Northern Drakensberg

Royal Natal National Park

The Northern Drakensberg is the highest section of the mountain range, with many of its peaks exceeding 3000 meters. The Drakensberg Mountains form the border between South Africa and Lesotho.

Northern Drakensberg

The Northern Drakensberg includes Cathedral Peak, Mweni and Royal Natal National Park.

The peaks of the Northern Drakensberg are often capped with snow in the winter months forming many scenic vistas. The region is a popular hiking and rock climbing destination. Some of the more challenging hiking trails use mountain caves as their overnight stops. In the dams and rivers of the lower slopes trout fishing is a popular activity.

Royal Natal National Park

The most famous feature of the Royal Natal National Park is the Amphitheatre, a 5 kilometres (3 miles) long and 500 meter (546 yards) high rock face. The area is the source of the Tugela River, the largest river in KwaZulu-Natal, which plunges over the edge of Mont-aux-Sources Plateau in a spectacular waterfall – the Tugela Falls, which is the second highest waterfall in the world.

Tugela Falls

The Tugela Falls can only be reached by two hiking trails. The first starts in the Royal Natal National Park and will take around 6.5 hours. It covers a distance of around 22 km (13.6 miles). This route takes you to the base of the falls. The other trail starts at Witsieshoek’s Sentinel car park and takes you along Mount-Aux- Sources, passing through Phuthadjhaba. This route takes you to the top of the falls and is quite challenging as you have to use two chain ladders and can take between 5 and 8 hours to do a round trip.

Bushmen Paintings

The Northern Drakensberg also contains thousands of Bushmen painting sites. The Drakensberg clearly had spiritual and cultural significance to the San as there are more than 40 000 paintings within the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park. These paintings are one of the reasons that the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park is a World Heritage Site. Some of the paintings are around 800 years old, but the best preserved are around 200 years old.

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