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Lying to the east of the town of Howick in the KwaZulu-Natal Province, and along the Umgeni River, is the Howick Falls, a pleasant place to unwind and appreciate the power of water as it tumbles 95m down into a deep pool on its passage to the Indian Ocean. The Howick Falls is at the start of the Midlands Meander, a series of scenic arts and crafts routes that travel through the gorgeous Natal Midlands area.
The authorities have established a lovely trail called the Howick Falls Gorge Walk that begins at the road entrance and makes its way through thick forest to the pool’s edge below the Howick Falls. The walk takes approximately 1 hour to complete.
Local folklore tells of the Inkanyamba, a giant serpent that survives in the pool below the falls. The serpent is said to be eel-like in shape and the rest of its features will depend on who you speak to! Zulus believe that only their Sangomas (traditional healers) may approach the pool, and then only to offer prayers to the creature.
Nearby Howick has a number of restaurants and hotels, as well as a shopping centre to either enjoy a cooked meal or to collect provisions for a picnic on the river banks.
There are three climbing routes on the cliffs alongside the Howick Falls. These are named Stagefright, Encore and Touchstone, all challenging and lonely as the noise of the falls drowns out any conversation between climber and belayer.
Well-known American BASE jumper Jeb Corliss almost met his end here when a cross-wind swept him into the waterfall halfway through his jump. He was to survive the fall virtually unscathed.
An adventure company offers abseiling (rappelling) from the top of the falls and canoeing down the Umgeni River, ask your host to arrange a booking.