South African Hotels

Drakensberg Tourism Information

Quick Facts: Drakensberg

  • The Northern Drakensberg in South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal Province, is the highest area of the Drakensberg mountain range
  • it rises here to over 3 000 meters
  • The Northern Drakensberg is known to the Zulu people as Ukhahlamba which can be translated as 'Barrier of Spears'
  • The Mountains of the Dragon provide a semi-circular border between KwaZulu-Natal and the inland mountain kingdom of Lesotho
  • This region is the source of the Tugela River which is the largest river in KwaZulu-Natal
  • The Tugela River plunges about 950 meters over the edge of the Mont-aux-Sources Plateau at the Tugela Falls
  • The Tugela Falls is the second highest waterfall in the world
  • The Amphitheatre is possibly the most photographed feature of the Northern Drakensberg
  • Town of Winterton
  • Town of Ladysmith
  • Mont-aux-Sources
  • Royal Natal National Park
  • Amphitheatre
  • Rugged Glen Nature Reserve
  • Singati Valley
  • Ifidi, Mnweni & Ntonjelana valleys
  • Mnweni cutback
  • Mponjwane
  • The Saddle
  • 'Big Five' Nambiti Game Reserve
  • The Elephant Rock Private Safari Lodge, Nambiti Game Reserve
  • Idwala Lodge, Nambiti Game Reserve
  • Nambiti Falls Lodge, Nambiti Game Reserve
  • Nambiti Plains Game Lodge, Nambiti Game Reserve
  • Springbok Lodge, Nambiti Game Reserve
  • Umzolozolo Lodge, Nambiti Game Reserve
  • Woodlands Lodge, Nambiti Game Reserve
  • Nambiti Hills Private Safari Lodge, Nambiti Game Reserve
  • Mlambonja Wilderness Area: Cathedral Peak, Ndumeni, Organ Pipes, Ndedema Gorge, Winterton
  • Mdedelelo Wilderness Area: Cathkin Peak, Monk’s Cowl, Champagne Castle, Loskop, Injasuti, Giant’s Castle Game Reserve, Estcourt, Mooi River, Nottingham Road

Introducing Drakensberg

The majestic Drakensberg in South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal Province, is possibly the most impressive of the Drakensberg mountain range which rises here to over 3 100 meters. Known to the Zulu people as Ukhahlamba which can be translated as Barrier of Spears, the Mountains of the Dragon provide a great semi-circular border between KwaZulu-Natal and the inland mountain kingdom of Lesotho.

The spectacular Northern Drakensberg is the source of the Tugela River which is the most significant river in KwaZulu-Natal.  The Tugela River plunges about 950 meters over the edge of the Mont-aux-Sources Plateau in a magnificent waterfall. This waterfall, which is called the Tugela Falls, is the second highest waterfall in the world. The Amphitheatre is possibly the most photographed feature of the Northern Drakensberg in South Africa.

The Northern Drakensberg in the KwaZulu-Natal Province in South Africa comprises the towns of Winterton and Ladysmith and is dominated by the magnificent Champagne, Cathedral and Cathkin peaks. The Northern Drakensberg escarpment is often covered in snow during the winter months, transforming this region of South Africa into a picture-postcard winter wonderland. Popular with hikers, rock climbers, trout fishing, and other holidaymakers, the Northern Drakensberg offers a wide range of hotels, country lodges, and bed and breakfast accommodation as well as camping sites and caravan parks.

Most of the Northern Drakensberg makes up the Natal Drakensberg Park which is a scenic wilderness area with an abundance of wildlife. Hikers here are often surprised by bushbuck, oribi, mountain reedbuck, tiny duiker, and the largest of South Africa’s antelope species, the Eland, as well as many others which they encounter. Enormous lammergeier, or bearded vultures, fly overhead and baboons bark from the cliffs.

The spring brings the vast and colourful carpets of wildflowers and the pink and orange watsonia, like miniature gladioli, bloom thickly on the hillsides. In autumn the fields and lower reaches of the Drakensberg are often a waist-high sea of confetti-like pink, white and deep velvet red cosmos blossoms. In the higher ranges on the slopes of the Little Berg, different varieties of protea trees show their prehistoric flowers, and ancient tree ferns and the odd cycad dot the gullies.

The Northern Drakensberg Mountains is home to many well preserved Bushman painting sites which are the evidence of the small, primitive San people who practised an old lifestyle in the area long ago. The earliest of these paintings are about 800 years old, and the golden age of the painters was between 400 and 200 years ago.The 'Big Five' Nambiti Game Reserve provides numerous exclusive and luxurious game lodges where guests have the opportunity to explore the untamed African bush with its abundant wildlife.

Accommodation in the Nambiti Game Reserve, KwaZulu-Natal Province (South Africa)

The Elephant Rock Private Safari Lodge, Nambiti Game Reserve

  • Idwala Lodge, Nambiti Game Reserve
  • Nambiti Falls Lodge, Nambiti Game Reserve
  • Nambiti Plains Game Lodge, Nambiti Game Reserve
  • Springbok Lodge, Nambiti Game Reserve
  • Umzolozolo Lodge, Nambiti Game Reserve
  • Woodlands Lodge, Nambiti Game Reserve
  • Nambiti Hills Private Safari Lodge, Nambiti Game Reserve

The Northern Drakensberg consists of the following regions:

  • Mont-aux-Sources, Royal Natal National Park, Amphitheatre, Rugged Glen Nature Reserve
  • Singati Valley, Ifidi, Mnweni & Ntonjelana valleys, the Mnweni cutback, Mponjwane, the Saddle

The Central Drakensberg, KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa)

The Central Drakensberg in KwaZulu-Natal is divided into the Mlambonja Wilderness Area and the Mdedelelo Wilderness Area.

Mdedelelo Wilderness Area:

  • Cathkin Peak
  • Monk’s Cowl
  • Champagne Castle
  • Loskop
  • Injasuti
  • Giant’s Castle Game Reserve
  • Estcourt
  • Mooi River
  • Nottingham Road

Mlambonja Wilderness Area:

  • Cathedral Peak
  • Ndumeni
  • Organ Pipes
  • Ndedema Gorge
  • Winterton

The Southern Drakensberg, KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa)

Comprising the villages of Underberg, Himeville, Bulwer and surrounding area, the Southern Drakensberg in South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal Province is a paradise for those who love active, outdoor holidays and the beauty of tranquil and unspoilt nature.  The Southern Drakensberg region features many different accommodation options in modern and comfortable hotels, lodges, B&B and self-catering units as well as camping facilities and caves.

A large part of the scenic Ukahlamba Drakensberg Park falls into the Southern Drakensberg area making it a haven for hikers, lovers of wildlife and birds and wildflower enthusiasts. Visitors may enjoy mountain biking, horse riding, trout fishing and many more exciting outdoor activities.  This region is home to a wealth of San Rock Art, as well as the local arts and crafts.

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