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    3 Falls Trail Run

    3 Falls Trail Run Logo

    The 3 Falls Trail Run was a joint project between Kloof Conservancy, the Krantzkloof Nature Reserve Honorary Officers and Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife.

    This project has ended. Read this letter to the community for more information.

    A prominent event on the KwaZulu-Natal trail running calendar for eight years, the 18.6 km flagship trail run offered magnificent views of the Krantzkloof Nature Reserve, including its rich fauna and flora, as well as the Kloof Falls, Uve Falls, and mPhiti falls. All funds raised were donated to the Krantzkloof Nature Reserve.

    The event aimed to showcase the beauty of the reserve while raising much needed funds for projects run by the Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife Honorary Officers.

    The costs of running the event were covered in part by Kloof Conservancy, with the remainder from donations and sponsorship.

    Funds Raised

    Over eight years, this project raised almost R500,000 for the Krantzkloof Nature Reserve Project fund:

    • 2012: R20 000
    • 2013: R52 800
    • 2014: R55 600
    • 2015: R53 300
    • 2016: R69 610
    • 2017: R67 837
    • 2018: R90 078
    • 2019: R88 049

    In 2012, funds raised were used to refurbish the Field Rangers accommodation at the Ntombeni Field Rangers Outpost in the vicinity of Quentin Smythe Road. The outpost was then manned by rangers Ben Khena and Mandla Ncgobo.

    In 2013 and 2014, funds raised were used to build new entrances at the Kloof Falls Road and Nkutu Picnic sites.

    Funds raised from the 2015 and 2016 runs were used for the upgrade of the Interpretative Centre on Kloof Falls Road, converting it to the Krantzkloof Conference Centre. Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife also spent R180 000 to replace the roof at the centre. Kloof Conservancy and the Krantzkloof Honorary Officers raised an additional R300 000 to fund the upgrade of the interior and exterior of the centre. Upgrading was completed in March 2016 and the venue was previously functional and generating income.

    Funds raised in 2017 contributed to improvements to the entrance to the Main View Site off Bridle Road to build an information display at the Kloof Falls Picnic Site and to print a new Krantzkloof Nature Reserve map.

    Krantzkloof Nature Reserve Map
    The Krantzkloof Nature Reserve map, funded by the 3 Falls Trail Run

    Funds from the 2018 event were used for improvements to the picnic site at Kloof Falls Road, signage and for trail repairs.

    Funds from the 2019 event were used to further improve the Kloof Falls picnic site as new replacement signs were erected at the entrance, the parking area was increased in size, a wooden retaining wall added, and a garden planted. A garden was also planted at the Nkutu Picnic site. Funds were also used to improve the trail particularly, in the Nkonka Falls and Windsor Road Gulley areas. Funds were also used to pay for the printing of the 2nd Edition of the very popular Krantzkloof Trails Map.


    The 3 Falls Trail Run was featured in Mud, sweat and gears – South Africa’s toughest and most scenic endurance sporting events by Steve Camp.

    Mud, Sweat and Gears - featuring the 3 Falls Trail Run
    The 3 Falls Trail Run in Mud, sweat and gears – South Africa’s toughest and most scenic endurance sporting events by Steve Camp


    The route of the trail run was 18.6 km long and ranged in elevation from around 547 m at its highest point, down to around 216 m in the gorge. A map of the route is available on Wikiloc.

    Read the route description.

    Summary of events

    Visit our Facebook page for photos from all events.

    Inaugural event: Sunday, 28 October 2012

    116 runners started the tough but very scenic course with 111 managing to complete it. The men’s winner was Matt Kretzmann in a time of 01:39:27. The Ladies event was won by Kylie Griffin in 02:04:15. The winners were presented with innovative trophies designed and made by craftsmen from the Hillcrest Aids Centre.

    The event was a great team effort involving the volunteers from Kloof Conservancy, the Honorary Officers, a team of radio marshals from Hamnet KZN and the Ezemvelo staff at Krantzkloof Nature Reserve.

    2013 event: Sunday, 11 August 2013

    The event was moved from October to August to reduce the risk of having to cancel the event in case of a flooded Molweni River. In addition, an extra section was added to include the Mpithi Falls which increased the total distance to 18.5 km.

    There were 224 starters of which 220 finished. The overall winner and winner of the men’s race was Derek Wasserfall (1:47:54) and to the ladies winner Alison Misselhorn (2:20:18) – the times were very fast for a tough course!

    2014 event: Sunday, 10 August 2014

    The event was not without its surprises with a marshalling error just after the Nkutu Picnic Site (at Route Marker 15) which resulted in the race being run in an unplanned clockwise direction. The organising team made a mad scramble to get all the marshals into the correct positions and most runners were unaware of the error!

