Drakensberg (South Africa)

Drakensberg Travel Guide and Trip Resources

Martie Swart

Dragon Mountain

Drakensberg is one of South Africa's iconic attractions
"basaltic buttresses, incisive dramatic cutbacks, and golden sandstone ramparts"
Hike, bike, fish, rock climb, raft or abseil your way around

As far as iconic (South) African scenery goes, the table top mountains of Drakensberg rank pretty high. Officially renamed to uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park in 2000 upon receiving UNESCO World Heritage Status, this park that straddles the border with Lesotho west of Durban is one of South Africa's premier sights. The geographical region is larger than just the park.

Literally meaning "Dragon Mountain" in Dutch, the Drakensberg forms the edge (the Great Escarpment) of the South African plateau. As per UNESCO's description of the place, the scenery here features "basaltic buttresses, incisive dramatic cutbacks, and golden sandstone ramparts as well as visually spectacular sculptured arches, caves, cliffs, pillars and rock pools." Need we say more?

If you thought the name of this place sounded awesome, wait until you hear the names of some of the best sights in the 1,000km long park: Cathedral Peak, Champagne Castle, Spioenkop (where the mighty Boers and the British battled it out), Monks Cowl, and so on. Maybe more famous than all of those though is the Amphitheatre, a massive cliff wall that rises nearly 2 kilometers out of a valley.

So what do you come to do here? Hike, of course. Or go biking, trout fishing, rock climbing, rafting. [Review by travelindicator]

Key info

  • Drakensberg is a region in South Africa. It is situated at an altitude of 7638ft and the best airport to fly into is DUR (Durban International, Durban)
  • The main spoken language here is isiZulu / English / Afrikaans, and the average English skill is intermediate
  • The currency used in South Africa is the South African rand (ZAR)

Drakensberg Weather

Historical average maximum temperature per month (℉):

70 72 64 66 63 59 61 63 66 66 68 70

Historical average rainfall per month (inches):

5.8 7.1 5.2 1.8 0.4 0.2 0.2 0.7 1.3 3 4.3 5.6

More Drakensberg travel resources

At Rooms for Africa you find a list of attractions, while South Africa.net tells you a bit more about the place. Lonely Planet wrote a short piece too.

Drakensberg Attractions (Foursquare)

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Other travel destinations in South Africa (by popularity)

Cape Town, Kruger National Park, Addo Elephant National Park, Pretoria, Durban, Jeffreys Bay, Franschhoek, Port Elizabeth, Johannesburg, Bloemfontein, Drakensberg, Upington, Kimberley, Port Nolloth [Browse all]