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Drakensberg


- Scenic hiking paradise in KwaZulu-Natal -

The spectacular Drakensberg Mountains stretches 200 km along KwaZulu-Natal's western border. There are peaks of over 3 000 meters, rock paintings and the possibility of magical hikes.
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In 2000 the whole region, which is now called uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park, became an UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its striking environmental significance, its spectacular beauty and its cultural heritage in the form of 35 000 rock paintings that the San people left behind in more than 500 different caves.

© Destination South Africa

The Drakensberg is very fascinating in itself, with peaks exceeding 3 000 meters and with some very spectacular features, where the Royal Natal National Park, Giant's Castle, Champagne Castle and Cathedral Peak are the most famous.

Soaring raptors, waterfalls, rivers and lakes with an abundance of fish, wildlife, hiking trails, opportunities for horseback riding and a variety of adventure sports ranging from rock climbing to mountain biking, make the Drakensberg to a remarkable destination for all who love to spend time in nature.

It's the more rugged northern and central parts of the Drakensberg that are the most well known and it's also here that the most famous slopes and peaks exist, which make the classic Drakensberg landscape. It's also here that you will find a lot of the San rock art.

The northern part of the Drakensberg is a magnificent area. Here is the beautiful Amphitheatre at the eastern edge of the Mont-aux-Sources, a 3 000 meter high plateau and the source of the Tugela River and eight other rivers. The Tugela River flows towards the Amphitheatre and then drops 850 meters down over the edge in a series of waterfalls and among these is South Africa's highest waterfall. The Amphitheatre is the backdrop to the Royal Natal National Park, an area that, perhaps more than any other in South Africa, will take your breath away.

© Destination South Africa

The central parts of the Drakensberg comprise of a solid basalt rock wall at 3 000 meters height which extends 35 km and then ends in a massive pillar called the Giant's Castle. Nearly a century ago Giant's Castle Game Reserve was created at the foot of the mountain. Here are a number of caves where you can admire the beautiful cave paintings that bear witness to the San people who once lived in the area.

The southern part of the Drakensberg Mountains are characterised by slightly flatter terrain with green rolling hills. The area extends from Giant's Castle in the north to KwaZulu-Natal's southernmost part, Bushman's Nek, which is also one of two official border crossings into Lesotho from KwaZulu-Natal and this road you can take either on foot or on horseback.

In southern Drakensberg, you can see a variety of animals, including eland (Africa's largest antelope) jackal, baboon and porcupine. The area is also very popular among anglers; in the area you'll find a large number of trout ponds.
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