Snowy adventures at Tugela Falls

Winona Griggs

Snowy Adventures at Tugela Falls

Who would have thought that a winter wonderland awaits at Tugela Falls?

I can’t help but feel excited when I imagine standing at the top of the world’s second highest waterfall, mesmerized by the awe-inspiring scenery. It’s an adventure waiting to be discovered, with the snow-covered cliffs and the sound of rushing water creating a magical atmosphere.

The adventure begins with a trek through the snow, feeling the crunch beneath my boots as I make my way towards the falls. The air is crisp, and my breath forms little clouds in front of me, adding to the enchantment of the landscape.

As I get closer, I can hear the thunderous sound of the falls. The water cascades down, freezing as it descends, creating icicles that glisten in the sunlight. It’s a sight to behold, a natural masterpiece that leaves me in awe of nature’s power and beauty.

But the adventure doesn’t end there. For those seeking an adrenaline rush, there’s the option to rappel down the frozen waterfall. Imagine the thrill of descending the icy cliffs, the cold wind against your face, and the feeling of accomplishment as you conquer the challenge. It’s a moment that will be etched in your memory forever.

If extreme sports aren’t your thing, there are other ways to enjoy the winter wonderland. You can take a leisurely hike along the snow-covered trails, taking in the breathtaking views and feeling the tranquility of the surroundings. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous but not quite ready for rappelling, you can try ice climbing, an activity that combines the excitement of climbing with the beauty of the frozen landscape.

Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or simply looking for a unique winter experience, Tugela Falls has it all. The snowy adventures and spectacular scenery will leave you with memories that last a lifetime. So why not embrace the wonder of winter and embark on your own snowy adventure at Tugela Falls?

Snowy adventures at Tugela Falls

Are you ready to hear an incredible adventure story? Well, hold onto your seats because this one is a real doozy. Picture this: a group of brave explorers, led by the fearless Matt Cressy, embarks on a daring journey to conquer the highest waterfall in all of Africa.

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Now, before I go any further, let me introduce you to this magnificent wonder. Known as Tugela Falls, this towering cascade is a staggering 950 meters high. It’s nestled in the heart of the breathtaking Drakensberg, within the enchanting Royal Natal National Park in KwaZulu-Natal.

So, back to our story. Imagine the scene: majestic mountains, lush greenery, and absolute silence. It’s a trail that’s not for the faint of heart, but our intrepid adventurers were undeterred. Determined to face this challenge head-on, they set off on their quest.

But here’s the twist – they decided to take on this incredible feat in the midst of a snowstorm. Yes, you heard that right. Snow. Can you imagine the sheer exhilaration mixed with a healthy dose of trepidation? I certainly can.

With every step they took, the brave souls plowed through the thick white blanket beneath their feet. Each breath felt crisp and pure in the frosty air. The biting cold only served to fuel their excitement as they pushed forward.

As they pressed on, the snow blanketed everything around them, painting the landscape in a stunningly beautiful hue. The icy conditions heightened the challenge, but it also transformed this already awe-inspiring adventure into something truly extraordinary.

Step by step, they ascended the mighty mountain, their goal growing closer with every passing moment. The journey was filled with moments of exhaustion and doubt, but their determination never wavered.

Finally, after what felt like a lifetime, they reached their destination. Tugela Falls stood before them in all its majestic glory. The roaring cascade of water, now partially frozen, was a sight to behold.

But the adventure didn’t end there. No, my friends, they weren’t content with simply reaching the top. They took it a step further and stood on the edge, taking in the breathtaking view from a whole new perspective.

So, what can we learn from this incredible tale? It’s a reminder that sometimes the most rewarding experiences lie outside of our comfort zones. It’s about pushing ourselves to new limits and embracing the unknown.

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And if you’re anything like me, this story sparks a fire within you. It ignites a longing for adventure and reminds us that the world is full of extraordinary wonders just waiting to be discovered.

So, my fellow explorers, let’s take a leaf out of Matt Cressy’s book. Let’s dare to dream big, step outside of our comfort zones, and embark on our own grand adventures. Who knows what marvels we may find along the way.

Snowy adventures at Tugela Falls

‘I saw that it was going to snow all week, but on Friday night the forecast changed and it looked like we would just have a gloomy, rainy day,’ I said. We all agreed to go on our hike anyway, even with the bad weather, and we arrived at the Sentinel car park at a chilly -3 degrees Celsius with freezing rain. We bundled up, put on our raincoats, and started our hike.

Snowy adventures at Tugela Falls

When we started, we faced bitterly cold weather and freezing rain. Then, the rain transformed into snow, and it awakened a sense of childlike wonder in all of us. It was the first time some of us had ever seen snow. As we continued our journey, the ground became covered in a pristine white layer. We couldn’t help but pause in amazement when we reached the chain ladders. “Do we really have to climb that 40m ladder?” one of us asked, a hint of innocence in their voice. And yes, we did.

Snowy adventures at Tugela Falls

I scrambled to reach the top of the Amphitheatre, and once I got there, all I could see was a blanket of white. I snapped a couple of photos and joined the others in placing a stone on the cairn that had been built. Then, we continued our journey along the river towards the magnificent Tugela Falls. It was a flat trek of 3 kilometers from the ladders, and along the way, we left behind some snow angels as a playful tribute to the snowy landscape.

Unfortunately, there was a thick cover of clouds that obstructed our view of the entire Cathedral Valley. Nevertheless, the sight of the Falls was still extraordinary. After all, they are the second highest waterfall in the world, and their power and beauty were undeniable.

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Snowy adventures at Tugela Falls

I gotta tell you about this epic adventure I had. So, we went on this hike, took some awesome pics! It was crazy! And guess what? We even got into these like, super freezing rock pools to check things out. You know, just for the full sensory experience. Anyway, after that, we started heading back.

Now, here’s where it gets really interesting. There are two ways to get onto the Amphitheatre. The first is these chain ladders, but the other way is this crazy steep gully. And let me tell you, that gully is not for the faint of heart. It’s intense, man.

But here’s the thing, even though it’s physically more demanding, it’s actually the better option if you’re scared of heights. Yeah, I know, crazy right? So, we decided to go for it.

I gotta say, that climb was no joke. Leg-burning, man. But you know what made it even more intense? We came across this sketchy gully filled with snow, and there was a stream running down and a bunch of slippery rocks. It was like a real-life obstacle course.

But we all agreed that going down that way was so much better than going backwards on the ladders. We just had to be extra careful about where we stepped and check for loose rocks before we put any weight on them.

Snowy adventures at Tugela Falls

Wow, I just finished an amazing hike! It was about 14km in total, with a pretty steep climb of 650m. It took me and my friends a good 6 hours to complete the hike, but we took a lot of breaks along the way.

I have to say, this hike has definitely made its way to the top of my favorite hikes list. But you know what’s even more exciting? There’s a whole other place called the Drakensberg that I still need to explore!

Check out these awesome pictures that my friend Matt Cressy and Angela Cilliers took during our hike:

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