KwaZulu Natal DestinationsChampagne Valley, Drakensberg
Lying in the central Drakensberg, the Champagne peak is one of the highest peaks in this mountain range, although the prominent peak from here is Cathkin.
But it is the enchantedness of the Champagne Valley that draws visitors away from city stressors to escape to a place of rare beauty that manages to remain almost entirely unaffected by development. The town of Winterton marks the entrance to Champagne Valley, which is said to have received its name from the first climber’s need to celebrate at the peak with a bottle of champagne, only to drop it before he could commemorate his notable achievement.
Hot air ballooning in this part of the world is a fairly popular pastime and a wonderfully languid way to experience the ‘berg from a bird’s eye view. The valley, which is easily accessible from the N3 - the major route between Gauteng and KwaZulu Natal, is home to more than 150 species of bird making it popular with birders.
Champagne Valley is renowned for the number of activities available to visitors here. One can hike, horse ride, river raft, quad bike, mountain bike, abseil, glide, fish, and there are a number of golf courses from which to choose.
There are a few areas of local interest too, including the Anglo / Boer War battlefield sites of Spioenkop, and Winston Churchill’s capture and ambush site - all this only two hours from Durban and three-and-a-half hours from Johannesburg.