Explore the Drakensberg Mountains in South Africa.
Explore the Drakensberg Mountains in South Africa: The Drakensberg is Southern Africa’s main mountain range. The Drakensberg range climbs to about 3,475 metres and runs roughly northeast to southwest for 1,125 km parallel to South Africa’s south-eastern coast.
The area features rock and cave art that dates back thousands of years. There are several wildlife reserves and parks in the area. The UNESCO World Heritage site uKhahlamba/Drakensberg Park was declared in 2000. The Drakensberg is a section of the Great Escarpment that separates the vast high plateaus of South Africa’s interior from the lower regions near the coast.
The range runs across Lesotho to the Eastern Cape Province from its north-western terminus in Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces. The range divides Mpumalanga, Free State, and Lesotho on the plateau from Swaziland and KwaZulu-Natal provinces along the coast.
Thabana Ntlenyana at 3,482m, as well as Mafadi, Mokoaneng, Njesuthi, and Champagne Castle, to name a few. Hikers on the Drakensburg enjoy Cathedral Peak.
The mountain ranges are beautiful, with 119 endangered plant species and the rest native to the mountain slopes and the park on the foothills. Among other distinct flora species, the mountain is covered with high alti-montane meadows, conifers on the lower slopes, and riverine bush.
Wildlife to see in Drakensburg Mountains
The Drakensburg mountain ranges are home to a variety of bird and animal species that live in both the high altitude zones and the lower mountain foothills. Klipspringer, eland, mountain reedbuck, white rhino, black wildebeest, grey rhebok, oribi, and many more creatures reside in the park on the foothills of the mountain.
Mountain pipit, bush blackcap, buff-streaked chat, Rudd’s lark, orange breasted rock jumper, yellow breasted pipit, and the Drakensburg Siskin are all native to the mountain. Prey birds in the park include the Cape Vulture and the Lesser Kestrel.
Amphibians, as well as many frog species, may be seen along the river in the park. The breathtaking Drakensberg routes must be approached with caution. The weather can vary rapidly from one minute to the next, and severe winds, mist, snow, and extreme cold can all come suddenly at high heights. It is critical that you fill out the rescue registration completely at each entry to a Drakensberg region, even if you are only going for a short walk.
Attractions Within and Around Drakensberg Mountains in South Africa.
Several rock paintings were created by bush men and Khoi people who resided in the lower mountains many years ago. In the Royal National Park, around 35,000 artworks may be discovered on rocks and in 500 different caves. Sebaayeni Cave, with 1146 paintings, and Ndedema Gorge, with over 3,900 paintings in its several caverns, are two of the caves with outstanding artwork. The paintings have been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, making them the second in Kwa Zulu Natal.
The Royal Natal National Park is located north of the Drakensburg Mountains and encompasses peaks such as the Amphitheatre, Mont-aux-Sources, Sentinel, Inner Tower, Eastern Buttress, and Devil’s Tooth. The 3282-metre-high dome of Mont-aux-Sources is the source of five important rivers, notably the Tugela, which plunges 600 metres over the cliff in a stunning cascade. Ukhahlamba Drakensburg Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site that covers over 243 square kilometers and is a major Ramsar site in the Himalayas.
Hiking within the Drakensberg Mountains.
Despite the fact that most of the mountain has been weathered owing to erosion, tourism in the mountains has not been discouraged. The Drakensberg, on the other hand, is a hiker’s heaven!
Hiking trails within the Drakensberg mountains go through forested valleys, lush woodlands, beneath glistening waterfalls, and over towering mountains. Devil’s Hoek Valley, Amphitheatre to Cathedral; Mckinley’s Pool, Gudu Falls; The Grotto Mont-Aux-Sources through Basutho Gate and The Chain Ladder, Otto’s Walk & Bushman Paintings, Tugela Gorge and the river including waterfalls are some of the wonderful locations to visit and walks.
The central Drakensberg routes go to Twins Cave through the Blue Pool and Nyosi Grotto, the Cathedral Peak Hike, Ganabu Ridge, and Baboon Rock Mlambonja Pass. The days and landscapes are all different. Hikes in the Southern Drakensberg include Mkomazi Wilderness Area, Kamberg Vergelegen & Sani Pass, and Cobham & Garden Castle.
It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to trek up a mountain, breathe fresh clean air, sleep in a cave, or camp overnight beneath a star-studded sky.
Community Cultural Tours
You may also take some time off to learn about the Zulus, their traditions, and way of life by visiting towns and cities on the mountain’s slopes such as Ulundi, the historic Zulu capital of Kwa Zulu Natal, the coal mining towns of Dundee and Ixopo, and even the adjacent Lesotho capital Maseru.
Other activities in the mountain include river fishing; walking routes on the lower slopes of the Drakensburg, rock/ice climbing, abseiling, white water rafting, and helicopter rides to explore the highlands.
Accommodation within and around Drakensberg Mountains in South Africa.
In South Africa, the only route that leads into the Drakensberg mountains is the Sani Pass. You don’t have to worry about where you’re going to sleep or what you’ll eat for dinner while you’re there. There are a number of Drakensburg hotels, guest houses, camping grounds, self-catering facilities, and safari lodges.
Central Drakensberg is a tourism hub, including resorts, bed and breakfasts, hotels, guest homes, self-catering places, golfing, horseback riding trails, hiking trails, 4 trails, and much more. Cathedral Peak Hotel, Tugela River Lodge, Robin’s Guest House, Valemount Country Lodge, Acorn Cottages, Umsuluzi Riverside Luxury Lodge, Champagne Castle Hotel, and Sani Pass Hotel among others.