The highest mountains in the south
The Drakensberg Mountains
High up in the Drakensberg mountains you’ll discover spectacular views, scenic hiking trails, unique fauna and flora, ancient rock art and an endless supply of fresh mountain air. The Drakensberg is a place where you can get away from it all and discover what it feels like to be on top of the world.
A stream bubbles through the majestic Drakensberg.
© South African Tourism
Did you know?
The Drakensberg is home to rare birds like the bearded vulture and bald ibis.
The Drakensberg is among South Africa’s most impressive natural attractions. Together with the Maloti Mountains, this incredibly scenic range forms the border between the province of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, and the Kingdom of Lesotho.
Translated from the Afrikaans, Drakensberg means Dragon Mountains. These peaks, reaching heights of 3,480 metres, are often snow capped during the winter. They form the source of the Tugela River, which dramatically plunges 850 metres at the Tugela Falls, the second highest waterfall in the world.
The scenic surroundings of the Drakensberg Mountains in South Africa are a perfect holiday destination. You’ll find fine hotels and leisure resorts nestled in the valleys. The area is known for activities such as fishing, climbing, white-water rafting and horse-riding, as well as scenic hikes, crisp, clean air and the endless views.
The area is also famous for its flora. High in the Drakensberg you will find the rare, indigenous spiral aloe. On the grassy slopes at lower altitudes you will find small, leathery, leafy plants like daisies and king proteas, many of which harbour butterflies including rare carnivorous species that feed on the eggs and larvae of ants.
Descending from the Drakensberg, you can visit well-known battlefield sites dating from the Anglo-Boer War.
The northern region of the Drakensberg Mountains is the most popular, with locals and visitors alike charmed by the Royal Natal National Park and its adjacent summit area. Blessed with some of the most spectacular scenery in all of Africa, Royal Natal's backdrop is the much-photographed and painted Amphitheatre - a crescent of 1 000m sheer basalt cliffs.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
How to get here
The Drakensberg is easily accessed by road from any of the country's major cities. Durban, about 2 hours drive away, is the closest city with an international airport.
Around the area
Mountain biking is popular and a number of protected areas provide ideal cycling routes. The Drakensberg is also a popular hiking destination, with trails to suit everyone, from the casual stroller to the veteran mountaineer.
Self-drive is best as you will want to have the freedom to explore at your own pace.
Length of stay
A weekend is the bare minimum; a week or longer will give you time to explore this magnificent region.
What to pack
Make sure you have suitable clothing for the varying climate. Good hiking boots or walking shoes are a must, as is sunscreen and a hat.
Where to stay
The Drakensberg area offers accommodation options to suit all budgets, from cheap and cheerful campsites to exclusive luxury resorts.