The Drakensberg area consists of the Drakensberg mountains which are the highest in South Africa. The geological formation of the mountain range make them distinctive and unique amongst the mountain ranges of the world. It runs for about 1,000 km generally southwest to northeast, with a northwesterly bend forming the northeastern border of Lesotho with South Africa. The Drakensberg mountains are drained on the west by the Orange and Vaal rivers and on the east and south by a number of smaller rivers, the Tugela being the largest of these.
The region is a remnant of the original African plateau. The mountains are capped by a layer of basalt up to 1,500 m thick, with sandstone lower down, resulting in a combination of steep-sided blocks and pinnacles. The Drakensberg is one of only two mountain ranges in the world to have been formed in this geological way, which accounts for its extraordinarily unique formations and colours. The landscape of the Drakensberg is dominated by highly steep cliffs, some of them amongst the most spectacular cliff faces on earth, incised buttresses and soaring ramparts.
The Caves of the Drakensberg region features a wealth of Bushman rock paintings. The Drakensberg has, collectively, at least 40 000 works of bushman art, and as such is the largest collection of such work in the world. Snow falls regularly over winter, while rains and mist can occur year-round. In Summer the valleys of the mountains often see temperatures in the mid to high 30 degrees celsius, whilst in winters temperatures on top of the mountains may plunge to below -20 Celsius. In the southern Drakensberg there is a ski resort called Tiffindell which is open from late May to Early September.
The Drakensberg region offers numerous hikes ranging from day-trails to overnight hikes. Other popular outdoor activities include mountain biking, rock climbing, fly fishing and horse riding. Large portions of the Drakensberg form the Ukhahlamba-Drakensberg Park with its abundance of flora and fauna. The park features an abundance of wildlife including the black eagle, bearded vulture, eland, baboons, blesbuck, oribi, mountain reedbuck and duiker.
Information on towns in the Drakensberg Region
Bergville, Central Drakensberg, Northern Drakensberg, Southern Drakensberg, Kokstad, Winterton, uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park, Underberg