Destinations & Attractions in Drakensberg, in Durban

Drakensberg Destinations & Attractions

The Drakensberg Mountain Range is, undoubtedly, one of the country’s most beautiful natural treasures. While this 200 kilometres long range spans a number of provinces, its greatest proportion is contained within KwaZulu-Natal. The most striking appeal of these mountains is their undeniable, breath-taking beauty. This has lured local and international visitors to its green and rocky faces for generations.

The Drakensberg region is defined by its mountains, which not only act as a fabulous backdrop for each of the little towns and villages of the area, but also determine the unique weather conditions of the area. Summers are hot and dry, but winters are often characterised by snow.

The Drakensberg area is, understandably, very popular amongst campers, hikers and mountain climbers. There is a huge variety of trails up both the high and low peaks, and even meandering through the foothills of the mountain range. It is on these trails that hikers and walkers will get to see the ancient art left behind by the original indigenous inhabitants of the area, the San. These were hunter-gatherers who roamed the mountains and lived off the produce of the land. They recorded their experiences, customs and traditions in the form of rock art. The natural splendour is unrivalled, and includes waterfalls, caves, streams and ice-cold rock pools.

The Drakensberg in KwaZulu-Natal is ideal for active folk that love being outdoors. In addition to hiking and walking trails, there are also horse riding paths, canopy tours (which enable you to zipline over the landscape at canopy height), abseiling spots and white water rafting opportunities. Those who really know their stuff can go ice-climbing up the rock faces during winter (not for the faint-hearted, definitely requiring plenty of experience).

The Hlatikulu Valley is one of the beautiful parts of the Drakensberg, and is distinguished by its lush, green valley and the surrounding mountains of Giants Castle, Hlatikulu and Mount Lebanon. This region is the habitat of choice for an array of plant, bird and wildlife species, who take advantage of the wetland and many trees. Tourist attractions for those that enjoy nature include the Giants Castle Nature Reserve, Kamberg Nature Reserve, Highmoor Nature Reserve and the Hlatikulu Crane and Wetland Sanctuary.

Some of the most famous peaks in the Drakensberg Mountain Range are Cathedral Peak and Champagne Peak. These are often on avid hikers’ lists of Most Wanted.

Significant towns in the area include Cedarville, Champagne Valley, Kokstad, Estcourt, Matatiele and Underberg.

Bergville

Situated exactly halfway between Johannesburg in Gauteng and Durban in KwaZulu-Natal is the small but scenic town of Bergville. It retains an old-fashioned charm and beauty, and provides an idyllic gateway to the Northern ...

Bushmans Nek Valley

Bushmans Nek can be found in the southern region of Kwazulu Natal's Drakensberg. Reedbuk, Eland, Klipspringer, Grey Rhebok and Oribi are often spotted here as are Dassie, Porcupines and Rock Hyrax. The birdlife is also ...

Cathedral Peak

Cathedral Peak is one of the free-standing summits of the escarpment, and is a fantastic day’s hike for those wanting to get the most out of the beauty and natural abundance of this region. Its surrounding landscapes are ...

Cedarville

The little hamlet of Cedarville, virtually on the border of the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu Natal, lies just south east of the little village of Matatiele on the R56, north west of Mount Currie Nature Reserve, and on the very ...

Central Drakensberg

The beautiful Drakensberg range or Dragon Mountains, also known in Zulu as uKhahlamba or barrier of spears, is a voluminous stretch of mountains that covers over 1 000 kilometres from south-west to north-east, lying mostly in ...

Champagne Valley

Champagne Valley is a picture-perfect part of the Drakensberg Mountain Range, and is popular amongst outdoor enthusiasts, bird-watchers, mountain bikers, hikers, and so on. The views from just about anywhere are spectacular ...

Drakensberg Gardens

In the southern foothills of the Drakensberg the Gardens Area might be, but the views from here of the towering peaks of the Dragon Mountains is pretty spectacular. This is the part of the Drakensberg that benefits from all the ...

Estcourt

Lower down in the valley from Van Reenen’s Pass, and in the heart of the Anglo-Boer War territory, Estcourt is a fairly large town that serves as the gateway to the central Drakensberg, together with Winterton just 40 kilometres ...

Geluksburg

It is probably closer to the truth to describe the little town of Geluksburg as tiny. It is indeed nothing larger than a hamlet. The town has roughly fifteen houses, a couple of shops, and a mountain with one tree (or at least ...

