The Drakensberg Mountains
Fact File: Size – from north-east to south-west 1s125km | Part of the Great Escarpment | Main watershed for South Africa | max. altitude– 3,482 metres
The Drakensberg (from the dutch Drakensbergen meaning “mountains of the dragon”) is South Africas longest mountain range extending from the north-east to the south-west for around 1125km. Most of the range is located in the South African province of KwaZulu Natal. Lesotho lies on a plateau partially surrounded by the Drakensberg.
How to get there?
It is actually pretty easy to get around in the Drakensberg area... if you have a car. If not, travelling on your own will get kind of a mission. Therefore renting a car is actually the best way of exploring the Mountains. See the TravelComments.com route suggestions for some ideas where to go in the Drakensberg Mountains or make us of google maps for a detailled and individual route (map) description. Another option is taking the Baz Bus, a pretty convenient backpacker hop on - hop off bus, on it's leg between Durban and Johannesburg/Pretoria.
UNESCO World Heritage Site - also see World Heritage Sites in Southern Africa
In this awesome mountain range you can savour the ultimate freedom of great open spaces in a world of gigantic peaks and buttresses, of towering sandstone cliffs and hidden valleys, virgin forests and crystal clear rivers.
The rock wall known as “Amphitheatre” is about 5 km in length and approx. 500m high. The highest peak on top of it is the “Mont-aux-Sources” (French meaning “mountain of springs”). Down the face of the amphitheatre cascades the Thukela river ends up in one of the highest waterfalls in the world.
Accommodation in the Northern Drakensberg is mainly concentrated in and around Winterton.
The uKhahlamba Drakensberg region of KwaZulu-Natal is rich in rock art left behind by the San people. These exquisite paintings tell stories of yesteryear and teach us more about the mythology, ritual, and beliefs of the San.
Visit the Kamberg San Rock Art Interpretive Centre for some stunning insights in the culture of the San of Southern Africa.
Accommodation in the Central Drakensberg is mainly concentrated in and around Nottingham Road & Mooi River.
The Southern Drakensberg is a bit off the normal tourist trek, but it is home to the “Sani Pass”, the highest pass-road in South Africa.
The Sani Pass leads you the way to the “Kingdom in the Sky” Lesotho. The pass is about 8km long and can only be driven with a 4x4. On top of the Sani Pass you find the Sani Lodge and with it “the highest pub in Africa”. Organised tours to the pass can be organised from Underberg.
Accommodation in the Central Drakensberg is mainly concentrated in and around Underberg.