The Amphitheatre: hotspot for theft

09 Jun 2011 13:15 #3106 by intrepid
Great idea Digz, this should be done! I know people like domsmooth also wants to take his kids up there.

Hi renebur. Have a look through the Drakensberg Security section in the blogs. There is an article specifically for the Amphitheatre there. Personally I find caves more secure since you can store gear at the back and they'd have to step over you to get there. The shepherds do hang around Crows Nest Cave at times, but I haven't heard any reports about Sentinel Cave. My feeling is things are pretty quiet at that cave. When camping at the Falls, be sure to pack everything into the tent with you, try not to leave stuff in the vestibule. If no space then valuables and boots inside the tent at the very least and tie your packs to the tent. Keep them as far away from the sides as possible, whether inside the tent or in the vestibule. They do slash tents sometimes but mostly take loose stuff and lift up the vestibule. There is normally no further danger and they tend to run away if you wake up. Don't ignore noises outside the tent at night. Have fun in spite of all this and let us know how it goes.

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.
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09 Jun 2011 13:42 #3107 by renebur
Thanks Intrepid for the advise.We will be on high alert at night.I will like to sleep one night in Sentinel Cave and the second night somewhere close to the river in the tent.Most of the time i prefer sleeping in the tent but Sentinel Cave looks really great.Thanks by the way for the gps downloads from you guys,sure we will make use of them.Sorry if my spelling is not up to scratch.Growing up in Czech Republic dosn't help much with english spelling.Thanks again and we will definitely let you know how was the trip.

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20 Nov 2011 19:15 #4917 by G-MAN
Hi All

Im taking two guys up the chain ladder onto the Amphitheatre for an over night hike next week. Any suggestions on good camping spots with water in the area. I have camped on the tugela before near the mountain hut and had security issues there so Im thinking Ribbon Falls this time? Any suggestions

Cheers

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20 Nov 2011 19:46 #4919 by Smurfatefrog

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21 Nov 2011 07:39 #4922 by tonymarshall
Hi G MAN,

You can also check the topic Sentinel Car Park - Chain Ladders - Ifidi Cave, which has a great write up by Boerkie on his chain ladders to Mt. Amery trip.

www.vertical-endeavour.com/forum/8-drakensberg-hiking/4251-sentinel-car-park-chain-ladders-ifidi-cave.html

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21 Nov 2011 07:47 #4923 by Boerkie
Welcome G-man

:laugh: I was just about to post the same link but Tony jumped me on that one. Ribbon falls is a great spot in terms of security, views, distance and water, go 4 it! The only problem might be the footprint of a 3 man tent if you intent going with one but I'm sure you'll squeeze in at some place.

Enjoy the trip and please report back afterwards.

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21 Nov 2011 08:51 #4926 by intrepid
Welcome here G-man!

Confirm about Ribbon Falls, that would be my choice. An the way there you will pass the Bilanjil campsite and you may be tempted to use because its a good spot for a tent. However in reality the shepherds hang around there too, and the livestock are frequently a little further upstream from there, so its only a little better than the area around the Falls. You could also find a quiet spot near the Elands River Falls.

Compare notes with this article on security the Amphitheatre.

Please tell us more about what security issues you had up there previously. These incidents happen very frequently yet we have extremely little written about them.

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.

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21 Nov 2011 11:29 #4930 by G-MAN
Thanks for all the useful responses. Really appreciate it. Seems like Ribbon falls is a good spot. We will keep a low "camping profile" and a lights out after dark policy.

Re security on the Tugela, a few years ago (I think in 2007 or 2006) a friend and I camped over there for a night(about 300m upsteam from the falls). A number of other people were camping around the falls too. About 5 tents were cut open and rug sacks, sleeping bags, hiking boots etc was taken during the night. To add to it there were a number of attempts on different tents all through the night (specifically targeting tents with women and children) so the thieves were not put off or afraid of a confrontation. The conditions that night played nicely into the thieves hands as a very strong berg wind was blowing making it impossible to hear anything. Luckily for us we were aware of the potential danger so we pitched our tent after dark, and maintained a stict lights out policy only to learn about the problems that morning. Since then I have avoided the area and limited my hikes to the Monks Cowl and Catherdral areas.
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03 Jul 2012 10:59 - 04 Jul 2012 06:02 #54579 by Aux
Hi All.

I would like to have some advice about the current safety at the top of the Tugela Falls. My wife and I would like to go there someting in August as she have never hiked in that area. I have been there a few times but havent been there since 2005.

I would like to know if it is safe to use crows nest cave or will it be better to go past the falls to Mount Amery. Is there any other overnight options in the area that would be relativly safe from wondering bandits.

Thank you.
Last edit: 04 Jul 2012 06:02 by Aux.

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06 Jul 2012 07:31 #54586 by intrepid
Hi Aux,

nothing has changed up there, ie at any time you stand a chance of someone snooping around your tent at night, and it might even get slashed. This is an ongoing issue. Over Easter a helicopter patrol caught the guys on their way to the tents. They started throwing things at the chopper and shots were fired to scare them off.

Have a look at these threads where the issue of where to camp has been discussed:
www.vertical-endeavour.com/forum/2-drakensberg-security/4917-amphitheatre-hike-where-to-camp.html
www.vertical-endeavour.com/forum/8-drakensberg-hiking/4273-micro-adventure-amphitheatre.html
and this article on general security in the area:
www.vertical-endeavour.com/blog/20-drakensberg/security/16-amphitheatre-hotspot-for-theft.html

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.

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