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UUNESCO’s description of the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park, which encompasses South Africa's highest mountain range, is accurate in every way. This KwaZulu-Natal World Heritage Site, it states, 'has exceptional natural beauty in its soaring basaltic buttresses, incisive dramatic cutbacks, and golden sandstone ramparts.'
Located just 2 hours from Durban and 4 from Gauteng, the mountainous national park includes attractions such as Cathedral Peak, Giant's Castle and Monk's Cowl, to name a few.
A particularly renowned attraction of the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park is the Amphitheatre, a wall of rock 5km in length and 1 000m high. From its domed summit at Mont-aux-Sources spill the spectacular Tugela Falls. Brushed with a dusting of snow in the winter, the 'berg', as the site is affectionately termed by locals, is picture-perfect.
This is a perfect place to partake in outdoor activities, fuelled by crisp mountain air. Hiking, rock climbing and fly-fishing are popular in the region. There are several game parks in the area where a wide variety of African antelope such as the large eland, can be spotted. The bird life is nothing short of magnificent, with the bearded vulture or lammergeier often circling in the sky above. Flora includes the indigenous protea, rare cycads and ancient tree ferns.
4 000 years or so ago, these mountains were home to the indigenous San. Though the inhabitants have largely disappeared from the area, they have left their mark in the form of fascinating rock art. Some 30 000 paintings in 600 caves and overhangs have been recorded in the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park, yet another reason the area has earned World Heritage Site status.
TTravel tips & planning info
Who to contact
Drakensberg Tourism Association
Russell & Simone Suchet (Contact Person)
Tel:(033) 702 0330
083 485 7808 (Mobile)
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (Email)
How to get there
From Durban, take the N3 using Exit 194 to reach the Central and Northern Berg, and Exit 99 for the Southern Berg
Best time to visit
The park is a good year-round destination, but particularly beautiful in the autumn (May) and spring (November).
Things to do
Hiking is a popular activity, but there are also birdwatching tours, tours to the Drakensberg Boys' Choir School and plenty of companies offering rafting, abseiling and mountaineering options. Your own car is recommended to travel between the towns, valleys and attractions in the 'Berg.
What to pack
Hiking boots, fishing gear, a raincoat in summer and warm clothes in winter, and always take plenty of sunscreen and a hat.
Where to stay
Accommodation in the area runs the gamut from luxury hotels and game lodges to guest houses, B&B establishments, self catering facilities, caravan parks and camping sites.
What to eat
Check out the fresh produce and farm stalls on routes around the area.
- KwaZulu-Natal Tourism
- Southern Drakensberg Tourism
- South African National Parks
- United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)