Amphitheatre (Drakensberg)



The Amphitheatre is one of the geographical features of the Northern Drakensberg, South Africa, and is widely regarded as one of the most impressive cliff faces on earth. The cliff face of the Amphitheatre is roughly three times the size of the total combined area of all the cliff faces in Yosemite s famous El Capitan, and more than 10 times the size of El Capitan s most famous (South Western) face. It is part of the Royal Natal National Park.The Amphitheatre is over 5km in length and has precipitous cliffs rising approximately 1220m along its entire length. The bottom of the valley floor, from where many photographs of the mountain structure are taken, is over 1830m below the highest point of the amphitheatre (the summit being over 3050m above sea level—with Mont-Aux-Sources just over 3254m above sea level). The Tugela Falls, the world s second tallest falls, plunge over 948m from the Amphitheatre s cliff tops.The spectacularly beautiful mountain hiking trail to the top of Mount-Aux-Sources starts at the Sentinel car park above the Witsieshoek Resort, over 2500m above sea level, (Witsieshoek in turn can only be reached via Phuthaditjhaba) from where it is a relatively short climb to the top of the Amphitheatre. Via two chain ladders one can gain easy access to the summit. The trip takes only 5 hours return, not including time taken on top of the mountain. This is the only day hiking trail which will take one to the top of the Drakensberg escarpment, and the view from the top is reputed to be amongst the most beautiful in the world.