Adventure GuideMpumalangaSouth Africa

Secret hike to the bottom of the Lisbon Falls

The Lisbon Falls is one of the most amazing waterfalls along Mpumalanga's Panorama Route. At 94m, it is the highest waterfall in Mpumalanga. There is a reason why visitors flock to see this natural wonder - the Lisbon Falls are beautiful!

Lisbon Falls View Site
The beautiful Lisbon Falls on Mpumalanga's Panorama Route.

Bonus: We've created dozens of adventure guides to help you explore. Join our family of avid adventure seekers and get access to ALL of our adventure guides.

Visiting the Lisbon Falls

The Lisbon Falls is barely a few minutes' drive from the town of Graskop north along the R532, and is equally as accessible for day visitors coming from Sabie. Because they are situated on forestry land, there is a nominal entry fee for day visitors. In return, the site is well maintained with clean and serviced ablution facilities. There is also security on site. Most of the visitors to the Lisbon Falls choose to view the falls from the easily-accessible viewing deck at the top of the waterfall. This provides an impressive view of water plummeting down the rocky face to the pool below.

Hike to the bottom of the falls

Another way to experience the Lisbon Falls is to follow a hiking trail to the base of the falls. This trail takes about 40 minutes to walk and follows a moderately steep slope to the valley below before working its way back towards the pool at the bottom of the waterfall. Although some sections are a little overgrown, the path is easy going and hikers will be rewarded with a refreshing swim at the end of the trail. The trail also affords spectacular views of the falls from a completely different perspective. Standing at the base of the falls, with the spray drenching your face and clothes gives you get a true appreciation for the volume and force of water making its way downstream. We chose to complete the hike to the base of the waterfall and captured these photographs along the way.

Be sure to be wearing some comfortable walking shoes though. (These are the ones Bevan uses and these are the ones Jill uses). If you live in South Africa, visit the Salomon online store to check out their latest hiking and trail gear.

Map of the Lisbon Falls hiking trail

Different angle on Lison Falls
Side view of the Lisbon Falls on the way to the valley below.
Bevan watching the Lisbon Falls
The Lisbon Falls are very impressive when viewed from below.
Lisbon Falls Black and White
Water cascades down the Lisbon Falls.
Bevan at the bottom of Lisbon Falls
One last look at the falls before we head back up to the top.

What to do next

Bonus: We've created dozens of adventure guides to help you explore. Join our family of avid adventure seekers and get access to ALL of our adventure guides.

Find a place to stay near Lisbon Falls

Find other things to do around Lisbon Falls

9 thoughts on “Secret hike to the bottom of the Lisbon Falls

  1. Still in Northern Natal and Mpumalanga I see.
    When will we be getting reports from Eastern and Western Cape. Karoo? West coast?
    Even a wine route tour would suffice.

    Any chance?

  2. Hi Jill are you allowed to hike down to base of the Lisbon Falls? Or are there signs saying you may not go. I have always wanted to do this. Is the path marked etc?

    1. Hi Sue

      While we were there we didn’t see any signs that said no hiking to the bottom. In fact, we found quite a well-trodden path from the view site that leads along the top edge of the gorge and down to the river. Once at the bottom we just had to double back to get to the waterfall. This section was a little overgrown, but there was clearly a path. There are no signs along the way as I don’t think it is an official route, however, we definitely weren’t the first people to go down there. We also hiked in full view the site security guards and none of them warned us against going down.

      The hike itself is very easy – just a short stretch to the bottom and then back along the river, however, beware of the steep drop offs as you’re descending. Don’t stray to close to the edge of the gorge and you should be perfectly safe.

      Let me know if you end up doing the hike – I’d love to hear what you think 🙂

      1. Hi, how long does it take to get to the bottom? and how long going back up? I want to make a photo session but with cameras and all i think could be difficult? Do you know any waterfalls that are nice and can be easily accessed from the bottom? I wanted to go to forest falls but again it seems like quite a walk with equipment…

        1. The hike to the bottom of the falls is about 800m to get from the top to the bottom and then another 200m over rocks and boulders to get to the waterfall. Maybe it’s a bit much with production gear. I think the easiest waterfall to access will the Lone Creek Falls. There’s a parking lot about 100 meters away from the bottom of the falls and it’s a flat trail which will be way easier to walk with production gear.

          If you look at this post:
          And go to the map, you’ll see a map marker for where Lone Creek Falls are. If I were you, this is where I’d go.

          Because it’s easy to access it’s quite popular so you may have other people around, but if you go early or later you should be by yourself.

          Hope this helps…

    2. Hi there everyone

      Can anyone hike down to Lisbon falls and are there directions as to which way to get down please?

      Any advice will be appreciated
      Thanks in advance

      1. Anyone can go down. There are no directions, but there is a small path to the left of the main parking area. Simply follow that path until you get to the river, then hike back up the river to the falls.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.