Your Guide to the Drakensberg and Natal Midlands

Royal Natal National Park

Royal Natal National Park was proclaimed in 1916, and contains some of the most spectacular scenery in Africa. The main feature of Royal Natal is the Amphitheatre, a rock wall about 5km in length, and approximately 1000m in height between the Sentinel (3 165m) and Eastern Buttress (3 047m), with a number of domes rising from its relatively flat summit plateau. In 1836, the French missionaries Arbousset and Daumas named the largest of these domes Mont-aux-Sources - a literal description of this source of five rivers. 

Overlooking the Royal Natal National ParkOf these, the Tugela plummets 948m in five clear leaps, making it the world's second highest waterfall. The Tugela Falls' upper reaches occasionally freeze in winter to create dazzling columns of ice. And just to confound weather experts the Royal Natal National Park a White Christmas in the middle of our sub-tropical summer! Royal Natal National Park is ideal for hiking, with a superb network of graded walks catering for all levels of fitness and agility. And while the summit of Mont-aux-Sources can be reached by walking from the summit plateau and scaling a 100-rung chain ladder, if this seems like child's play you're always invited to join the annual Mont-aux- Sources Challenge, when men and women of iron turn the mountain into a cross-country steeple-chase of epic proportions. A serious Royal Natal National Park event.

How To Get to Royal Natal National Park

From the north, turn off just south of Ladysmith and follow the Bergville road for 55km. The road from Bergville is clearly signposted, and the park is 46km further along the Bergville/Harrismith road. From the south, turn off the main national road (N3) at the Winterton/Berg Resorts turn-off, and pass through Winterton and Bergville. Turn left at the Drakensberg North signboard. It is approximately 16km from there to the Royal Natal National Park entrance gate. Both these routes are tarred.

The park is also accessible from Harrismith (72km) via the Oliviershoek Pass. From Harrismith take the Bethlehem Road for 6km, and turn onto the Witsieshoek / QwaQwa road. Follow the signs to Oliviershoek Pass, Royal Natal National Park and Bergville. The road is tarred all the way.

What To Do At Royal Natal National Park

The Amphitheare from Royal Natal National ParkAn entrance fee is payable at the park’s entrance gate. Visitors to Rugged Glen Campsite and Mahai Campsite must therefore arrange to arrive before sunset. Visitors to Tendele must report directly to the Tendele office, whilst Mahai and Rugged Glen Campsite visitors must report to the Visitor Centre. Accommodation charges are usually payable in advance.

Accommodation at Royal Natal National Park

There are lots of B&B / Guest Houses in the area. Only self catering facilities are available at the Natal Parks board Camp Tendele. 



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