The Drakensberg is one of the most attractive places to stay in South Africa. There is so much to see and do here it is highly unlikely you could ever get bored. There is plenty of suitable accommodation in the area and once you have chosen your base for the duration of your trip you can start exploring the many highlights the region has to share with you.
Here are three suggestions for great days out that may make you fall in love with the area even more.
Visit the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park
This must surely be one of the undisputed highlights in this part of South Africa. Hikers love this part of the country but it is easy simply to find somewhere to sit and drink in as much as you can take of the wonderful scenery.
There is far more to do than hiking in the park as well. For example, do you fancy climbing up a rock face? How about mounting a horse and letting the animal do most of the hard work involved in getting from A to B while you appreciate the scenery? There are water sports available here too if that takes your fancy. Whatever your favourite outdoor pastime might be, you will find opportunities to get involved right here in the park. It may be a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its sheer beauty and diverse range of habitats, but you will find plenty more to enjoy here too.
Navigate some of the finest passes in the Drakensberg area
There are several ways you can get around while staying here. For example some people love to rely on nothing but their own two feet, while others enjoy mountain biking. There may soon be the possibility to use a cableway too, if plans for the Drakensberg Cableway come to fruition. However if you want to cover more ground so you can drive or ride through some of the best mountain passes in the area, you are better off using either a car or a motorcycle. You can cover many miles and travel through passes including Bannerman’s Pass, Giant’s Castle Pass, Muller’s Pass and Van Reenen’s Pass. Each one offers a different highest point and there are many areas that provide convenient stopping points en route. These are ideal for drivers and bikers to make the most of. Of course it is wise to make sure you have adequate cover in case you should run into any problems while biking or driving through the Drakensberg area. Ensure you also have cover to protect against lost or stolen valuables, especially if you know you will be enjoying frequent stops.
Hike up the Drakensberg Mountains
You don’t have to tackle the highest peaks if you don’t feel up to it, but it is well worth climbing a fair distance if you want to make the most of the impressive views. The name translates into Dragon’s Mountain although there are several notable mountains in this region.
The highest of them all is Thabana Ntlenyana which is an impressive 11,319 feet tall. While this is well above the height at which most of us would feel comfortable climbing to, it doesn’t mean you cannot make the most of hiking some of the trails in the area. These range from the hour-long hike around Devil’s Hoek Valley to an impressively long hike starting at the Amphitheatre and finishing several days’ later at Cathedral Peak, another great range. If you want to tackle a longer walk of two or three days plan carefully. There are caves and even huts you can sleep in overnight before returning to your normal accommodation if you go prepared and choose the right route.
Whatever you choose to do while in Drakensberg you are sure to have the best time. While many people come to South Africa with safaris in mind, you can see the country has much more to offer than this. It isn’t all about the Big Five animals when you want to see the wildlife here; you can see many other animals and birds if you know where to go and where to look in the Drakensberg area. Where will you begin your journey of discovery when you come to stay?
Guest post contributor: Susie Barnes