Discover the Wonders of Drakensberg in KwaZulu Natal

Drakensberg - KwaZulu NatalDrakensberg - KwaZulu Natal
Drakensberg - KwaZulu NatalDrakensberg - KwaZulu Natal

Discover the Wonders of Drakensberg in KwaZulu Natal

The Drakensberg is South Africa's largest and tallest mountain range. It is located in the provinces of Mpumalanga and KwaZulu Natal (KZN).

A few hours' drive separates Durban and the vacation destinations along the southern KZN coast from the southern Drakensberg, which is closest to destination hubs like Underberg and Matatiele in the far south.

The central and northern "Berg" (as it is known locally) regions, which include well-known locations like Giant's Castle, Mont-aux-Sources, and Royal Natal National Park, are equally distant from Johannesburg and Durban and are best reached by the N3 highway that connects the two cities.

The Manyeleti, northern Sabi Sands, and Timbavati, among other Greater Kruger Park game reserves, all have spectacular views of the eastern Drakensberg.

What attracts tourists there?

With a greatest peak elevation of 3,482 meters above sea level, the Drakensberg is the tallest mountain range in the nation. The awe-inspiring Amphitheatre Valley in the northern Drakensberg is part of the Drakensberg, which is also known as the "Dragon Mountains" in Afrikaans and "uKhahlamba" in Zulu, which means "barrier of spears."

Route 74, a more scenic alternative to the N3 Toll Road, passes through the northernmost and busiest area of the Drakensberg. It extends around 300 kilometers along the N3 from the farming community of Bergville in the south, which serves as the entrance to the northern Berg from the Durban side, to Oliviershoek Pass in the north, which serves as the entrance for visitors from Johannesburg.

Giant's Castle, Cathedral and Cathkin Peaks, and Mont-Aux-Sources are among of the most well-known Berg peaks to go up and take pictures of. The region offers a variety of tourist lodging options, from rustic to boutique country inns.

Visitors from abroad are primarily familiar with the portion of the eastern Drakensberg in Mpumalanga. The Panorama Route, which connects the Johannesburg area with God's Window, Bourke's Luck Potholes, the Blyde River Canyon, the Greater Kruger Park, and the several nearby nature and animal reserves, is the most famous feature of this portion of the escarpment.

What distinguishes the location?

Much of the 243 000-hectare Drakensberg, which spans the landlocked mountain country of Lesotho, a former British Protectorate, is included in the Ukhahlamba-Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site.

The Berg is a region with a variety of landscapes and breathtaking natural beauty, including trout fishing spots and more than 600 instances of San rock art in caverns near the park. It is also adjacent to some famous Anglo-Boer War battlefields (1899–1902).

An additional draw is that it is close to the KZN Midlands, which is known for its craft brewers and art trail.

The Blyde River Canyon, the second-longest canyon in the world after the Grand Canyon, is the focal point of the eastern Drakensberg. Along the Panorama Route, you may find God's Window and Bourke's Luck Potholes, two distinctive tourist sites.

What are the most popular tourist activities?

The Drakensberg is a fantastic location for hikers, photographers, and adventure seekers. It has mountains covered with snow, pathways for hiking, rivers, waterfalls, and caves.

Around 250–300 kilometers from Durban, the Southern Drakensberg is home to the iconic Sani Pass, dubbed the "mother of all mountain passes in South Africa."

In the Drakensberg, you may find some of the best San rock art, including the famous Battle Cave on one of the Giant's Castle routes.

The aerial cable route, canopy tour, zip line, gorge swing, and paragliding are all exciting options for explorers. White-water rafting and tubing on the Tugela and Injasuti rivers, as well as some difficult rock climbing chances, are very enjoyable.

Adventure sports like zip line, hiking, mountain biking, and gorge swings are available in the eastern Transvaal Drakensberg, while more laid-back pursuits like game drives and photography are available in the lowveld game reserves below.


Winters are dry and summers are rainy in the Drakensberg. On the other hand, cold fronts that endure for several days can move in from the Cape at any time of the year. The Drakensberg can experience weather extremes like any mountain habitat, and similar to Table Mountain in Cape Town, change can come swiftly. This is something that climbers and hikers should be aware of because it may impede visibility.

Between October and March, the summer season, which is often mild to hot, is pleasant with lush flora, especially after rain. Probably the finest month to take photos of flowers and bulbs is November.

Snowfall in the Drakensberg in winter is common on the mountain's peaks and Amphitheatre, with low-lying parts occasionally being covered. It's considered by many to be the finest time to hike because it's typically dry and temperate, with "brisk" weather in the early mornings and late afternoons.

The finest months to visit the eastern Transvaal/Mpumalanga Drakensberg escarpment are April through September.

The Drakensberg in KZN is one of the coldest places on earth.

Travelers' Advice

Layer up and confirm gate opening and closing times with the national parks you plan to visit, especially during the winter and after a lot of rain to assure road access. There is no need for any extra preventative measures because there is no malaria in the area. Summertime essentials include a sunhat, good walking shoes, suntan lotion, and insect repellents.

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Drakensberg - KwaZulu Natal