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Drakensberg Mountains

Southern Sky Adventures: Drakensberg Mountains

The Drakensberg (translate as “Dragon Mountain” in Afrikaans) range, simply called “The Berg” by many, is the dominant element of the great escarpment in South Africa which edges the interior plateau of the country like the rim of an upturned saucer. Running roughly north-south, the range begins at a point east of Dordrecht in the Eastern Cape Province in the south and ends 600 miles later in the north-eastern Transvaal.

The highest peaks on the escarpment itself include Mont-aux-Sources (10,823 feet), where the borders of KwaZulu-Natal, the Free State andLesotho meet, and the country’s three most important rivers (the Orange, Vaal and Tugela) rise. Additional peaks include Champagne Castle (11,047 feet), Giant’s Castle (10,890 feet), Hodgson’s Peaks (10,683 feet), Cathkin Peak (10,440 feet), Devil’s Knuckles (9,934 feet), and Cathedral Peak (9,856 feet).

Hiking trails in the Drakensberg offer something for everyone. Whether you prefer to stroll through secluded, shaded valleys, walk the rolling foothills, hike the upper reaches or take on the challenge of man against mountain, the Drakensberg is certainly a hiker’s paradise. The nicest thing about hiking trails in the Drakensberg is that there are so many fascinating landmarks that can be reached with a comfortable walk and the minimum of climbing.

Most resorts, hotels and camps in the Drakensberg can recommend a wide variety of routes, from a short easy amble through indigenous fern forests to admire a nearby attraction, to more strenuous one-day hikes that trail over river and hillside – or head for the more imposing high ground. There is nothing to beat walking or hiking in the high country.

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