The Mt Aux Sources - Amphitheatre - Tugela thread

12 Mar 2019 12:08 #74763 by Riaang
For your first night, why not sleep over in Sentinel caves rather than at the carpark? If you walk really slowly you should get there in about 90 minutes, so you should arrive with enough light left to easily spot the cave. Did exactly this in Dec 2018 and we slept in the cave furthest from the chainladders. We were 4 hikers and had ample space, cave could probably take 8 hikers. Benefits are that you are already at altitude, and definitely safe. You could then also explore further the next day as you have already done a good bit of hiking the previous day.

Regarding sleeping on top, you could definitely push a bit further and sleep on higher ground, there are ample sleeping spots as you go past the eastern buttress. Also, Ifidi cave is awesome and not much further south from this point - maybe 5km max and definitely worth the extra walk. The early morning views from the top of the Ifidi ridge is spectacular, and you could then also walk over to Icidi and peer down the cliff face where the guys do parachute jumps from - really spectacular. I've taken newbies on this exact route and they've found it easy enough. The return leg is mostly downhill (except the climbing sections up to Tugela falls, or up to Beacon buttress if you want to go down the gully) so you should make good time getting home.

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12 Mar 2019 18:09 #74769 by Dispholidus
Thanks guys much appreciated. Riaang I really wanted to go and look for Ifidi caves before my friends decided to join me. If they are willing we will definitely do just that.
We have the whole Saturday to explore. Thanks again everyone for your advice.

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12 Mar 2019 20:18 - 12 Mar 2019 20:18 #74770 by intrepid

Dispholidus wrote: Hey guys, we are a group of 4 planning on sleeping next to Bilanjil falls/river. It will be my third time on the mountain and I always slept next to the Tugela falls but for security reasons I will not be camping there anymore. 
We will only get to Sentinel car park around 17:00 so will be sleeping the first night at the car park (tent) if allowed. The next day we will spend some time at Tugela falls and will camp at Bilanjil for the night. 

Is this map correct as to where Bilanjil falls are and can someone please give me an indication of how far from Tugela falls it is.


The Bilanjil stream is on the other side of the ridge from Tugela Falls and it doesn't take long to get there. The Bilanjil campsite is a little in from the escarpment edge and can easily be spotted from the ridge that you cross over. If you are thinking about security, then I would encourage you to walk past the Bilanjil, further along the Amphitheatre, as far as you can get. Ribbon Falls is a good spot and the terrain to get there from the Bilanjil is as flat as you can get it for the escarpment. You can also climb over the next ridge at Ribbon Falls into a smaller, bowl-shaped valley near Mt Amery. 

The Bilanjil campsite is better than camping at the Tugela Falls, but the perpetrators are well aware of that spot too and it isn't that far out of the way from the Falls. Without a lot more effort, you can camp even further away and lessen the chances of having any issues.

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.
Last edit: 12 Mar 2019 20:18 by intrepid. Reason: typo
The following user(s) said Thank You: Dispholidus, CBlything

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24 Apr 2019 15:48 #74923 by Serious tribe
Hi Guys

My mate and I are thinking of doing a night walk from Sentinel Car Park this friday evening and popping over the hill to bilanjil falls area 

Any idea what time the gate at the car park closes?  Where do we have to pay these days, can we pay on the way down and is there still a mountain register at the Sentinel car park?


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