There are many reasons why the Drakensberg – which forms the backbone of the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park, a World Heritage Site – is regarded as one of the premier tourist attractions in southern Africa. Formidable mountain ranges such as this naturally inspire in people an overwhelming sense of awe. Add to this the scenic beauty, the diversity of flora and fauna, the San rock paintings, the choice of activities like hiking, horse-riding, birding and trout fishing, and you have a recipe for tourist heaven.

 
     

Drakensberg means ”dragon mountains” by the Zulu. But no matter what language you speak, this mountain range is staggeringly beautiful. The Drakensberg Park is the largest protected area established on the great escarpment of the southern African subcontinent. This escarpment formation, which includes the Drakensberg escarpment component, is intimately linked to the geomorphic history of the subcontinent. Landscapes are outstanding and the geomorphological processes, that is the horizontal sequence of geological formations which form the exposed east face of the Drakensberg Escarpment record a 130 Ma history in the evolution of the African continent before and after the breakup. The great Escarpment reaches its greatest and most spectacular expression in the form of the Drakensberg Mountains that lie within the Park.

In addition to these natural property values, and located within its original natural setting and ecosystems, is one of the world’s greatest rock art treasures.

Northern Drakensberg Royal Natal National Park

The outstanding feature is the Amphitheatre, an awe-inspiring rock wall rising 1 000 metres above the Little Berg. Prominent peaks include Mont-aux-Sources, the Sentinal, Inner Tower, Eastern Buttress and Devil’s Tooth. The dome of Mont-aux-Sources (3  282 metres) is the source of five major rivers.

 
     

Mnweni

Between the popular hiking areas of the Amphitheatre and the Cathedral range is the remote and rugged Mnweni valley. All hikes begin at the Isandlwana Police Post which keeps the Mountain Register.

Cathedral Peak, Monk's Cowl, Champagne Castle, Giant Castle and Injasuti

All the above are within easy range from Bokmakierie Country Lodge. Injasuti extends from the peak known as “Old Woman Grinding Corn” southwards to the Giant’s Castle ridge. The north-western part is commonly known as Injasuti, which in Zulu means “well fed dog”. Prominent features include the Tojan Wall, the Injasuti Dome Makheka (3 461 m) and Giant’s Castle.

 

ABOVE : There are about 600 recognised sites with some 35 000 individual images represented.  The oldest paintings date back around 2 400 years, and the most recent dating back to the late 19th century.

     

San Rock Paintings

The San hunter-gatherers are recognised as the indigenous inhabitants of the subcontinent. They lived in the Drakensberg area from around 8 000 years ago to the mid-1800’s, leaving behind a treasure trove of rock paintings. These paintings provide a rare glimpse of the San lifestyle and beliefs with hunting scenes, trances and rituals being prominent. 

   
     

 

   

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