The Drakensberg Mountains of South Africa or uKhahlamba (the Barrier of Spears) is a 200-kilometre-long mountainous wonderland and world heritage site. The largest proportion of the Drakensberg area falls in the province of KwaZulu-Natal.
The Zulu people named it 'Ukhahlamba' and the Dutch Voortrekkers 'The Dragon Mountain'. The Drakensberg Mountains, with their awe-inspiring basalt cliffs, snowcapped in winter, tower over riverine bush, lush yellowwood forests and cascading waterfalls, form a massive barrier separating KwaZulu-Natal from the Kingdom of Lesotho. The only road access to the Drakensberg is via Sani Pass, which at the top, boasts the highest pub in Africa, 3 000 metres above sea level.
Combining sheer natural beauty with a wealth of biological diversity, this 243 000 hectare mountainous region known as the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park has been preserved and venerated for eons since the San people or bushmen roamed these slopes. Tens of thousands of paintings depicting their daily life can be found on the rock faces, and in December 2000, the park received international recognition and was declared KwaZulu-Natal's second World Heritage Site.
And of course, there are the mountains, which must be conquered. The fearless may choose to try sheer rock or ice- climbing - or they may prefer the adrenaline rush provided by abseiling, white water rafting or taking a helicopter ride to view the Drakensberg mountains from above.
If you prefer the gentler, more leisurely pace of walking the many hiking routes on both lower and upper slopes of the Drakensberg, you can watch out for the 290 species of birds, 48 species of mammals, or the rare varieties of plant life found in the park. The Drakensberg ... the soul of the Zulu Kingdom.
The KwaZulu-Natal Drakensberg area can be divided into Bergville and the Northern Drakensberg; Winterton and the Central Drakensberg; Himeville, Underberg and the Southern Drakensberg and East Griqualand and Umzimkhulu. For more information regarding the Drakensberg, its areas and its many holiday resorts please use the menu below.
If you would like to receive a brochure on the Drakensberg of KwaZulu-Natal, please send an email requesting one to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A brief introduction to the Drakensberg area of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
A detailed overview of the Drakensberg
San Rock Art and Fauna Drakensberg's Threatened Treasures
The Geological Formation of the Drakensberg
Helpful Hints for Drakensberg Visitors
Order a Drakensberg Brochure
Bergville & the Northern Drakensberg
Best known of all the Berg sectors is arguably the northernmost Royal Natal National Park and adjacent summit area, its regal prefix bestowed after the 1947 visit of Britain's King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. Blessed with some of the most spectacular scenery in all of Africa, Royal Natal's backdrop is the world-famous, much photographed and painted Amphitheatre - a crescent of 1 000m sheer basalt cliffs in the Northern Drakensberg. This massive wall stretches 4 kilometres between the Sentinel (3 165m) and Eastern Buttress (3 047m) , with a number of domes rising from its relatively flat summit plateau. In 1836, the French missionaries Arbousset and Daumas named the largest of these domes Mont-aux-Sources - a literal description of this source of five rivers in the Northern Drakensberg.
Griqua, Kokstad, Matatiele, Swartberg and Mount Currie are some of the terms associated with this fascinating gateway region to the province of KwaZulu-Natal or the Zulu Kingdom. East Griqualand - wide, open spaces and lofty peaks urge the resourceful traveller to 'go where no visitor has gone before' - it's still that kind of place!
Himeville, Underberg & the Southern Drakensberg
The twin villages of Himeville and Underberg lead to Sani Pass, and is the southernmost sector of the World Heritage Site, the, Mzimkhulu Wilderness Area. Here in the Southern Drakensberg the basalt rock-faces are not as high as further north, but the escarpment buttresses and peaks are exaggerated by low-lying valleys between them. Most
prominent of these peaks in the Southern Drakensberg are The Rhino - a relatively easy walk but also offering several challenging rock climbs...
A delightful town on the Mzimkhulu River, Umzimkhulu offers insights into the pleasures of the area.
Winterton & the Central Drakensberg
Approaching the Central Drakensberg sees Estcourt and Mooi River added to the list of access towns each with its own character, charm and local attractions. The gateway to the Central Drakensberg is the little town of Winterton. Essentially a farming town, Winterton is filled with churches, B&Bs, plane trees and tiny shops.
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26 December 2013
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KwaZulu-Natal or the Zulu Kingdom has eight destinations guaranteed to provide you with memorable and unique experiences!