Howick Falls are the main attraction of the historic town and were first seen by European travellers in the early 1800s. The Zulu people hold them in awe as a sacred place and local legends involve a serpent-like creature said to live at the bottom of the falls. In the past local Zulus and their sangomas/ witch doctors, would sacrifice goats and chickens to the water god- known as the Inkanyamba.
The waterfall is approximately 111 m/ 364 feet in height and lies on the Umgeni River. The Zulu people called the falls KwaNogqaza, which means “Place of the Tall One”. The second tallest waterfall in South Africa, Howick Falls is home to crowned eagles, absailing, rock climbing and boating along the verdant subtropical river.
The Gorge Walk is probably one of the best ways to see some pretty spectacular views of the falls and the gorge, through which the uMngeni River flows. The Walk is easy to follow and not difficult to do, taking you though gorgeous riverine forest, grottos and meandering streams, surrounded by the green of the Natal Midlands and the damp that only walking along a river can provide.
From the start of the walk at the Gorge Walk sign at the bottom of Harvard Street in Howick, to the pool at the bottom of the pool will take you little more than an hour, so you will need a couple of hours to do the hike in its entirety. It is manageable for children too. You can arrange a trail guide if you would like one, who can tell you about the Zulu legends.
There is a small fee attached to the walk which goes to the Howick Falls Conservancy. The noise of the falls at the bottom is overwhelming, so hold any communication for higher up on the path. And if you are looking for something a little more challenging, grab a helmet and scale and abseil the surrounding cliff faces, with caution.