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Spectacular Drakensberg Mountains hike in South Africa

We hiked about 20 kms along the Tugela Gorge on a relatively good trail; the scenery was spectacular and this was my favorite hike of the entire trip

We hiked about 20 kms along the Tugela Gorge on a relatively good trail; the scenery was spectacular and this was my favorite hike of the entire trip

The Drakensburg Mountains Amphitheatre forms a natural border between the South African state of Kwa-Zulu Natal and the Kingdom of Lesotho; surprisingly, there were very few other hikers when we visited

The Drakensburg Mountains Amphitheatre forms a natural border between the South African state of Kwa-Zulu Natal and the Kingdom of Lesotho; surprisingly, there were very few other hikers when we visited

This rock formation is known as the policeman's helmet; the weather changes quickly here as we discovered since it was raining about an hour after I took this photo

This rock formation is known as the policeman's helmet; the weather changes quickly here as we discovered since it was raining about an hour after I took this photo

Golden Gate Highlands National Park is known for its golden, ocher, and orange-hued, deeply eroded sandstone cliffs and outcrops, especially the Brandwag rock

Golden Gate Highlands National Park is known for its golden, ocher, and orange-hued, deeply eroded sandstone cliffs and outcrops, especially the Brandwag rock

The Amphitheatre is widely regarded as one of the most impressive cliff faces on earth and is roughly 3 times the size of the total combined area of the cliff faces in Yosemite's famous El Capitan

The Amphitheatre is widely regarded as one of the most impressive cliff faces on earth and is roughly 3 times the size of the total combined area of the cliff faces in Yosemite's famous El Capitan

This area is a 4 hour drive from either Durban or Johannesburg; March and April are the best months to do the hike since there's less rain, milder temperatures and no snow or ice

This area is a 4 hour drive from either Durban or Johannesburg; March and April are the best months to do the hike since there's less rain, milder temperatures and no snow or ice

Tugela Falls is generally accepted as the world's second-tallest waterfall but there is an argument that it is actually the tallest waterfall in the world, rather than Venezuela's Angel Falls

Tugela Falls is generally accepted as the world's second-tallest waterfall but there is an argument that it is actually the tallest waterfall in the world, rather than Venezuela's Angel Falls

There were many protea bushes along our hike but very few were blooming; there are many different species with some of the bushes having already bloomed and others barely starting

There were many protea bushes along our hike but very few were blooming; there are many different species with some of the bushes having already bloomed and others barely starting

The water in the Tugela River was super clear; the river doesn't look like much here but will flow 312 miles before emptying into the Indian Ocean

The water in the Tugela River was super clear; the river doesn't look like much here but will flow 312 miles before emptying into the Indian Ocean

The top of Tugela Falls is nearly 10,000 ft above sea level; we really lucked out with great weather for our hike since the falls are often shrouded in fog or clouds

The top of Tugela Falls is nearly 10,000 ft above sea level; we really lucked out with great weather for our hike since the falls are often shrouded in fog or clouds

It's actually possible to hike to the top of Tugela Falls for stupendous views; I wish we'd had 2 days here so that we could have done that hike as well

It's actually possible to hike to the top of Tugela Falls for stupendous views; I wish we'd had 2 days here so that we could have done that hike as well

We did a quick side hike to see Bushman paintings underneath a rock shelter; a Bushman painting discovered at Blombos Cave is thought to be the oldest known instance of human art, dating to around 73,000 years ago

We did a quick side hike to see Bushman paintings underneath a rock shelter; a Bushman painting discovered at Blombos Cave is thought to be the oldest known instance of human art, dating to around 73,000 years ago

Howick Falls (364 ft) is on the Umgeni River right in the center of the town of Howick; according to local legend, the pool at the bottom of the falls is the residence of a giant serpent-like creature

Howick Falls (364 ft) is on the Umgeni River right in the center of the town of Howick; according to local legend, the pool at the bottom of the falls is the residence of a giant serpent-like creature

Many people have been swept over Howick Falls, especially in the pioneer days of the province, as some settlers thought the easiest place to cross the river was just above the falls

Many people have been swept over Howick Falls, especially in the pioneer days of the province, as some settlers thought the easiest place to cross the river was just above the falls

This sculpture is the highlight of the Mandela Capture Site Museum; it’s made of 50 steel columns and was installed to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Mandela’s arrest

This sculpture is the highlight of the Mandela Capture Site Museum; it’s made of 50 steel columns and was installed to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Mandela’s arrest

After evading police for 17 months, Nelson Mandela was captured here in 1962; the site is now a new museum telling Mandela’s life story, with a focus on the time around his arrest and his subsequent 27 years in jail

After evading police for 17 months, Nelson Mandela was captured here in 1962; the site is now a new museum telling Mandela’s life story, with a focus on the time around his arrest and his subsequent 27 years in jail

Posted by VagabondCowboy 02:21

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