When you're looking for a winning tourist destination, don't forget about the runner-ups. Angel Falls in Venezuela is the highest. Niagara Falls is one of the biggest. But what about the second highest waterfall in the world? Most people don't even know it by name! Hidden in the South African Drakensburg is a gem: Tugela Falls. Surprisingly, summiting the roof of Africa does not require much, but the thrill is overwhelmingly rewarding.
Zigzagging up the escarpment to a pass know as The Gully feels tedious, but the scenery is breathtaking. Greenery as far as the eye can see, and if you’re lucky enough, a couple of brawling baboons! Once at The Gully, a climb up a serious rocky gradient is probably the toughest section, but reaching the top of the escarpment is something that will be etched in your memory for years to come.
The edge of the of the Tugela Falls can be quite dizzying as the sudden drop below your feet is around 948 meters! The moment does become surreal as the clouds dance around you, filled with silence, ‘whoosing’ sounds and the cold wind piercing your face. While admiring the breathtaking view be sure to drink water from the Tugela river, there's nothing as pure!
For me, the most exciting section of the trip is the way back! To get down from the summit you must manoeuvre your way down two rusty chain ladders of 40 and 20 meters in height. So, if you have a problem with heights, this could pose a serious challenge.
Don't forget about the second best attractions. Tugela Falls is a must see.
Written by Shane Van Breda