|Destination: South Africa|
1 Blyde River Canyon
2 Cape Peninsula
4 The Garden Route
5 Golden Gate Highlands National Park
6 Kimberley's Big Hole
7 Kruger National Park
8 Namaqualand Flowers
9 Robben Island
10 Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, Cape Town
The green Drakensberg Mountains provide a haven for hikers, pony trekkers, trout fishermen and nature lovers.
Named 'Dragon Mountain' by the European settlers, the Drakensberg chain stretches along the western border of KwaZulu-Natal and into Mpumalanga. The most visited part of the chain is the Central Drakensberg, which also has the highest peaks - Injasuti (3,410m), Cathkin Peak (3,148m), Champagne Castle (3,376m) and Giant's Castle (3,314m). Other popular destinations are the 8km-broad sweep of the Amphitheatre and Mont-aux-Sources in the Northern Drakensberg, and the Sani pass into Lesotho in the south.The 'Berg, as it is locally known, with its green slopes and cold mountain streams, provides a haven for KwaZulu-Natalians escaping the heat and humidity of the subtropical east coast. The KwaZulu-Natal Nature Conservation Service runs several nature reserves in the mountains, offering camping or accommodation in serviced chalets. You can watch bearded vultures feeding at Giant's Castle, or go trout fishing at Kamberg. In earlier centuries, Bushmen took refuge in the Drakensberg when they were driven from the lower-lying areas by European settlers and African tribesmen. Hundreds of beautiful rock paintings of animals and humans by the Bushmen can still be seen on the walls of the caves and rock shelters in the Drakensberg. Some of South Africa's best walking and hiking can be found in these mountains, including gentle strolls through the foothills.
Address: Western KwaZulu-Natal, along the border with Lesotho
Phone: 033-845 1002 (information); to book, www.kznwildlife.com
Open: The various nature reserves are usually open during daylight hours; check www.rhino.org.za or phone for information
Accessible: Most camps have facilities; phone in advance