Oribi Gorge Waterfall Hike

Hoopoe Waterfall in Oribi Gorge
Hoopoe Waterfall in Oribi Gorge

By Vicky · Published Jun. 20th, 2024

This out-and-back hike leads along the river and through the jungle in Oribi Gorge to lovely Hoopoe waterfall.

Oribi Gorge Waterfall Hiking Map


This walk starts from the Oribi Gorge Nature Reserve car park and picnic area. This is at the base of Oribi Gorge, roughly 2 hours drive south of Durban.


  • Don’t swim at the base of the falls or in the river – there’s a risk of contracting Bilharzia (a parasitic worm infection common in semi-tropical waters).
  • Another great place to see Oribi Gorge is Lake Eland Game Reserve, 20 minutes drive away.
  • Find more hikes in our South Africa Hiking Guide.

Oribi Gorge Waterfall Hiking Route

The river in Oribi Gorge on a hike to a waterfall
Oribi Gorge Waterfall Hiking Route

From the car park at the base of Oribi Gorge, cross over the road and onto the hiking trail signposted to Hoopoe Falls. The route finding on this walk is fairly simple, as there’s only one way. However, you do have to look out for the yellow arrows in places, especially near the river where you walk along the sand and boulders. Follow it as it leads up the river, between the rushing water and the steep sides of the gorge.

The walk to the waterfall is mainly through jungle so there are not many views, though occasionally you reach an open area by the river and can see the muddy frothing waters streaming over the rocky river bed.

Hoopoe Falls, a waterfall you can hike to in Oribi Gorge
Hiking in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa

After a bit over three kilometres, the hike branches off from the main gorge valley to follow a smaller stream upwards to the right. There’s a short section of steeper uphill before you reach Hoopoe Waterfall, the endpoint of this hike.

Admire the view, but don’t swim in the water as there’s a risk of Bilharzia. Once you’ve had a break and taken some photos, return the way you came and back to the car park. This is the end of the Oribi Gorge Waterfall Hike.

Oribi Gorge Viewpoint Hike

Oribi Gorge Viewpoint Hike
Hiking in Oribi Gorge

If you still have the energy, there’s another nice hike leaving from the same car park called the Mziki Trail. This leads very steeply up the sides of the gorge to the flat grassland at the top. Once here, it’s an easy walk along the edge of the gorge with some great viewpoints. Return the same way. This walk is roughly 9.5 km with 475 metres climb, so quite a bit more strenuous than the Oribi Gorge Waterfall Hike.

Accommodation near Oribi Gorge

Silverstreams Lodge and Cottage*: A gorgeous lodge with beautiful views, great food and a pool. The well-furnished apartments include kitchens and lovely terraces.

Oribi Gorge Guest Farm*: Lovely cottages on a working farm with a pool and peaceful ambience.

Lake Eland Game Reserve: With both camping and chalets, this reserve also contains some wild animals plus great views of Oribi Gorge and a suspension bridge you can walk across.

Guidebooks to explore more of South Africa

Find more hikes in our South Africa Hiking Guide.

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