There are so many reasons to visit the Drakensberg Mountains but this list will guide you through the top10 Drakensberg highlights
1. The Amphitheater
One of the most impressive cliff faces on earth, this towering line of precipitous cliffs runs over 5km, at more 1 000 metres (3200 ft) high. The Amphitheater is within the Royal Natal Park. In summer it’s beautifully green with spectacular thunderclouds gathering late in the afternoon, while in winter it’s often under snow, and the grasses make the landscape yellow under clear blue skies. It’s worth checking out all year round.
2. Hike to see the world’s 2nd highest waterfall
Many rate this as the best hike in KwaZulu Natal – a trek through The Royal Natal Park to the Tugela Falls, which plunges over 948 metres (3,100 ft) from the Amphitheatre’s clifftops. The hike is 3 hours up to the point where you look up at the falls and 2 then hours down, along pathways lined with ferns and wild flowers, passing through patches of yellowwood forest. It’s really not too strenuous, but take plenty of water as much of the way you’re hiking above the river.
3. Bushman paintings – One of the top reasons to visit the Drakensberg Mountains
Bushman or San people have left behind delicate galleries of their art in caves all over the Drakensberg Mountains. By far your best option is to visit Game Pass Shelter in Kamberg Nature Reserve where you will find well preserved rock art. There is a local rock art guide available and if you ask there is a video presentation that will really improve your rock art experience
4. Adventure activities
The Drakensberg is a huge adventure activity destination. Hot air ballooning, abseiling, hiking, slack packing, quad bike trails, 4×4 adventures, down hill scooters, canopy tours, white water rafting, horse trails and a lot more is available in the Drakensberg region.
5. Running & MTB trails
The area has a number of trail networks of mapped and marked trails for running or mountain bike ridin. There are all the different levels of difficulty.
6. Slack packing – overnight hiking in comfort
Check out the Giants Castle slackpacking trail where you have the option to walk lodge to lodge and have your luggage transported to the next lodge you stay in. A guide will accompany you on the trail. There is even a pet friendly option to this slack packing trail
7. Birding – A haven for twitchers
The birdlife that can be found throughout the Drakensberg our top 10 list for obvious reasons. The Drakensberg is home to some incredible and rare birdlife that you won’t see anywhere else in the world.
8. Breath-taking views
It is important to take some time out, stop, and enjoy the endless and picturesque views that the Drakensberg is home to. With so many incredible mountains, cliff faces, rivers and trails, you are bound to come across some of the most breath-taking views in the world so be sure to have a camera handy and capture the moment.
Stargazing in the Drakensberg is special. There is very little man made lighting in the more remote Drakensberg regions and certainly less lighting than in the major cities. Not only is the lack of artificial light beneficial for star gazing but the quiet atmosphere and natural environment make the Drakensberg perfect for stargazing too! For a really different stargazing experience check out this stargazing hammock camp
10. It’s super-easy to get to
Just 3-4 hours from Johannesburg and 2-3 hours from Durban makes the Drakensberg Mountains an obvious getaway into spectacular nature for those living in Gauteng and Kwazulu Natal.