The Drakensberg Experience Route
Did you know?
Every year in April/May, the Splashy Fen Music festival is held in Underberg, in the foothills of the Drakensberg.
The base area of the Drakensberg Experience route is the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, from where you're always aware of the rugged mountain peaks the Zulus call Ukhahlamba – ‘the barrier of spears'.
There is so much to the Drakensberg tour, so many villages in its valleys to explore, trails to hike, people to encounter and sites to visit, that one needs to set aside a good few days - even weeks - for this experience.
Here you will find Anglo-Boer battlefields like Spionkop, Fort Durnford and the place of Winston Churchill's capture, Frere. The Drakensberg mountains can also boast the second-highest waterfall in the world. Here the Tugela river tumbles in a long thin thread over the escarpment.
The highlight of most people's South African Drakensberg tour comes on a Wednesday evening, as the world-famous Drakensberg Boys Choir sings to you with the magnificent peaks forming a perfect backdrop to their angelic hymns.
To the south, the freestanding basalt block of Giant's Castle looms large, clouds steaming off its flanks. Just out of sight is another one of the Drakensberg's highest peaks, the delightfully named Old Woman Grinding Corn.
Part of the magic of the mountains is in their names, given to them for their shapes, sculpted by water and weather - Cathedral's Peak, Devil's Tooth, Champagne Castle, Monk's Cowl, and the Sentinel, to name a few.
Tendele Camp at Royal Natal National Park in the Northern Berg presents one of the Drakensberg's Experience route's most compelling views. This magnificent mountain must have been what inspired Sir Herbert Baker in his design of the Union Buildings in the South African capital.
The Drakensberg is immensely important in terms of culture. Almost every rocky overhang has Bushman (San) rock art. There are estimated to be about 35 000 in all. Some have said this mountain range is the greatest outdoor art gallery in the world.
The mountains protect rolling grasslands and endemic species. They are also critically important for their role as a massive water catchments area. It was for these reasons that the Drakensberg Mountains were declared a World Heritage Site (natural and cultural) in 2000.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Drakensberg Experience Route
Tel: +27 (0) 72 190 0411