Tugela Waterfall Drakensberg 22

Photo: Eduard van Gruenen

Watch: Hikers stunned as Drakensberg waterfall ‘flows backwards’

What a beautiful sight. Those who took to the great outdoors in Free State this week were treated to a rare event, when a waterfall in the Drakensberg went haywire.

Tugela Waterfall Drakensberg 22

Photo: Eduard van Gruenen

You don’t see this every day: Locals who went out and hiked in the Drakensberg Mountains this weekend were treated to a stunning natural event – after a waterfall in the region appeared to flow backwards and reverse up the cliff-face.

Drakensberg Mountains: Tugela Falls ‘flows backwards’

The stunning Ampitheatre Range, which is located in Free State, is over five kilometres in length and has peaks reaching 1 200 metres. The Tugela Falls is recognised as the second-highest waterfall of its kind anywhere on the planet, and its stunning natural beauty attracts thousands of tourists each year – not even a pandemic can keep visitors away.

Eduard van Gruenen was one of the lucky trekkers who was rewarded for his Sunday stroll with a truly mesmeric moment. Viewers were left astonished after the waterfall seemingly started retreating backwards up the mountain, with the man behind the camera sharply quipping that ‘it must be out of order’…

Watch: Waterfall ‘reversed’ in Free State

What’s actually going on here?

As you may expect – or already have figured out – we are not witnessing a complete breakdown of the laws of physics. Although, if that were to happen, it would be very on-brand for 2020 and everything else that has taken place this year.

The ‘reversed flow’ of the waterfall is simply the product of strong, swirling winds grabbing hold of the stream. The balance of water took on the might of the gusts, which saw the falls get completely thrown off course. The conditions eventually subsided, and normal service was soon resumed – but man, are we glad someone caught this phenomenon on camera.