The Drakensberg Mountain Range has to be seen to be believed. It’s a breathtaking landscape, and as soon as you arrive you’ll realise why it’s one of the most popular natural attractions in South Africa. The Drakensberg Mountains (also known as ‘The Drakensberg’) is the eastern part of the Great Escarpment. This is the mountainous ring that encircles the entire South African Plateau.
It’s the highest mountain range in South Africa, with its highest elevation at 3,482 metres. So, you won’t be surprised to hear that this range is a popular spot for hikers and rock climbers. The Drakensberg stretches over 1,000 km so there’s plenty to do and see here. As you travel around, be sure to take a look at the plant life. Many endangered species can be found here, and some of the few conifers in Africa have taken root in the foothills of the mountains.
There aren’t many big animals on the higher slopes of the Drakensberg, but lower down you might see the rare southern white rhinoceros. When this rhino was facing extinction, the Drakensberg Mountains became home to most of the associated conservation efforts. Thanks to the combined efforts of scientists and local organisations, these rhinos are now classed as ‘near threatened’ instead of ‘near extinction’ like they were a few years ago.
During your stay, you might also see black wildebeest, reedbuck and chacma baboons hiding among the trees. Head up to the Clarens Formation to see the San cave paintings that are scattered across 500 caves. It’s the largest collection in the world, and most date back thousands of years. Really, it’s too good an opportunity to miss!
Within the Drakensberg Mountains sits uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park. This area was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003 and spans 150 km. It’s a stunning place to explore, and you’ll see the best bits by taking a guided tour. However, you could also try other activities such as fly fishing, rock climbing, hot air balloon rides and swimming. It’s surprisingly easy to lose yourself here for a few days.
The Drakensberg Mountains are a geological masterpiece, 180 million years in the making. They tower above the earth, creating a dramatic and exciting backdrop for any holiday.
Plan your trip to the Drakensberg Mountains today.