    There were 248 starters of which 243 finished. The overall winner and winner of the men’s race was Claude Eksteen (01:42:54 ) and the ladies winner was Trish Bahlmann (02:03:30).

    2015 event: Sunday, 9 August 2015

    Excellent weather and a return to the 2013 route provide for a flawless event which was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

    There were 228 starters of which 223 finished. The men’s winner was Eric Ngubane in a record setting time of 01:43:46. The women’s event was won by Gina Treleaven with a time of 02:23:48.

    Following the unsuccessful attempt in 2014 to introduce a team event it was decided to use the team trophy for a team challenge between teams from the two areas where Kloof Conservancy runs outreach projects (Molweni and Kwa-Ximba). Each area provided one team of 4 men and the result was based on the cumulative time. The Molweni Mambas easily outperformed the Kwa-Ximba Noguajas to take the floating trophy.

    Another innovation was the introduction of a 6.5 km Fun Walk – a tester to see the reaction from families and friends – the event (untimed) attracted 27 walkers.

    2016 event: Sunday, 7 August 2016

    Another great day for trail running with moderate temperatures and a record field – for the first time the event reached the cut-off limit of 300 runners.

    There were 281 finishers and another 76 walkers.

    The 2016 Ladies event was won by first time participant Zoe Papadakis in a new record time of 02:15:02. In what was a hotly contested event second place went to 2013 winner and previous record holder, Alison Misselhorn in a personal best time of 02:16:01.

    The 2016 Men’s winner was Claude Eksteen who was also our winner in 2014 but on the slightly shorter “clockwise” course. Claude was just outside the record set by Eric Ngubane in 2015 but set a blistering pace and took an early lead which he never relinquished.

    8 runners – Byron Field, Cara Pechy, Margie Foord, Dave Mercer, Denise Reyneke, Fiona McCarthy, Kevin Williams and Dawn MacKay – took part and finished the 5th consecutive event and were rewarded with a permanent, personalised, race number which they were able to use for future events.

    2017: Sunday, 6 August 2017

    The weather could not have been kinder with low cloud keeping the sun at bay and relatively low humidity. The scene was set for a fast run bearing in mind that we had all five previous woman’s winners in the race as well as three of the four previous men’s winners!

    The women’s winner was Zoe Papdakis (also won in 2016) in a time of 2:20:12.

    The men’s event was won by Phumlani Mngadi in a record time of 1:40:08. This was a real scrap between Phumlani and Claude Eksteen who battled it out over the entire course.

    We were pleased to note that all eight of our “permanent number” runners participated in their sixth event.

    Seven runners – Allister Meaker, Colin van den Bergh, Ivan Coetzee, Jay Dempsey, Ruth Hicks, Stuart Clark and Allison Misselhorn – completed their fifth event and received their permanent number at prize giving.

    2018: Sunday, 5 August 2018

    Another great day in Krantzkloof with ideal trail running conditions. 295 runners started and 282 completed the course. Both men’s and woman’s events were run at a fast pace with the woman’s winner Megan Liebetrau setting a new course record.

    Colin van den Bergh scored his first win in the men’s race in his 6th attempt. He fended a late challenge from Alisdair Leslie and 2013 winner Derek Wasserfall.

    2019: Sunday, 4 August 2019

    The sky was cloudless and the temperature cool but not cold and that all helped for another great event.

    We had a record field of 322 starters – our limit was 300 but Ezemvelo did give us some leeway, so we stretched it a bit this year! We were fortunate to have had some very loyal runners but of the 314 finisher it was also great to note that 147 (46%) were first time runners!

    The men’s event was won by Derek Wasserfall (1:53:54) and the women’s event by Alison Misselhorn (2:13:16).

    We had a number of runners with cuts and bruises but thankfully no serious injuries which was really pleasing given the highly technical nature of the course.

    We had seven runners – Dawn McKay, Fiona McCarthy, Denise Reyneke, Cara Pechey, Dave Mercer, Kevin Williams and Byron Field – who had run every event since it started in 2012.

    Seventeen runners – Derek Wasserfall, Julius De Clercq, Lyndon Nash, Dean Franz, Daryl Hefer, Simon Smith, Lauren Calenbourne, Tomas Ridl, David Campbell-Hall, Mitchell Harty, Scott Van Staden, Glenn Staples, Julian Schroeder, Maryanne Oliver, Julia Lyle, Charmain Shandu and Eileen Combes – completed 5 runs and qualified for their permanent blue number.

    Completed Projects

    3 Falls Trail Run