Mountain Range in South Africa. The name is derived from the dutch and means "mountains of the dragon". It certainly features some of the most dramatic relief in South Africa. Most of the mountain range is located in the Kwazulu-Natal Province. Lesotho is located on a plateau partially surrounded by the Drakensberg. The range was formed by a lava flow. It is regionally divided into the Northern Drakensberg, Central Drakensberg and the Southern Drakensberg. Locals and travellers alike refer to it as the "Berg".
Spectacular hiking around a mountain feature known as the "amphitheater" or "theater" for short. At the bottom of the amphitheater is the Royal Natal National Park, which features excellent hiking and accommodation facilities. In particular, there is the Tugela Falls Gorge Walk, which is about 22 kilometers on relatively flat terrain. Excellent views of the theater from the base are available.
Hiking on top of the theater itself is possible. If you are staying in the Royal Natal, it is either a two day hike or to the top, or a one hour drive to a gate near the top. The hike on the top takes place on comparatively gentle terrain. At one point, it is necessary to either climb a steep gully or to climb up chain ladders. Chain ladders are the easiest but the gully may be more rewarding. Once on top, look forward to excellent views of the berg and put your hands in the second highest waterfall on the planet (Tugela Falls, 947m).
The Northern Drakensberg is generally the warmest area of the berg in Winter, with little to no snow and higher temperatures than Johannesburg.
Sani Pass is an eight kilometer mountain pass that can only be traversed by four wheel drive vehicles. These eight kilometers are "no mans land" because the South African border post lies at the bottom and the Lesotho border post lies at the top. Four-wheel drive minibus taxis can be used by travellers to get up or down, but the wait might be considerable.
The hikes are the highlight of Sani Top. While the landscape is relatively gentle, you will encounter spectacular views of gorges in South Africa. You will see horses, cows, sheep and herd boys wrapped in blankets.
This page was last edited at 07:29, on 27 October 2007 by Wikitravel user Texugo. Based on work by Nick Roux, Colin Jensen, Felix Gottwald and Jani Patokallio, Wikitravel user(s) Cacahuate, Jonboy, Drakensberg, Janki, Nils and Nzpcmad and Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel.