The Drakensberg is not only about its famous mountain peaks - it is also graced with a number of lower peaks known as the foothills of the Drakensberg

KwaZulu Natal Tourist AttractionsThe Drakensberg

An awe-inspiring and truly magnificent range of mountains, the majority of which lie in the KwaZulu Natal Province and stretch well over 200 kilometres forming a natural border between Lesotho and KwaZulu Natal, are known simply as ‘the dragon mountain’ or Drakensberg.

Where? The Drakensberg, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

Overnight? See Drakensberg accommodation, in KwaZulu Natal

The description is apt considering that the average height of this series of mountains is 2 900 metres, with some of the highest mountain peaks in Southern Africa rising as high as 3 482 metres. What makes it so popular, besides its sheer majesty, is its accessible plateau and the numerous passes and slopes that make for some of the best and most strenuous hiking in the province; possibly South Africa.

The Drakensberg is not only about its famous mountain peaks - Giants Castle, Cathedral Peak, Mont-Aux-Sources - it is also graced with a number of lower peaks known as the foothills of the Drakensberg. The entire Drakensberg is riddled with incredible waterfalls, rock pools, mountain streams, caves, crisp mountain air, and special spaces that draw both visitors to South Africa and locals alike.

Within the Drakensberg of KwaZulu Natal lies the 243 000 hectare mountain region that is also a world heritage site, known as Ukhahlamba-Drakensberg Park. Not only does it boast some of the most incredible scenic beauty, but it also has over 600 examples of San rock paintings in caves around the park.

Staying in the shadow of these mountains brings immediate breathing space and a chance to unwind. Aside from hiking - and there are innumerable hikes that range in skill and fitness requirements throughout the entire Drakensberg - there are also horse trails, canopy tours, white water rafting, abseiling, local arts and crafts or simply ‘taking the air’ for those with little other than repose in mind.

Popular Regions of the Drakensberg

Bushmans Nek Valley

Stay? Accommodation Bushmans Nek Valley
Bushmans Nek can be found in the southern region of Kwazulu Natal's Drakensberg. Reedbuk, Eland, Klipspringer, Grey Rhebok and Oribi are often spotted here as are Dassie, Porcupines and Rock Hyrax. The birdlife is also abundant and if you are...

More information and photographs: Bushmans Nek Valley Information

Central Drakensberg

Stay? Accommodation Central Drakensberg
The central Drakensberg is regarded as the most attractive part of the range of mountains, certainly there is more Drakensberg accommodation and more action in these parts, and it is usually the first to feel the effects of winter, with gleaming...

More information and photographs: Central Drakensberg Information

Drakensberg Gardens

Stay? Accommodation Drakensberg Gardens
The Kenneth Stainbank Nature Reserve lies just next to Yellowwood Park in Durban, an extension of the D'Moss green lung in the south western parts of Yellowwood Park. The 253 hectare Kenneth Stainbank Nature Reserve is regarded as one of...

More information and photographs: Drakensberg Gardens Information

Mkhomazi Wilderness

Stay? Accommodation in Himeville
Mkhomazi Wilderness refers to a large section of the southern central parts of uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Centre) that is regarded as one of the few spaces in the country where you can hike for days without coming...

More information and photographs: Mkhomazi Wilderness Information

Northern Drakensberg

Stay? Accommodation Northern Drakensberg
People are divided when it comes to delineating the Northern Drakensberg. There are those who speak of its borders as the Natal Drakensberg National Park in the north, down to Cathedral Peak in the south, whilst others extend its upper western...

More information and photographs: Northern Drakensberg Information

Oliviershoek Pass

Stay? Accommodation in Bergville
The Oliviershoek Pass, on the R74 from Bergville, is often used as an alternative route to Van Reenen’s Pass. This happens when Van Reenan's Pass is closed off to motorists during bad weather, but you can also use it as a scenic alternative that...

More information and photographs: Oliviershoek Pass Information

Southern Drakensberg

Accommodation Southern Drakensberg
Broadly speaking, the southern parts of the Drakensberg lie between Bushman's Nek to the south-east and Kamberg to the north-west, including the Bulwer Mountain and what are often described as the 'country' towns of Underberg and Himeville...

More information and photographs: Southern Drakensberg Information

Popular Towns and Stops in the Drakensberg


Overnight? Accommodation in Bergville
The Kenneth Stainbank Nature Reserve lies just next to Yellowwood Park in Durban, an extension of the D'Moss green lung in the south western parts of Yellowwood Park. The 253 hectare Kenneth Stainbank Nature Reserve is regarded as one of...

More information and photographs: Bergville Information

Cathedral Peak

Stay? Accommodation in Cathedral Peak
he area of Cathedral Peak, surrounded as it is by wilderness and some of the most spectacular mountain scenery imaginable - the peak is bordered by two wilderness areas the Mdedeleo and Mlambonja - is a retreat for hikers, nature lovers...

More information and photographs: Cathedral Peak Information


Overnight? Accommodation in Cedarville
The little hamlet of Cedarville, virtually on the border of the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu Natal, lies just south east of the little village of Matatiele on the R56, north west of Mount Currie Nature Reserve, and on the very southern edge of the...

More information and photographs: Cedarville Information

Champagne Valley

Stay? Accommodation in Champagne Valley
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...

