Perhaps a lesser known retreat for international visitors, this beautiful area of KwaZulu-Natal has been a long-time favourite for locals. The Drakensberg and Midlands area covers a majestic landscape of craggily hewn mountain peaks, gushing waterfalls and ancient rock art, which combine for a captivating self-drive holiday.
The Drakensberg Mountains rise to over 3000 metres and were termed by the Zulu people as 'uKhahlamba', which translates to 'barrier of spears'; a fitting name for the piercing mountain crests. Discover an area of outstanding natural beauty, boasting crystal lakes teeming with fish, a diversity of wildlife, including otters and eland, and skies ruled by eagle-eyed raptors. Since 2000 the Drakensberg area was acknowledged by UNESCO and is now a World Heritage Site, renamed as uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park.
It's impossible to get bored with holidays to the Drakensberg, with a spectacular list of activities on offer. Take on mountain climbing, horse-riding, hiking trails and uncover around 35,000 San rock paintings. There's also the chance to navigate the Sani Pass - a treacherous mountain road that links KwaZulu-Natal and Lesotho. The KwaZulu-Natal Midlands precede the mountain range and are best explored via the Midlands Meander. The route is characterised by scenic grandeur and plenty of things to do. Take in the unique sculpture of the Nelson Mandela Capture Site, Zipline through the trees with Karkloof Canopy Tours and marvel at Howick Falls.
Our favourite itineraries, showcasing the best of Drakensberg
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Set on 400 hectares of grassland, amidst the mighty Drakensburg Mountains, Cathedral Peak Hotel guarantees absolutely stunning views and a peaceful retreat from the outside world.
Set in a valley deep in the Drakensberg Mountains, Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse is an owner managed guest house with plenty of charm, character and delicious 7 course dinners.
Set against the backdrop of the Drakensberg Mountains, this owner-run lodge offers not only magnificent views but comfortable cottages in which to stay and explore the area's natural beauty.
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