Rugged Glen Nature Reserve, KwaZulu Natal
Adjacent to the northern reaches of the of the Royal Natal National Park, Rugged Glen Nature Reserve is part of the Drakensberg uKhahlamba Park, a World Heritage Site that covers 243 000 hectares and stretches from Underberg in the south, to Bergville in the north one of the most picturesque and beautiful parts of South Africa as well as one of its greatest tourist attractions.
Rugged Glen lies but 4 kilometres from the Royal Natal gate and is a relatively small reserve with a myriad nature trails and some superlative trout-fishing. It also has two well trodden hikes - the Forest walk and the Camel's hump. The Camel's hump in particular is a rock formation from which one can experience glorious views over the reserve and across the entire Drakensberg escarpment. Mountain climbing, birdwatching and picnics are other popular activities.
Rugged Glen Nature Reserve, which was originally a farm of the same name, lies in the upper reaches of the Drakensberg Ukhahlamba Park, often described as a '200-kilometre-long wonderland'. It is a place quite literally of grandeur - no other adjective will quite evoke the incredible beauty, peace, quiet and majesty of the 'barrier of spiers' that is this 150 million-year-old basalt mountain range. It is also one of the most important archaeological areas in the country with sites from the Early, Middle and Late Stone Ages as well as the Late Iron Age, indicative of man's presence over the last million years.
The Drakensberg Ukhahlamba Park, of which Rugged glen is part, is also an outstanding centre of plant diversity. And the world's second-highest waterfall, the Tugela Falls, which is also found here, adds yet another dimension of beauty.