The incredible beauty of Drakensberg has made it one of the most popular holiday destinations in South Africa. The mountainous region of Drakensberg, which means ‘Dragon Mountains’ in Afrikaans, houses the highest peaks in the country. The region is dotted with jagged basalt buttresses, rock arts, imposing tabletop peaks and dense forests. Read on to know more about the best attractions here.
The Tugela Falls is one of the highlights of a trip to the northern part of the Drakensberg. A view of this magnificent waterfall from the top of the Amphitheater, which is an imposing cliff face located in Northern Drakensberg, is an experience of a lifetime. There are many hiking trails that will take you to the waterfalls. You can reach the impressive Tugela Falls after an adventurous hike along the well-maintained mountain hiking trail from the Sentinel car park at Witsieshoek through Phuthadjhaba to the summit of Mount-Aux-Sources to the top of the Amphiteare. Another hiking trail, known as the Gorge walk, will take you from the Royal Natal National Park to the base of the waterfall.
Hlatikulu Crane Sanctuary
Hlatikulu Crane and Wetland Sanctuary is a bird watcher’s paradise. Have an amazing experience spotting South African cranes in this lush sanctuary, which is actually a Breeding, Rehabilitation and Rescue centre for all three species of Southern African Cranes. One of the best ways to see all the three species in the wild is by taking a guided tour around the sanctuary. Spot the endangered Wattled Cranes. There are only 200 – 300 of these cranes left in the world and they are on the verge of extinction.
South Africa’s blessing to adventure lovers – the Cathedral Peak Mountain is a high, free standing mountain in KwaZulu-Natal in the Drakensberg. But, it is the area around the peak that really captures the imagination of visitors. Sprawling over 32,000 hectares of land, Cathedral Peak’s surroundings boast of the historical Didima Valley San rock art and lush greenery. You can explore this region on foot, on a 4×4 or in a helicopter to discover its awe-inspiring natural beauty. It is also a good area to go fishing, as rivers and dams teem with trout and bass.
Travel through the postcard-perfect Sani Pass, which is the sole road link between Drakensberg’s KwaZulu-Natal and the landlocked country of Lesotho. A trip to Sani Pass will introduce you to the stunning views of southern Drakensberg. Visiting the pass requires a 4×4 drive and you can reach the 2873m high summit of Sani Pass by driving along a deep valley, which is cut by the Mkhomazana River. You can go on a day trip to the Sani Pass and enjoy a thrilling 4×4 drive along its winding roads. However, tourists must carry valid passports for a journey to this region.
A visit to the Midlands Meander will complete your holiday at the Drakensberg in South Africa. The Midlands Meander is a popular arts-and-crafts route, where travellers can eat, shop, play and sleep amidst stunning surroundings. Located around 15 kms away from Antbear in the Drakensberg region, the place boasts of around 160 cosy clubs, bars, restaurants and market places selling arts and crafts items including cloths with beautiful weaving, pottery, woodcrafts, and leather works, and herbs, cheeses and brews.
Explore South Africa’s ancient rock arts here in Drakensberg at Kamberg. The rock art on display at Kamberg is one of the best preserved samples, which are open to tourists, of this ancient art form. Marvel at the delicate paintings on rocks at the Gampe pass Shelter at Kamberg. This site shows the spirituality of the early inhabitants of this region through the paintings.