Separating KwaZulu-Natal from the tiny independent Kingdom of Lesotho is the dramatically beautiful Drakensberg Mountain Range – named the ‘Dragon Mountains’ by European settlers and ‘uKhahlamba’ by the Zulus (translated as ‘Barrier of Spears’). It comprises massive basalt cliffs and sandstone buttresses ranging in altitude from 1280m to 3446m at Mafadi Peak, the tallest mountain in South Africa. The uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site because of its great diversity of habitat, sublime scenery, endemic and threatened flora and fauna species, around 35,000 ancient San rock art images and as the source of many rivers which flow into the Indian and Atlantic Oceans. It is a hiker’s paradise with numerous easy to strenuous walking trails and trekking peaks to more technical climbs for the experienced. For the less active, there are also some exceptional scenic drives as well as fishing and horse riding.
Weather in this region is changeable at any time of year. Summers are warm and wet with dramatic thunderstorms and a tendency towards misty days which can obsure the view. Winters are dry, sunny but cold with temperatures dropping below freezing at night and occasional snow at altitude.