The Southern Drakensberg offers visitors a wealth of outdoor activities; from trout fishing, and hiking to 4×4 excursions, such as traversing the highest pass-road in South Africa. This route takes visitors along the upper Mkomazana River up Sani Pass to the border with Lesotho (2874 metres above sea-level). The adventurous will enjoy experiencing the Drakensberg on horseback – from hour-long rides in the foothills to a three-day expedition into Lesotho in the safe hands of a local guide and a sure-footed Basotho pony. Be sure to look out for herds of eland on the slopes and the majestic lammergeier (bearded vulture) soaring above. If you’re more into relaxing pursuits the area abounds with fly fishing opportunities in both dam and river, birders will enjoy a leisurely hike with binoculars in hand to scour the mountainsides for new ticks or perhaps a round of golf at one of the picturesque courses in and around Underberg.
The Central Drakensberg region is a mecca for the adventurous… take the challenge of one on the many rock-climbing routes in the central Drakensberg or feel the adrenalin rush provided by abseiling, kloofing and white water rafting or take a helicopter ride to view the majestic peaks from above –- a great ‘wow’ experience to include in any luxury itinerary. Seek out ancient Bushman rock art, evidence of the San people who lived in the area long time ago. These paintings are one of the Drakensberg’s greatest cultural treasures, with some 20 000 individual rock paintings having been recorded at 500 different cave and overhang sites between Royal National Park in the north and Bushman’s Nek in the south. Look out for a performance by the Drakensberg Boys’ Choir located at Dragon Peaks or pop into the Winterton Museum for great insight into local Zulu history and the Spionkop Battle during the Anglo-Boer War.
The Northern Drakensberg is home to the spectacular Amphitheatre, which is possibly the most photographed feature of the region, as well as the source of the uThukela River which plunges some 950 metres over the edge of the Mont-aux-Sources Plateau in spectacular fashion. Hike up the mountain, do a spot of trail running, tantalise a trout on fly or just sit quietly and breathe in the fresh mountain air and the spectacular surroundings. The Mweni Cultural Centre offers a glimpse into local culture and the option to purchase hand crafted goods and medicinal plants. The centre also provides accommodation and a range of activities including hiking, swimming, canoeing, horse riding, and bird watching.
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did you know
The Zulu name for eland is Mpofu which means ‘the light skinned one’, ‘the golden skinned one’ and ‘the humble one’. The eland is the world’s largest antelope at about two meters tall with an adult male weighing between 400-940 kg and a female 300-600 kg. It has incredible endurance and can maintain a trot indefinitely and can jump a 1.5m fence from a standstill.