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The breathtaking Drakensberg or ‘Dragon Mountain’ range is situated approximately two hours from Durban and four hours from Johannesburg. The mountain range is one of South Africa’s most spectacular natural wonders, with rich biodiversity of flora and fauna, exquisite mountain peaks and unsurpassed vistas. They form a striking escarpment along the Northeastern border of lesotho and South Africa, offering excellent views from most approaches. The parks, resorts and camping facilities are mostly nestled at the foot of the range and to appreciate the views from the top you need to get your hiking boots on!
The Drakensberg is also known as ‘uKhahlamba’, meaning ‘barrier of spears’. The towering mountain range is divided into three areas, the Northern Drakensberg, Central Drakensberg and Southern Drakensberg. Popular attractions in the Northern region are the Mont-aux-Sources, the source of the Tugela River that tumbles down the cliffs to form the exquisite Tugela Falls, the Amphitheatre, Giant’s Peak and Cathedral Peak.
The highest elevation in the Central Drakensberg is Champagne Castle, and in the Southern Drakensberg, Giant’s Castle and Wilson’s Park are the loftiest peaks. An additional highlight of the Southern Drakensberg is the magical Sani Pass.
Stretching over a large area of the Drakensberg is the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park, home to a variety of animal species, including the black eagle, baboons, eland, blesbuck and more. Besides its wealth of wildlife and natural beauty, the park is home to over 600 sites of San rock art, featuring approximately 35,000 separate images.
The Drakensberg is the perfect place for a holiday, with endless options for leisure and relaxation. Hiking is one of the most popular pastimes here, and visitors have the choice of one-day hikes, overnight hikes of three to four days, and gentle mountain meanders. Mountain biking, rock climbing, horseback riding, fly fishing in mountain dams and swimming in crystal clear mountain pools are other optional pursuits.
Many of the resorts offer tennis, swimming, golf and spas, as well as sumptuous food and wine. Local handicrafts are sold on the roadside throughout the Drakensberg region, and the Zulu handicraft centre of Thandanani, located between Bergville and the Royal Natal National Park, sells a variety of traditional beadwork, woodwork and baskets.
The Drakensberg can be accessed by road via Bergville. Taxis and minibuses run from Ladysmith, approximately 50kms from Bergville. Durban has the closest international airport, with good connections to the rest of the country and overseas destinations.