Custom Tours : South Africa : KwaZulu-Natal – Drakensberg

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The Drakensberg mountains of South Africa or uKhahlamba (the Barrier of Spears) is a 200km-long mountainous wonderland and World Heritage site. The largest proportion of the Drakensberg area falls in the province of KwaZulu-Natal.

The Zulu people named it ‘Ukhahlamba’ and the Dutch Voortrekkers ‘The Dragon Mountain’. The Drakensberg Mountains, with their awe-inspiring basalt cliffs, snowcapped in winter, tower over riverine bush, lush yellowwood forests and cascading waterfalls, form a massive barrier separating KwaZulu-Natal from the Kingdom of Lesotho. The only road access to the Drakensberg is via Sani Pass, which at the top, boasts the highest pub on Africa, 3 000 metres above sea level.

Combining sheer natural beauty with a wealth of biological diversity, this 243 000 hectare mountainous region known the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park has been preserved and venerated for eons since the San people or bushmen roamed these slopes. Tens of thousands of paintings depicting their daily life can be found on the rock faces, and in December 2000, the park received international recognition and was declared KwaZulu-Natal’s second World Heritage Site.

And of course, there are the mountains, which must be conquered. The fearless may choose to try sheer rock or ice-climbing, or they may prefer the adrenaline rush provided by abseiling, white water rafting or taking a helicopter ride to view the Drakenberg mountains from above.

If you prefer the gentler, more leisurely pace of walking the many hiking routes on both lower and upper slopes of the Drakensberg, you can watch out for the 290 species of birds, 48 species of mammals, or the rare varieties of plantlife found in the park. The Drakensberg … the soul of the Zulu Kingdom

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