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Top 10 Most Beautiful and Best Places to Visit in Drakensberg

Best Places to Visit in Drakensberg

Stretching for 700 miles between the two countries and five South African states, the Drakensberg Mountains are one of South Africa’s most impressive geological features. The Drakensberg area is world-renowned for its spectacular scenery, most enjoyed on one of the many hiking trails in the area.

There are trails for all experience levels ranging from hours to days, and many other activities, from bird watching and fly fishing to country museums and an appreciation of Sacred Rock art. Plan your visit with our guide to the Best Places to Visit in Drakensberg and make your trip enjoyable.

10 Best Places to Visit in Drakensberg

Let’s explore the top 10 Most Beautiful and Best Places to Visit in Drakensberg:

1. Cathedral Peak

Located northeast of the Lesotho border, Cathedral Peak is one of the few independent peaks separated from the rest of the cliff by thousands of years of erosion. Its perfect triangle makes it a Drakensberg landmark, an easily recognizable landmark, and a siren for experienced hikers of high intelligence and excellent physical fitness. While this isn’t a technical hike, the climb to the 9,855-foot summit is challenging with a few steep sides. It can be tackled independently or with a guided hike from the nearby Cathedral Peak Hotel – an 8 to 10-hour round trip.

2. Cathedral Peak Wine Estate

If climbing Cathedral Peak sounds a bit strenuous, the picturesque Cathedral Peak Wine Estate offers views from the ground up. Established in 2007, the vineyard started out as a small-scale vineyard producing unique South African Pinotage and Merlot wines and now offers a range of grape varieties from Sauvignon Blanc to black and white wines. Tastings are offered daily from 9:30 to 16:00 except Tuesdays. Only 10 rand ($0.70) per person. To take your experience to the next level on your mountain-view balcony, you can choose to accompany the site’s handmade cheese plate.

3. Heimville Museum

The Heimville Museum may be small, but it’s also one of South Africa’s most respected country museums. Near the start of Sani Pass, it began life as a prison in 1899 but was converted into a museum in 1976 and recognized as a national monument two years later. Its exhibits provide a comprehensive overview of Drakensberg’s history, from Stone Age fossils and prehistoric San artifacts to displays explaining the arrival of European settlers and the cause and effect of the Anglo-Boer War and the two world wars. The museum opens at 9 am and 9 am every day except Monday.

4. Falcon Ridge

Located in the Champagne Valley near Cathkin Park, Falcon Ridge is a family favorite and a rehabilitation center for rescued wild and captive birds of prey. Here, visitors can see and photograph iconic African birds up close, including the African herringbone, endangered vulture, secretary bird, and spotted eagle owl. The staff are passionate about birds and their conservation and entertain the crowd with stunning airshows and informative talks against the backdrop of the majestic Drakensberg cliffs. The center is open from Tuesday to Thursday.

5. Sani Pass

Traveling through the mountains between the Underberg in KwaZulu-Natal and Mokhotlong in Lesotho, the Sani Pass is legendary. Touted as one of the toughest 4×4 routes in the country, the road rises more than 9400 feet through a series of eerie gravel crossings. On the way, admire the jaw-dropping scenery and watch out for endemic bearded vultures. At the peak of the pass, celebrate your survival with a beer at Africa’s tallest bar at Sani Mountain Lodge. 4×4 tours are for those who don’t want to drive their own car.

6. Tugela Falls

The amphitheater is also home to the Brick Falls, the second highest waterfall in the world with five free-jump streams for a total drop of 3,110 feet. When the falls are in full flow (late summer), it’s easy to see from the main road to Royal Natal National Park. For a closer look, hike the route above to the top of Mont-Aux-Sources, or take the easier Tugela Gorge route, which takes you to the bottom of the falls. The second includes a boulder jump, a small chain ladder from the Thendele Camp parking lot, and takes about five hours to complete.

7. Main Cave

To learn more about San’s ancient art, head to the Main Cave, about a 30-minute walk from the Giant’s Castle Nature Reserve’s base camp. This sandstone sanctuary contains around 500 examples of sacred art, making it one of the largest sites of rock art in South Africa. The painting features a man, a sacred oryx, and several animal-headed figures. There are regular guided tours of the camp from 9 am to 3 pm. Daily.

8. Giant’s Castle

If you want to see the mighty bearded vultures of Drakensberg up close, visit the exclusive Lammergeyer Giant’s Castle of the Giant’s Castle. Perfect for bird watchers and wildlife photographers, this magnificent hideout high in the mountains offers you a face-to-face encounter with vultures that come to feed on the bones left to them. Bearded vultures aren’t the only attraction. Endangered Cape vultures, coyotes and other raptors also frequent the area. A pre-booked 4×4 vehicle is required to get there and costs R260 (~$18) per person.

9. Giant’s Cup Trail

For serious hikers, the self-guided Giant’s Cup Trail is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It starts at Sunny Pass and winds around 37 mph on the southern outskirts of Marotti-Drakensberg Park. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is known for its natural beauty, and the trail is the only multi-day hike in the Drakensberg with five nights of lodge accommodation along the way. All hikers must carry adequate weather protection, food and water and complete a mountain rescue registration at the Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife Office in the Cobham Nature Reserve before departure.

10. Sterkfontein Dam

KwaZulu-Natal may have the lion’s share of Drakensberg’s attractions, but the Free State’s Stekefontaine Dam is the ultimate destination for avid fishermen. Located southwest of Harrismith, the 70-square-mile dam has extremely clear waters (perfect for recreational fishing) and is known for its healthy population of small and large yellow croakers. These South African native sport fish are sought after by anglers for their fierce fighting strength and beautiful golden coloration. Fishing is mainly by boat and the peak season runs from October to January.

Conclusion:

Hope you like our choice of the best places to visit in Drakensberg. If you think there are some more beautiful places to visit in Drakensberg, we should cover them. Write us below in the comment box.

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