Giants Castle

Giant’s Castle is a pretty, green plateau that lies between the plummeting valleys of this part of the Drakensberg. As such, its views are just lovely, and the peace and tranquillity of the South African landscape can be enjoyed ...

Glengarry

With the Drakensberg Mountain Range as its backdrop, and about 180 kilometres from the capital city of KwaZulu-Natal Province, Durban, lies the holiday hotspot of Glengarry. This places it in some of the prettiest countryside of ...

Himeville

The trout-fishing hotspot of Himeville lies at a high altitude, although only being at the foot of the Drakensberg Mountains. It is not a common tourist hub, but is adored by those that frequent it, immersing themselves in its ...

Hlatikulu Valley

The Hlatikulu Valley is a particularly beautiful and bountiful valley that lies between Giants Castle and Kamberg Nature Reserves in the central Drakensberg, roughly 30 kilometres or so from the town of Mooi River. Towering over ...

Kamberg

Kamberg is pristinely scenic, an awe-inspiring dedication to the wonders of nature. The local folk are mainly farmers, and welcome visitors warmly. There are places in which to see San rock art, as this region was once inhabited ...

Kokstad

Perched on the border of KwaZulu-Natal (where it meets the province of the Eastern Cape), Kokstad is a stock farming region. Surrounded by towering mountains, it promises unrivalled views that are absolutely breath-taking ...

Matatiele

Situated in the lesser explored southern Drakensberg, the quaint little town of Matatiele lies 70 kilometres from Kokstad, at the junction of the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu Natal and southern Lesotho. The village is situated in ...

Monks Cowl

Flanked by Champagne Castle and Cathedral Peak is the distinctively-shaped Monk’s Cowl. In addition to its splendour, this peak boasts plenty of trails, inviting visitors to explore the richness of its fauna and flora on foot ...

Mont-aux-Sources

The pretty Mont-aux-Sources is one of the Drakensberg’s highest peaks. Hiking in this area is an awe-inspiring experience, and the photographs that such an exploration yields will be treasured memories ...

Mweni Valley

Beyond the Amphitheatre, lying between Cathedral Peak and the Royal Natal National Park, is a rugged mountainous area not part of the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg World Heritage Site. It belongs instead to the Amangwane people. It ...

Northern Drakensberg

People are divided when it comes to delineating the Northern Drakensberg. There are those who speak of its borders as the Natal Drakensberg National Park in the north, down to Cathedral Peak in the south, whilst others extend its ...

Putterill Valley

You won’t find much information about the Putterill Valley. This derth of description has little to do with the attractiveness of the area - if anything it is one of the most beautiful parts of the ‘berg - but rather it is the ...

Sani Pass

Sani Pass is the link between the province of KwaZulu-Natal and the independent Lesotho. It is a series of tight corners, and is one of the most scenic mountain passes in the country ...

Southern Drakensberg

Broadly speaking, the southern parts of the Drakensberg lie between Bushman's Nek to the south-east and Kamberg to the north-west, including the Bulwer Mountain and what are often described as the 'country' towns of Underberg and ...

Sterkfontein

The Sterkfontein Dam Reserve is characterised by lush abundance, clear vistas over the blue water and plenty of wildlife. It is situated in the Free State Province, and is popular amongst avid bird-watchers who enjoy spotting ...

Swartberg

Swartberg is a small village, but a veritable hub when it comes to agriculture. It is surrounded by mountains, which add to its seclusion and beauty, making this the perfect getaway for those needing an escape ...

Underberg

Underberg is a small town at the foot of impressive mountains, boasting gorgeous scenery and a huge variety of hiking, walking and cycling trails. Its neighbour, Himeville, is only a few kilometres away ...

Van Reenen

Van Reenen is a village perched on the pass of the same name. This pass is known for being slippery, but is the main pass through this part of the Drakensberg. The views are almost too magnificent to comprehend. Many visitors ...

White Mountain

The area known simply as White Mountain lies in the midst of the central Drakensberg foothills not far southwest of Estcourt. The more than pretty valley is obviously named after the White Mountain at whose feet it lies, a ...

Winterton

The pretty town of Winterton serves, quite literally, as the gateway to the central Drakensberg some 14 kilometres away, and lies in the foothills of these towering giants, a typical pioneer settlement and one of the largest ...

Witsieshoek

The Drakensberg Mountain Range is one of South Africa’s most exquisite gems, spanning some 1 600 kilometres and extending through Mpumalanga, Limpopo, the Free State and KwaZulu-Natal right down into the Eastern Cape. Witsieshoek ...
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