More information and photographs: Champagne Valley Information


Overnight? Accommodation in Geluksburg
Geluksburg lies in the midst of the northern Drakensberg, its position more than making up for its diminutive status. Just inside KwaZulu Natal, the little town is closest to the Free State border, sandwiched between the Oliviershoek and...

More information and photographs: Geluksburg Information

Giants Castle

Overnight? Accommodation in Giants Castle
Lying at the southern end of the central Drakensberg, Giant’s Castle, which gets its name from the outline of the peaks and escarpment that combine to resemble the profile of a sleeping giant, is essentially a grassy plateau that nestles...

More information and photographs: Giants Castle Information


Overnight? Accommodation in Glengarry
Due to its idyllic surrounds, Glengarry continues to be the perfect spot for those that want to enjoy the fauna, flora and natural splendour of the South African outdoors. The magnificent Drakensberg Mountain Range is a stone’s throw from...

More information and photographs: Glengarry Information


Overnight? Accommodation in Himeville
The hamlet of Himeville lies nestled at the foot of the Southern Drakensberg, its high altitude, heavy snowfalls and climatic extremes possibly the initial reason for its relative neglect. But the breathtaking scenery, abundance of water...

More information and photographs: Himeville Information

Hlatikulu Valley

Stay? Accommodation in Hlatikulu Valley
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...

More information and photographs: Hlatikulu Valley Information


Overnight? Accommodation in Kamberg
The Kamberg valley is described by its people as ‘the valley, which God created once he had practised on the rest of the world”. It lies in the foothills of the Drakensberg Mountains just beyond the Nottingham Road turnoff from Durban, and...

More information and photographs: Kamberg Information


Overnight? Accommodation in Kokstad
Kokstad lies in the shadow of Mount Currie on the outer slopes of the Drakensberg and was, until recently, best known for its cheese until Oprah Winfrey placed the town on the map, amidst much fanfare, when her charitable foundation, Oprah’s...

More information and photographs: Kokstad Information


Overnight? Accommodation in Matatiele
Situated in the lesser explored southern Drakensberg, the quaint little town of Matatiele lies 70 kilometres from Kokstad, at the junction of the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu Natal and southern Lesotho. The village is situated in the shadow of...

More information and photographs: Matatiele Information

Monks Cowl

Overnight? Accommodation in Monks Cowl
Monk’s Cowl is named after the distinctive mountain in the shape of a monk’s hood that lies between Champagne Castle and Cathedral Peak in the central Drakensberg. The peak marks the access point to the Mlambonja and Mdedeleo Mountain...

More information and photographs: Monks Cowl Information


Stay? Accommodation Mont-aux-Sources
Mont-aux-Sources is regularly described as a mountain block. This rather irregular and block-like bulge received its interesting name from French missionaries to the region during the 1830s because it serves as the source for both the...

More information and photographs: Mont-aux-Sources Information

Putterill Valley

Stay? Accommodation in Putterill Valley
The Putterill Valley lies just above the well known resorts of ‘the Cavern’ and ‘Alpine Heath’, almost exactly halfway between the two major cities of Johannesburg and Durban, and close to the border of the Free State and KwaZulu-Natal. This...

More information and photographs: Putterill Valley Information

Sani Pass

Overnight? Accommodation in Sani Pass
The tight zig-zagging curves of Sani Pass, one of the most magnificent mountain passes in South Africa, ascend through the sheer cliffs of the Drakensberg, linking KwaZulu Natal to the independent country of Lesotho. The route is...

More information and photographs: Sani Pass Information


Overnight? Accommodation in Swartberg
Swartberg and its surrounds are hidden away in those parts of the country after which visitors hanker as a genuine 'getaway' experience. The town also lies close enough to Durban to make it a perfect part of a planned holiday, or a weekend...

More information and photographs: Swartberg Information


Overnight? Accommodation in Underberg
The last town in the southern Drakensberg, Underberg, lies immediately beneath the majestic mountains of this area, their looming greatness offering a multitude of hikes and moments of breathtaking beauty. Underberg forms part of...

More information and photographs: Underberg Information

Van Reenen

Overnight? Accommodation in Van Reenen
Van Reenen has a history steeped in the Anglo-Boer War, and a lookout point, called Windy Corner, about 3 kilometres out of town with views over the mountains and lower lying regions - virtually all that there is to the town’s credit, apart...

More information and photographs: Van Reenen Information


Overnight? Accommodation in Winterton
The pretty town of Winterton serves, quite literally, as the gateway to the central Drakensberg some 14 kilometres away, and lies in the foothills of these towering giants, a typical pioneer settlement and one of the largest villages in this area...

More information and photographs: Winterton Information

White Mountain

Stay? Accommodation White Mountain
The area known simply as White Mountain lies in the midst of the central Drakensberg foothills not far southwest of Estcourt. The more than pretty valley is obviously named after the White Mountain at whose feet it lies, a virtually solitary...

More information and photographs: White Mountain Information

Did you know?

The Drakensberg Mountain Range is one of South Africa’s most spectacular natural wonders, showcasing a selection of the most breath-taking vistas imaginable. It is the highest mountain range in the country, reaching an impressive 3 482 metres above sea level.

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