Tugela Gorge Hike

28 Apr 2012 10:08 #53671 by Mattalica
Replied by Mattalica on topic Tugela Gorge Hike
Ah okay, I did not know that, many thanks. We will just have to find somewhere else then. Maybe we will hike in mweni then.

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07 Dec 2015 12:59 #66083 by LouisvV
Replied by LouisvV on topic Tugela Gorge Hike
Hi guys,

Has anyone done this hike recently, seeing that this thread haven't been updated in quite a while?

Will be up in the Berg next week and want to do it as a day hike.
Just want to find out what level the Tugela river is running and if we should be prepared for river crossings & getting our kit wet? Is purification tablets a must or can we drink from streams and the river?

Thanks.

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07 Dec 2015 13:02 #66085 by Smurfatefrog
Replied by Smurfatefrog on topic Tugela Gorge Hike
See here
Although there should be a little more water now, hopefully!
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11 Dec 2015 13:33 - 17 Feb 2016 17:28 #66129 by Dave
Replied by Dave on topic Tugela Gorge Hike
Some photos of the Gorge Hike from August this year:

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LouisvV wrote: Just want to find out what level the Tugela river is running and if we should be prepared for river crossings & getting our kit wet? Is purification tablets a must or can we drink from streams and the river?


I don't know about the current levels, but there aren't really crossings; just some boulder-hopping when you get into the narrow sections near the top. The water is probably fine to drink, but 2 litres should get you there and back without refills.
Last edit: 17 Feb 2016 17:28 by Dave.
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11 Jan 2016 14:56 #66400 by ChrisPatient
Replied by ChrisPatient on topic Tugela Gorge Hike
We did the Tugela gorge hike on 22 Dec 2015 in temperatures rising above 36 degrees. The river was very dry and in some places actually disappeared. You could not even see water on the escarpment. It was busy in the gorge. The only place we got wet was at the Tugela Falls end of the so called tunnel where there is a pool. Most people were going up the chain ladder and then jumping or lowering into this pool and walking out the tunnel to complete an exciting loop.
We did not drink the Tugela water although I dare say adjacent streams should be OK?

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12 Jan 2016 20:10 #66424 by ChrisPatient
Replied by ChrisPatient on topic Tugela Gorge Hike
The Tugela Gorge Hike is a very popular day hike. Most people do it from the car park or from Tendele Camp in about 7 hours out and back; with time to swim and picnic in the gorge or climb the chain ladder, and if conditions allow, even explore the tunnel. I did it in the December 2015 drought and the river was very dry. It was possible to wade through the tunnel and swim in the pool at its upper end. More exciting was a climb up the chain ladder, which was in perfect condition, then continuing up a rather awkward scramble with a little help from the old metal stakes and tree roots, and then clambering down to the other end of the tunnel like gorge and jumping in to the pool. A long time ago there used to be another ladder so that you could lower yourself safely. It would be good to rebuild it. It certainly makes for an interesting loop. It must be pointed out that in high water the so called tunnel can be very dangerous. I boulder hopped quite a long way up the riverbed above the gorge and was rewarded with

















a good view of Devils Tooth. The great waterfall was almost completely dry though and at times the water disappeared in the riverbed. See the attached photos. A highly recommended hike. :)

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27 Mar 2017 06:14 - 28 Mar 2017 10:51 #71202 by hikingle
Replied by hikingle on topic Tugela Gorge Hike
On the spur of the moment (and taking into account the long weekend) we decided to drive down to RNNP to do the Tugela Gorge Hike. We left Pretoria around 3:00am on Sunday morning and reached the parks gates at 7:00am. The weather was cloudy and cool and the mountains were completely covered by the clouds.
That didn't dampen our spirits as we walked on. I had done this hike before and had stopped just short of the tunnel, so this time I was quite keen to explore further.

The tunnel




Once out of the tunnel, we boulder hopped for an hour, and even though the clouds never lifted we did get a peak at a part of the Falls. It was breath-taking nonetheless!


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Last edit: 28 Mar 2017 10:51 by hikingle.
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11 Dec 2017 05:29 #72481 by BergNewbie
Replied by BergNewbie on topic Tugela Gorge Hike
I'm planning to spend three days around Christmas in RNNP with my family (two kids 9 and 10).

I would like to do the Tugela Gorge hike but am concerned about the tunnel/chained ladder section. My kids can handle the distance and the scrambling (we hiked up Skeleton Gorge/Table Mountain last year) but my older son has sensory issues and I am afraid the chained ladder might be too challenging.

May I ask how steep and tall is the chained ladder at the beginning of the tunnel?
Can I also confirm that the "tunnel" is not an actual tunnel but a narrow section with lots of boulders and water?
Is it correct that the chain ladder might be the only option if the water level is too high?

Besides Tugela Gorge, I was also looking at Rainbow Gorge and the hike to Eland Cave from Didima.

Are there any other hikes you would recommend for a family in the northern and central Drakensberg area?

Many thanks!!!

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13 Dec 2017 14:52 #72492 by WarrenM
Replied by WarrenM on topic Tugela Gorge Hike
I had a great run into the tugela gorge on Saturday, there is a lot of water about, we had some really heavy rain over the weekend and Monday at Mahai. The area is looking fantastic, Cascades are also great, on Tuesday when we went through there again, other hikers/walkers.. were just congregating around the bottom pool as the water was coming over the entire first ledge/level you usually need to get up to get higher, but nothing that wasn't solve by taking off the hiking boots and getting a bit wet B)

We also did the Crack and mudslide route on Sunday and they have really fixed up the mudslide route since I did it last, there must be ten wooden ladders on the mudslide, we lost count.




BergNewbie here is a pic of the chain ladder looking down - wasn't that bad getting up it, it is not at a sheer angl, I wouldn't take my kids through the tugela just yet they wouldn't handle the distance to get into the gorge and back it is a long trip in my opinion. hope the pic helps.

I didn't get into the tunnel there was just to much water coming out for my liking.

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