Shongweni, near Hillcrest in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa, is nowadays synonymous with the wonderful market held there every week, where you can buy everything from handcrafted silver jewellery to worm farms in barrels. What most market goers don’t know, is that below them, if they peer over the edge of the gorge, the ribbon-like Wekeweke or Kirk Falls, commonly called the ‘Shongweni’ Falls, plummet straight down to the valley floor below.
As waterfalls go, it isn’t very spectacular, but if you venture down to the bottom of the gorge you will be awestruck by the railway tunnels there. Built in 1920, some of the tunnels are still part of the main Durban – Johannesburg route, and are still used, so please keep listening for unexpected trains.
The waterfall is also used for religious purposes, and I was lucky enough to witness the baptism of a person into the Shembe sect. The Shembe sect is a Christian sect, which has its roots in northern Kwa-Zulu Natal.
To get there, take the Shongweni turnoff on the N3, and turn off to the left at the Delville Wood station sign. Follow the road down, drive through the unused tunnels, and pop out on the other side, near the falls.
The top of the falls to is a great place to have a picnic, with the yummy homemade delicacies you bought at the Shongweni Market. NB: Champagne needs to be bought before you go to the market.