KwaZulu Natal DestinationsHlatikulu Valley, Drakensberg
The Hlatikulu Valley is a particularly beautiful and bountiful valley that lies between Giants Castle and Kamberg Nature Reserves in the central Drakensberg, roughly 30 kilometres or so from the town of Mooi River. Towering over the valley like the colossi they are, are Giants Castle, Hlatikulu Mountain, Mount Lebanon and other peaks of the range that form an incredible backdrop to this vale.
This part of the Drakensberg is enchanting. Soil rich in minerals and verdant and fertile is traversed by the waters of a number of rivers, studded with grasslands and thorn trees and home to a wetland that harbours the few remaining wattled cranes in a rescue and rehabilitation refuge known as the Hlatikulu Crane and Wetland Sanctuary.
Giants Castle Nature Reserve is a haven of wonderful walks and the chance to view San Rock art in caves dotted around the reserve. The Kamberg Nature Reserve offers a reasonably brisk and strenuous walk to the top of the mountain to see San Rock Art. The walk takes roughly an hour and a half and is well worth the effort. Whilst the Highmoor Nature Reserve, also close by, is one of the few reserves that allows you to travel by road to the top of what is known as the 'little berg' or the Drakensberg's foothills, dotted with yellow sandstone cliffs and incredible views of the 'high berg'.
The mountains of the Dragon, as the Drakensberg is affectionately known, is the highest mountain range in southern Africa and a sight for sore eyes - the buttresses and peaks glorious at sunrise and sunset, summer, winter or fall; the surrounding area a series of waterfalls, pools, lush and forested gorges and an escarpment that beckons all with a spirt for adventure.