KwaZulu-Natal's Drakensberg Mountains. Flanking the western borders of KwaZulu-Natal for 200 km's is the spectacular Drakensberg mountain range, originally referred to as the "Dragon Mountains" by early settlers.
Nowadays, the Drakensberg Region is affectionately known to locals as the 'Berg'.
Drakensberg - Panoramic Splendour
The northern Drakensberg is an area of magnificent natural beauty. One such scenic wonder is the Amphitheatre which lies on the eastern edge of the Mont-aux-Sources, a 3000m high plateau and the source of the Tugela River and eight other rivers. Accommodation in the Drakensberg Northern area is plentiful and consists of Drakensberg resorts and typical Drakensberg self catering accommodation. Bed and Breakfast accommodation is also dotted around the Northern Drakensberg and can range from farm accommodation to star-quality lodges
The Tugela River flows towards the Amphitheatre in the Northern Drakensberg and then plummets 2 000m over the edge in a series of falls and cascades forming the highest waterfall in South Africa.
The Amphitheatre forms the backdrop to the Drakensberg's Royal Natal National Park which boasts some of the most breathtaking scenery in South Africa.
This large terrain, over 8000ha, can be explored on horseback with horses available for hire and there are more than 30 walks and climbs ranging from 3km's for beginners to over 45km's for the experienced. Most of the Drakensberg accommodation venues either have, or will arrange horseback rides for the guests.
The central Drakensberg area includes a solid basalt rock wall maintained at a level of over 3000m for some 35 kilometres ending in a massive corner stone known as Giant's Castle.
Proclaimed almost a century ago, Giant's Castle Game Reserve can be found on the foothills and a series of caves offer visitors a chance to view galleries of rock art - a testament to the San people who once inhabited the area hundreds of years ago.
The Central Drakensberg accommodation options are probably the most popular and include Drakensberg Hotels such as Champagne Sports Resort , Champagne Castle Hotel and Cathedral Peak Hotel. Central Drakensberg self catering accommodation can either be located in little towns such as Winterton or out in the open hills with spectacular views of the Drakensberg - especially Champagne Castle or better still, deep into the foothills of the Mountains located nearer to Cathedral Peak Hotel,
The Southern Drakensberg ranges from Giant's Castle to KwaZulu-Natal's southernmost section of the Drakensberg, Bushmans Nek. Bushmans Nek is one of two official entries into Lesotho from KwaZulu-Natal and can be made on foot or horseback. Sani Pass, the highest in South Africa is the other and the only road link.
Some of the wildlife seen in the Southern Drakensberg include the eland, the largest of the African antelope, oribi, jackal, baboon and porcupine. The area is also particularly popular for trout fishing with a number of well stocked dams available.
Southern Drakensberg accommodation consists mainly of Bed and Breakfast or Guest Houses. The Southern Drakensberg accommodation is very conveniently situated for travellers moving from KZN to the Eastern / Western Cape. The Guest farms in Southern Drakensberg are generally on the outskirts of small towns like Cedarberg and quite some distance from the Southern Drakensberg foothills - Beautiful countryside, no doubt.
Vultures for Africa
A highlight is a trip to the 'vulture hideout' for an unforgettable birdwatching experience. The main attraction is the rare Bearded Vulture, the largest of Africa's birds of prey with a wing span of nearly 3 metres. Mount Currie Nature Reserve is a haven for these magnificent birds Nearly 150 bird species have been recorded including the Black Eagle and the Cape Vulture to name but a few.