While South Africa has many mountains, KwaZulu-Natal’s 200km long uKhahlamba-Drakensberg escarpment is by far the most impressive.
From its northeastern termination in Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces, the Drakensberg range extends through Lesotho to Eastern Cape province. They separate Mpumalanga and Free State provinces and Lesotho on the plateau from lower-lying Swaziland and KwaZulu-Natal province near the coast.
The Drakensberg rises to more than 11,400 feet (3,482 meters) and extends roughly northeast to southwest for 700 miles (1,125 km) parallel to the southeastern coast of South Africa.
The Drakensberg forms the eastern section of the Great Escarpment which borders the Central Plateau of Southern Africa.
The rivers that run from the Drakensberg are an essential resource for South Africa’s economy, providing water for the industrial provinces of Mpumalanga and Gauteng, which contains the city of Johannesburg.
Drakensberg Mountain Holiday Packages
Drakensberg Range is a popular tourist looking for drakensberg mountain holiday packages. The are is dotted with resorts, hotels, and hiking trails on the slope.
Between and amongst these peaks are plateaus, valleys, slopes, and incredible mountain passes that make for some of the best hiking, walking, fishing, swimming, whitewater rafting, horseback riding, birdwatching and cycling adventures in South Africa.
Check out some of our Drakensberg safari packages:-
8 Day Kruger to Drakensberg Safari – Starting At $ 1400, This 8 day safari package takes you to Kruger National park and then to the drakensberg for a climb of Mafadi Summit. South Africa’s highest point.
Four Valleys And A National Park
The area falls into four valleys, beginning with the Champagne Valley in the Central part, through the Cathedral Peak and Didima Valley, then the Royal Natal National Park and Amphitheater Valley, and finally the Middledale Pass and “Lost” Valley in the Northern Berg.
The Amphitheater is a rock wall approximately five kilometers long and 500 meters high.
It contains the source of the Tugela River and includes Tugela Falls, the second highest waterfall on earth.
Parks and National Reserves
Below the east and south scarps are sandstone terraces consisting of several scenic national parks and game reserves.
The best-known national park in the Drakensberg is Royal Natal National Park.
Because of the different climate zones, great differences in altitude and a copious supply of water, one finds in the Royal Natal National Park an extreme diversity of plants, most of which are perennials. So far, more than 2000 species were registered, most of them blossom-bearing.
The Royal National Park supports at least 29 species of native mammals and up to 10 species of bats.
The Barrier Of Spears
Drakensberg, also known as ‘the dragon mountain’, is sometimes referred to by the Zulu’s as ‘the Barrier of Spears’, is where the sheer magnificent natural beauty of the area gives the human being a feeling of inner peace and tranquillity, Which stretches over 200 kilometres and forms a natural border between Kwazulu-Natal and Lesotho.
Many people consider the Drakensberg their favourite place in South Africa because it often seems as if they have the entire place to themselves.
Best Time To Visit The Drakensberg
The Drakensberg is a popular tourist destination for both local and international tourists. The best time to visit the Drakensberg is during the summer months from November to February. This is when the weather is warm and dry, and the days are long. For hiking the best time is April to May as this marks the end of the rains. Its also green and lush at this time of the year.
Where To Stay Drakensberg
There are many wonderful places to stay in the Drakensberg, ranging from cosy bed and breakfasts to luxurious lodges. Here are just a few of our favourites:
Nestled in the unspoiled surroundings of the Drakensberg mountain range, the Cathedral Peak Hotel is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. With its incredible views, friendly staff and wide range of activities on offer, this hotel is sure to make your stay in the Drakensberg a memorable one.
Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse is nestled on the edge of a dam and opens to mountain views. It offers luxury, tranquillity and total privacy, making it the perfect place to relax and unwind.
Montusi is a four-star, family-run lodge in the Northern Drakensberg. With its spectacular setting, range of activities and excellent service, Montusi is the perfect place to enjoy all that the Drakensberg has to offer.
Is It Drakensberg or Drakensburg?
The correct spelling is actually Drakensberg. So Drakensberg Mountains not Drakensburg Mountains.
Is Drakensberg safe?
The Drakensberg is generally a safe place to visit, however as with any mountainous region, it is always advisable to take caution when hiking or climbing. Make sure you are properly prepared before embarking on any activities, and always let someone know where you are going. If possible, hike in groups rather than alone.
What To Wear When Hiking At The Drakensberg
Wearing the proper clothing is important when hiking in the Drakensberg. The weather can change rapidly, and you want to make sure you are prepared for all eventualities. layers are always a good idea, as is waterproof clothing. A hat and sunscreen are also essential, as is a good pair of hiking boots.
What To Bring On A Drakensberg Hike
In addition to proper clothing, there are a few other things you should bring on a hike in the Drakensberg.
-A map is always a good idea,
-Compass and a first-aid kit.
-Food that can last a day or two in case you get lost
-Plenty of water
-A small tent
-Whistle for emergency signalling
-Hiking Poles (optional but recommended)
-Your Passport (if you will be hiking to the escarpment top)