is best with a good fleece for warmth • Gloves • Beanie/ Balaclava • Towel • Sun block • Sun glasses • Sun hat/ Cap • Toiletries (eco friendly) • Toilet paper • Torch + batteries, preferably headlamp OPTIONAL • Personal first aid eg plasters, deep heat, headache tablets, medication etc • Personal Energy sweets and drinks • Hiking staff • Camera AVAILABLE FOR RENTAL • 3 season 2 person mountaineering tents (2.3 kg) • Sleeping bag(-8 C, 1,4kg) with liner • Foam sleeping Mats • Backpack NOTES • Please remember to leave space in your Back pack for the cooking gear, food, utensils and 1st Aid, which will be shared between the group members. • You can expect to carry up to 15 kg in your back pack including your personal gear. • PORTERAGE • Clients carry a day pack and the porters will carry a maximum of 15kg per person which would include a clients personal belongings eg tent, sleeping bag as well as the clients share of food provided by GoVertical. A realistic balance would be 7kg of personal gear and 8kg of food/ provisions. • South African Porters use backpacks, so all your gear would need to be packaged so that it can fit inside their backpacks. • Please ask GoVertical Mountaineering if you are unsure about any items on this list
Guests or SpectatorsUnfortunately not


Minimum Age8 years
Minimum Height0.0 m
Maximum Height0.0 m
Fitness LevelFit
QualificationsNot Applicable
Maximum Weight0.0 kg
CertificationNone Required
Experience LevelNo Experience Requirement

Inclusions and Exclusions


• GoVertical Mountaineering guides
• 7 meals from Lunch on day 1, to lunch on day 3
• 2 nights camping in the Drakensberg
• National Park fees
• Return 4×4 Transfer from Witsieshoek Lodge


• Medical/ rescue insurance
• Alcoholic beverages
• Transport to the Drakensberg
• Dinner, Bed and Breakfast accommodation at mountain lodge before/ after the adventure


Optional extra’s available:
• Transfers to the Drakensberg from Johannesburg or Durban (Approximately 5 hours from either city)
• Transfers are done the day before the trip starts so you would need a night of pre trek accommodation
• Dinner, Bed and Breakfast accommodation at mountain lodge before/ after the Adventure
• Gear hire
• Porters

Customer Reviews

What an amazing experience with spectacular views. Our guide made for a richer experience and was a great balance between being engaging, but also giving us our space. He was very knowledgeable & the meals were superb & will certainly be back! - Lize

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