Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park

The Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park has exceptional natural beauty in its soaring basaltic buttresses, incisive dramatic cutbacks, and golden sandstone ramparts

KwaZulu Natal Game and Nature ReservesThe Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park

The Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park site's diversity of habitats protects a high level of endemic and globally threatened species, especially birds and plants.

The Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park has exceptional natural beauty in its soaring basaltic buttresses, incisive dramatic cutbacks, and golden sandstone ramparts. Rolling high altitude grasslands, the pristine steep sided river valleys and rocky gorges also contribute to the beauty of this world heritage site.

This spectacular natural site also contains many caves and rock-shelters with the largest and most concentrated group of paintings in Africa south of the Sahara, made by the San people over a period of 4,000 years. The rock paintings are outstanding in quality and diversity of subject and in their depiction of animals and human beings. They represent the spiritual life of the San people who no longer live in this region.

The San people are recognised as the indigenous inhabitants of the sub-continent. In centuries past they inhabited practically the entire sub-continent, and are regarded as "embodying the essence of southern Africa's deep past". Yet there is no monument to the San people - other than their own art. Within the Ukhahlamba-Drakensberg Park there are some 600 sites, collectively representing over 35000 individual images.

Remarkably, the rock art in the park is better preserved than any other region south of the Sahara. The oldest painting on a rock shelter wall in the park is about 2400 years old, while more recent creations date back to the late nineteenth century.

Many of the sites contain scenes depicting hunting, dancing, fighting, food gathering or ritual and trance scenes of hunting or rainmaking.

The ecological integrity of the area has been preserved intact since the last San people living there and the climate, vegetation and fauna have not changed. Uniquely, it is possible to turn from rock paintings of eland, rhebok and other animals to look over pristine valleys and to see these very species feeding, resting or moving about.

Popular Activities in Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park

Tugela Falls

Where? Mont-aux-Sources
The Tugela Falls in the Drakensberg is the highest waterfall in Africa. It is also regarded as the second highest waterfall in the world. There is, however, an ongoing debate that it could be the world's tallest waterfall, as opposed to Angel Falls in...

More info and contact details: Tugela Falls

Hot Air Ballooning

Where? Kamberg
Experience the awesome thrill and peaceful serenity of hot air ballooning. Hot air balloon flights are offered principally on the edge of the Drakensberg mountains, just inland from Durban in Kwazulu Natal, South Africa. The hot air balloon take-off is...

More info and contact details: Hot Air Ballooning in the Drakensberg

Birding up Sani Pass

Where? Sani Pass
This is an all day trip up the Sani Pass in a 4x4, looking for Drakensberg Rockjumper, Sentinel Rockthrush, Drakensberg Siskin, Bush Blackcap and Mountain Pipit. Join Stuart McLean on a birding trip up the majestic Sani Pass, the only road to...

More info and contact details: Birding up Sani Pass

Drakensberg Horse Trails

Where? Bergville
This is an all day trip up the Sani Pass in a 4x4, looking for Drakensberg Rockjumper, Sentinel Rockthrush, Drakensberg Siskin, Bush Blackcap and Mountain Pipit. Join Stuart McLean on a birding trip up the majestic Sani Pass, the only road to...

More info and contact details: Drakensberg Horse Trails

Did you know?

The rock art of the Drakensberg is the largest and most concentrated group of rock paintings in Africa south of the Sahara and is outstanding both in quality and diversity of subject.

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