Great Escarpment of South Africa

The Drakensberg Mountains, which is the eastern portion of the Great Escarpment of the central Southern African plateau, is known as a majestic playground in South Africa. Located in KwaZulu-Natal, the Drakensberg is a well-known and beloved maze of rugged beauty, suited to both the adventurer and the historian.

©Roger de la Harpe
The Amphitheatre in uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park.

With ancient Bushman paintings in long-used caves, Boer war relics and accessible climbing peaks, the Drakensberg has it all. In the perceptual process of creation, the principal tools of nature have always been water, temperature and wind. There are numerous peaks, pinnacles, towers, spires, domes and walls to explore, with guided tours and multi-day adventures on offer throughout the area.

Holidaymakers wanting to escape into the natural wonder of South Africa need not look further than the Drakensberg. The area has several parks, nature reserves and rest camps made to meet the needs of any and all travelers. Whether visitors are on a romantic getaway, road tripping with friends, embarking on a solo adventure, or bringing the family along, accommodation in the Drakensberg promises to offer comfort tailored to the guests' needs.

A Drakensberg Story

The first people we know of to have inhabited the valleys round the base of Mdedelelo in the Drakensberg were Bushmen, then the amaZizi, who...more

Animals of the Drakensberg

The first animals of the Drakensberg were mammal-like reptiles, creatures that predated the true dinosaurs by tens of millions of years, lik...more

Birds of the Drakensberg

Forget about the things that grovel on the ground and lift your eyes to the heavens, from whence cometh the most beautiful sights of the mou...more

Drakensberg 'Cannibal Cave'

Following the ravages of the impis of Shaka other warlords, the whole Drakensberg area was decimated. This occured in the 1820s and 30s, and...more

Drakensberg Back in the Day

Even before the Dutch settled at the Cape, the Drakensberg mountains had been identified by other explorers. In 1593 the Portuguese ship San...more

Drakensberg Escarpment

One of the most significant events in the planet's geological past was when supercontinent Gondwana broke up and Africa drifted southwards....more

Drakensberg Experience Route

The Drakensberg Experience is located in the midlands of the Kwazulu-Natal Province of South Africa. The route is centred on the Drakensberg...more

Drakensberg Rock Art

One of the Drakensberg's greatest treasures its cultural heritage. In Ndedema Gorge 3 900 paintings have been recorded at 17 sites....more

Drakensberg: UNESCO World Heritage Site

uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park is one of two UNESCO World Heritage Sites in South Africa with a mixed classification - due to its natural and c...more

Drakensberg's Bushmen Mountains

A name by which the Drakensberg's southernmost mountain is known as the Three Bushmen. Sehlaba-Thebe aptly means 'the shield', as the park i...more

Early Conquerors of the Drakensberg

The route up to Champagne Castle is, in climbing terms, a doddle, but hikers know it as the exhausting Gray's Pass which was first done in 1...more

Flora of the Drakensberg

The flora of the Drakensberg is broadly described as being Afro-montane in the Little Berg foothills and Afro-alpine on the summit. On a loc...more

Geology and Topography of the Drakensberg

The geological composition of the Drakensberg is fairly simple to comprehend it's the time scale that's difficult to grasp. The escarpment a...more

George Thompson of the Drakensberg

Only a wagon track ran up the Mlambonja Valley back in the day, and everything one needed for the building had to be carried up from the rai...more

Giant's Castle Valley

Giant’s Castle Camp rivals Thendele for its spectacular location above the Bushman’s River and hemmed in by daunting peaks....more

Great Families of the Drakensberg

Up to 1910 the Mlambonja, Didima and eMhlawazini valleys and all the valleys lying between Cathedral and Cathkin peaks were little known to ...more

Lammergeiers of the Drakensberg

The mountain is appropriately called Thaba Ntsu, the Mountain of the Lammergeier, for this high-land wilderness is the subcontinent's only r...more

Langalibalele Pass in the Drakensberg

Mthethwa Langalibalele, whose surname means 'the sun is boiling hot', was chief of the 10000-strong Hlubi tribe who lived peacefully in the ...more

Near Tragedy in the Drakensberg

In the Mkhomazi region of the Drakensberg, a small and inexperienced party set out from Lotheni one sunny Friday in July, under the leadersh...more

Peaks of the Drakensberg

The Zulu names for the peaks tell of their awe: Giant’s Castle, for example, is known as Bhulihawu – the shield thrasher. There’s Cath...more

Sani Top Chalet in the Drakensberg

In 1946 the intrepid veteran of the war in Italy David Alexander organised a pony trip up the steep bridle path to Sani Top in the Drakensbe...more

The Mythical Drakensberg

The Zulus called them the barrier of upturned spears, uKhahlamba. As the Voortrekkers ventured forth, most of the names they bestowed upon g...more

The Tugela River in the Drakensberg

The Thukela (more commonly known as the Tugela) River rises as a chilly and pure stream from a seepage 'sponge' on the slopes of Mont-aux-So...more

uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park Accommodation

The uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park is not only home to a diverse range of fauna and flora, but also to a wide range of accommodation options....more

Vegetation of the Drakensberg

The vegetation of the main Drakensberg range, between the Amphitheatre in the north and Giant's Castle in the south, is determined mainly by...more

Waterfall Cave in Mnweni

This is a walk that is seldom done but offers a wonderful Berg experience. The pass is an 'add-on' to the cave hike and although it is much ...more