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KwaZulu-Natal
Adventure
Health And Fitness
Trails
Affordable
What you need to know
Wildlife
Countryside Meanders
Mountain Escapes
Walking
Hiking
Mountain Biking
Trail Running

TThe uKhahlamba-Drakensberg mountain range is the highest in South Africa and offers incredible natural beauty and a wealth of recreational activities. Because of its range of plant life and the richest collection of San rock paintings in Africa, it has been declared a World Heritage Site. 

The spectacular and ancient uKhahlamba-Drakensberg mountain range is Southern Africa's highest range, peaking at 3475m and stretching for more than 1000km from north-east to south-west across the landscape. 

In Zulu the range is known as uKhahlamba, meaning 'barrier of spears', which does justice to its dramatic basalt buttresses. Early settlers called it the Drakensberge, because they believed it resembled a dragon's back. 

One of the country's premier attractions, the Drakensberg range offers panoramic views from its higher reaches, attracting hikers, mountaineers, abseilers, parasailers and skiers to its game reserves and parks. 

The mountains, with numerous valleys and rivers, is an outdoor playground where South Africans enjoy leisure time pursuing activities including trout fishing, kayaking, tubing, swimming, 4x4 trails, quad biking, horse riding, photography, bird watching, rambling, rock climbing and hot air balloon rides over hidden valleys. 

The Drakensberg is historically divided into the southern, central and northern 'Berg', with major landmarks such as Cathedral Peak, Cathkin Peak, Mont-aux-Sources, Monk's Cowl, the Amphitheatre, Sani Pass and Champagne Valley making it easier to negotiate. 

Geologically the mountain comprises a sandstone layer covered by a 1400m-thick basalt layer. This make-up has created hundreds of caves and overhangs where the ancient San people, who roamed freely in the region some 4000 years ago, have left their mark in the form of more than 30000 paintings in an estimated 600 caves. 

The mountains are also home to a large number of threatened and endemic plants, such as the protea, cycad, cabbage tree, tree fern and giant yellowwood, along with flowers including lilies, lion’s tail, helichrysum, erica, agapanthus, watsonia, and the red-hot poker. 

More than 300 bird species recorded here range from the tiny greater double-collared sunbird to large raptors like the eagle, buzzard and vulture. 

The uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park, administered by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, is approximately 2 hours' drive from Durban and the Indian Ocean. It lies within the Drakensberg mountain range in KwaZulu-Natal province and is a world-class ecotourism centre. The park was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 2000 and spans 150km over 243000ha of land. 

You'll marvel at the 'Berg's' towering cliffs, unspoilt forests, soaring peaks and rich animal life, including eagle and eland. Swim in crystal clear rivers, explore the area by mountain bike or simply chill and enjoy the glorious vistas. Accommodation is plentiful and ranges from basic to luxurious.  

Did You Know?

TTravel tips & planning  info 

Who to contact 

KwaZulu-Natal Tourism  

Tel: +27 (0)31 366 7500 

Email: enquiries@zulu.org.za 

Best time to visit 

Spring (September, October and November) and autumn (March, April and May) are very good months with stable weather. Summer is characterised by dramatic thundershowers, and in winter it can get very cold with snow. 

Things to do 

Visit the Drakensberg Boys' Choir School, adjacent to the Dragon Peaks holiday resort. 

Tours to do 

Horse riding, fishing, golf and bowls are popular pastimes in the Drakensberg, as are game and bird-viewing tours, 4x4 routes, mountain biking and helicopter flips. 

Get around 

It's best to drive yourself or explore the area on foot. In some areas you can travel by mountain bike or on horseback. 

Length of stay 

Spend at least 2 nights here – more if you enjoy hiking. 

What to pack 

In summer, take rain gear. In winter, pack plenty of warm clothes. 

Where to stay 

Accommodation in the Drakensberg mountains is plentiful and includes B&Bs, hotels, guest houses, camping and caravanning, self-catering options, bush camps, lodges and resorts. 

 

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