The Drakensberg Mountains
The uKhahlamba-Drakensberg mountain range is the highest in South Africa. These mountains offer incredible natural beauty and a wealth of recreational activities. This area has been declared a World Heritage Site because of its diverse of plant life and the rich collection of San rock paintings. The Drakensberg highest peak is 3 475 meters. This mountain range stretches for more than 1 000km across the landscape. The Drakensberg Mountains range offer panoramic views from its higher reaches, attracting hikers, mountaineers, abseilers, parasailers and skieers to its game reserves and parks. This is one of South Africa’s premier tourist attractions.
The Drakensberg is divided into the Southern Drakensberg, Central Drakensberg and Northern Drakensberg. Major landmarks such as Cathedral Peak, Cathkin Peak, Mont-aux-Sources, Monk’s Cowl, Champagne Valley, the Amphitheater, Royal Natal, Giants Castle, Kamberg, Highmoor and Sani Pass come to mind.
Towns of the Drakensberg
Geologically the mountain comprises a sandstone layer covered by a 1 400-metre-thick basalt layer. This make-up has created hundreds of caves and overhangs. The ancient San people have left their mark in the form of more than 30 000 paintings in an estimated 600 caves.
Drakensberg Fauna and flora
The Drakensberg 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. In addition flowers which include lilies, lion’s tail, helicrysum, erica, agapanthus, watsonia, and the red hot poker are abundant. More than 300 bird species recorded here range from the tiny greater double-collared sunbird to large raptors like the eagle, buzzard and vulture. More on Drakensberg birding …
Best time to visit the Drakensberg
Spring (September, October and November) as well as 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 possibilities of snow.