|We are found near the foot of the Amphitheatre, close to the bottom section of Royal Natal National Park with a picture postcard view of the Amphitheatre from the lawn. In fact the panorama that stretches around us takes in the entire Northern range from the Amphitheatre all the way to Cathkin Peak. The lodge is built from stone, thatch and wood. Sip a cocktail from the rock pool, climb the indoor bouldering cave, relax tired bones in the sauna or Jacuzzi. All double rooms are en-suite. The funky bar has a wonderful range of music to listen to and is a great meeting place for all. No need to bring anything along as the restaurant (which opens at 07h00) serves gorgeous food and light snacks.A river wends its way through the lands and there is a small dam. For those with a head for heights we already offer Abseiling from mountain peaks and bridges. The idea of the hostel is that it is a base from which you can explore different sections of the Drakensberg Park each day. |
Attractions / Things to do
|Our day tours are extremely popular! All guides have been approved and assessed by THEATA. Trips run all days of the week and on public holidays except for Xmas day and New Year's Day.|
This trip is the most famous hike in South Africa as it takes one to the highest waterfalls in Africa (the second highest in the world!!) It is not particularly difficult physically but quite tricky in terms of navigation which is why people use a guide.The trip starts at Amphitheatre Backpackers at approximately 08:15 am. We drive around the spectacular Sterkfontein Dam, through Qwaqwa and up the side of the Amphitheatre via Witsieshoek Pass. If one decided to walk from the BOTTOM (Mahai campsite) to the TOP then it would take about 3-4 days to get there and back again. This is why we cheat and travel the extra distance to the base of the Sentinel where we walk to the TOP and back in one day (the perfect hike for impatient people!)We then set off around the massive Sentinel Peak, up the kloof gully and to the TOP of the Amphitheatre (over 3000m up) and the TOP of the Drakensberg. From here you get your first view of the Devil's Tooth and the 1km drop down the Amphitheatre Wall into the bottom section of Royal Natal.Off we tramp across the escarpment and along the Tugela River where folk can dip in the rock pools. Here you can stand a chance of catching a glimpse of the elusive and famous Bearded Vulture. To your right is the highest point, Mont Aux Sources, (and the source of 4 of our major rivers.)Then it's on to the lip of the Amphitheatre to watch the highest waterfall in Africa (2nd highest in the world) as it drops 1km down the Basalt Cliffs. Here we have lunch, explore the plateau and then off back to the car with knee-tingling chain ladders on your descent.
This is a full day, costing R400, which includes lunch, entrance fees, community levy, a guide and transport.
This day trip is very special as no other tourists ever travel to the area that we visit. We take you over Monantso
Pass (a rugged pass on the side of the Amphitheatre) and into Lesotho. This mountain Kingdom is still as it was hundreds of years ago. The secret of the area that we visit is that it is not featured in any of the travel books and so it remains completely "untouristy." The day begins from Amphitheatre Backpacker's at approximately 08:15 am. The bus travels around Sterkfontein Dam and through Qwaqwa.It takes about 60 minutes to arrive at the South African border post. Visitors must ensure that they have a "multiple re-entry" visa into South Africa in order to be allowed back across this border on their way back. The day is spent hiking to San cave paintings, visiting sangomas (witchdoctors,) tasting Sotho food and beer, playing sport if there's a match on, visiting a local school and basically taking part in anything that is happening in the area at the time.This trip is also R400 and includes guide fees, food, transport, donation to the school, Sotho food and beer.
There are also a number of mountain bike routes thatwe have designed. The trails run off road, down to dams and rivers. We also have tarred routes.The mountain bikes are kept in good condition in order to ensure you are able to take in the beautiful surrounds! We also provide maps that we have personally designed for the trails, which highlight the different sites. You can choose whether to travel on or off the tar roads.Half a day is R55 and a full day is R90
For those who have their own equipment or if you'd like to hire equipment and a guide, there are numerous dams in the area that are stocked as well as wild trout in the rivers, but one of the most famous aspects of this area is that Sterkfontein Dam (which we are next to) besides being the longest and deepest of South Africa's dams is also the dam with the largest variety of indigenous fish which includes Yellow Fish that are far better fighters than trout or bass! For those who prefer spin fishing you can catch Bluegill, Yellowtail, Bass, Catfish and numerous other fresh water varieties.
There is a wealth of rock climbing available in this beautiful area, routes that have been bolted and graded and also trad routes. Climbers are picked up from Amphitheatre Backpackers lodge in the morning and driven to the beginning of the climbs. Indigenous bush surrounds one and the views are not to be forgotten.Trips are tailor made to suit the ability of each client. For beginners this includes an introduction into the sport explaining how the different devices work, learning basic knots and the essential concept of the sport.Guides are fully equipped and qualified. Guides fees, equipment, climbing shoes, lunch, entrance levies and transport are all inclusive!
|Services / Facilities|
|Satellite TV, Jacuzzi, Sauna, Rock Pool, Internet with Skype telephone, Pool Table, Trampoline, Bikes, Fly-Fishing,Tours, Maps, Laundry, Public phone, meals and shuttles to and from towns |
|Camping (per person) = R55|
Dorms (shared, mixed sex) = R85
Budget Twin- separate beds- (No toilet or shower) = R95 per person (R190 per room)
Twin -separate beds- (Own toilet and shower) = R120 per person (R240 per room)
Budget Double (Own toilet and shower, no view) = R120 per person (R240 per room)
Private room with 3 or 4 beds @ R110 per person per night. Has own toilet and shower.
Deluxe Double (Toilet and shower, beautiful view.) = R140 per person (R280 per room)
|Take the N3 North (Towards Johannesburg) |
After the offramps for Estcourt you will see a "Shell Ultra City" petrol complex on the Left hand side of the highway
The slip road AFTER the petrol complex is the R74
Travel on the R74
After 21km you will see Amphitheatre Lodge on the LEFT hand side of the R74
It takes about 3 and a half hours to get here from Jhb
Travel South on the N3 (direction Dbn)
Travel through the Tugela Toll
Take the R616 slip road (direction Ladysmith/ Bergville)
Travel RIGHT OVER the highway (direction Bergville NOT LADYSMITH)
Travel until the R616 meets the R74 (at Bergville)
Turn RIGHT onto the R74
Travel North from Bergville on the R74 for 21km
You will see our sign "Amphitheatre Lodge" on the LEFT hand side of the road.