Info Needed: Overnight at Tugela falls

Hi everyone

So I’ve done the Tugela hike twice already but now want to spend the night up there with some mates, so just need help on the following things.

  1. Do I need to book with anyone to be able to go up there for the night?
  2. Is there a restriction on where you can make camp?
  3. I read that they only allow something like 50 hikers up there a day, is this true and where would I call to book so that we are not turned away on the day? (I haven’t booked the last few times I’ve been there and haven’t had a problem)
  4. Also, hear there is a bit of a security risk up there a the moment, can you confirm that a ranger is posted up at the hut on weekends? Have there been any incidents up there recently?

Thanks in advance.

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Hi Ryde

Answers as follows:

  1. No booking is required or possible really. Just show up and pay for the two nights.
  2. There is no restriction, camp where you like.
  3. This is true, but the chances of 50 hikers staying over night are pretty much zero. Regardless, I don’t think booking is possible. If you are worried, rather just arrive early if possible.
  4. I have never seen a ranger there. Perhaps phone Witsieshook to confirm, but I don’t think this still happens, or is at least not consistent. I have also not heard of any incidents in the immediate area recently. Generally any issues in the Tugela basin/valley have been petty theft, and, at least in terms of general crime in SA are pretty rare. Keep everything stowed in your tent and don’t leave it unattended. How large is your group? Also, if you are very worried, you can make use of Crow’s Nest Cave in the region (it is essentially on route from the chain ladders to the Tugela Falls).
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Hi Colan

Thanks for the response, I figured that was the case but just wanted to make sure. No fun organizing this for everyone and getting stopped for some unknown reason on the day.

I’m not too stressed about the security risk up there but always better to have an idea what could happen to be prepared. Currently it looks like 6 of us and will definitely keep everything inside. The cave is an option but will see on the day.

Thanks again for all the advice

Hi Ryde,

Even though, on paper, he rules limits the number of people, the reality is that they will allow any number of people to go up to the escarpment, as long as you pay the fee. You can camp anywhere, but as mentioned, this is sort of the security hotspot in the berg. Having more people in your group definitely helps, but also camping out of sight (out of sight, out of mind…) helps a lot.

My advise would be to see if you can pitch camp a bit further away from the Tugela. Places like around Ribbon falls, or around Mount Amery comes to mind. Also stunningly beautiful, but a bit removed from the Tugela.

You don’t have to be paranoid about security, but I would definitely not leave anything in this area outside the tent. If space is an issue you can place say your packs in the bell of the tent, but critical items such as boots should go inside the tent. And remember to take a black plastic bag (or any colour of your choice :slight_smile: ) along if your boots are muddy.

Enjoy the Amphi, it’s an amazing part of the berg.


Hey Ryde,

When do you plan on going? We’re a party of 4 that will go this weekend and I know numbers is a key to security. We’re planning on setting up camp close to the falls.

Hey Fred,

Only going next weekend sadly but let me know how your trip goes!