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South Africa - fascinating Drakensberg

Published: 17.5.2023
Drakensberg - a fascinating world of mountains, mountain passes and scenery, which are all under a constant theme to create a fantasy world of characters from J. R. R. Tolkien empire, whose birthplace is South Africa.

South Africa and the southern tip of Africa in general offer so many attractions that their virtual visit would not be enough a few articles. One of them, however, we must visit absolutely. The highest mountains of South Africa is due to its diversity and contrasts extremely popular location devotees trekking around the world, but few who are really lucky to visit this part of the world. The local National Park issued only a limited number of permits to enter the selected hiking trails, leading the band from one thousand to three thousand meters above sea level.


Drakensberg lies on the border of provinces of Free State, KwaZulu-Natal and the independent kingdom of Lesotho. And just the first mentioned province is the gateway to this magical world of mountains, water and jungles. When we looking the map we find that the Drakensberg by its profile resemble the shape of the letter "C", which thus forms a natural boundary between the subtropical coastal lowlands and arid plateau in the centre of the country. South Africa is also known as the home of several major national parks, from which it is necessary to mention the Golden Gate Highlands National Park, Royal Natal National Park and especially uKhahlamba / Drakensberg Natal National Park with an area of ​​almost 2500 km².

South Africa

Age of the mountains is about 150 to 200 million years from the period when this part of the country was determined mostly by volcanic activity during which seepage occurred on fragile sandstone basalt bedrock. Subsequent erosion, hundreds of years of wind and water work transformed the landscape as we see it today. Rocky promontories different shapes then received diverse names, which gave them the ancient inhabitants, along with magical properties and ritual symbolism, typical of the local tribes and Bushmen Zulu nation. Wall cave paintings and creativity of indigenous peoples can be seen also on some of the organized excursions or visits to villages, during which the tourists staged daily life, folk dance and a little money and sold a few of the local handicraft production of "natives".


Once you get into one of the camps, which are also the most ideal start for one or more day expedition, you will enjoy extremely satisfactory system of services, information and comfort accommodation at relatively reasonable prices. Also alpine trekking lovers will be happy same as those who prefer to choose undemanding walk in the lower parts. Flower lovers will also be in heaven, as there are several thousand unique plant species, which is dominated by hundreds of beautiful orchids.

Drakensberg - unique plant species

The dominant feature of the Drakensberg mountains is undoubtedly the Mont-aux-Sources (3048 m a. s. l.) with which you can argue if it is more beautiful sight of her or from the top of the surrounding countryside. Semicircular profile of the mountain is also called the Amphitheater and the most beautiful view of him is said to be from the Tugela River, which leads along the tourist trail. Not far behind such places, such as frequently visited Rhino Peak (3051 m) with a beautiful panoramic view or Mafadi (3450 m) - one of the highest mountains in South Africa.


The whole mountain is unique range from a geomorphological point. Plateau of Kingdom of Lesotho, reaches on some places up to 3600 meters, a sharp fall break into the South African plains. The height difference is more than evident. In addition, several steep rock walls, there is also the Tugela waterfall - the highest waterfall of Africa. Starting point for most expeditions is the Monk's Cowl location, near the town of Winterton.

Drakensberg - waterfall

Whether you choose one of the many organized trips or holidays adrenaline, which among others also offer travel agency, you should be able to be relatively decent money gets extremely impressive experiences of places that are maybe a little intentionally beaten tourist masses. As we have indicated in the introduction, surely there is a link between the fascinating world of South African landscape of mountains and magical fantasy world of Tolkien's Hobbits, Elves and Dwarfs...


GPS: 28°45'36.6"S 28°53'09.0"E

Text: Jan Chaloupka

Photo: Pixabay.com

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