The Mzinyathi Waterfall, as seen from the top, is only a creek that locals use for fetching water and washing clothing. But a bit further down the road a small platform opens up that offers a beautiful view of the cascade, as the Mzinyathi River plunges 320 feet down into the lush valley below.
This little-known site is a stone’s throw from the beaches of Durban, just about 20 minutes from the resort town of Umhlanga north of the city. Yet it gets very few visitors. Access to the falls (also spelled uMzinyathi) is not easy, as the last stretch of the way is a dirt road full of potholes and cracks.
Those that do make the trip to this hidden gem are rewarded with beautiful vistas from the top of tall sandstone cliffs, which also offer some great rock climbing routes. To explore the local culture deeper, you can book a guide to take you down into the gorge to the Rasta Caves at the base of the cliff. These rock houses are home to a community of Rastafarians who live and practice their spiritual traditions at the foot of the falls.
Know Before You Go
When coming from the Inanda Dam Road, a wide stretch of dirt road marks the falls itself, but follow the road you are on for about 490 feet (150 meters) more and you should see a small viewing platform on the left side. The road is a dead end, so you'll have to turn around and go back the way you came.
A guide must be booked in advance to visit the Rasta Caves, which are accessed through a hidden and challenging trail. Good hiking shoes are recommended as the rocks can be slippery when wet.