Top attractions in the Drakensberg

There is a lot to do in the Drakensberg region so make sure you choose your accommodation best suited to what you would like to do in the Berg. Our advice is to spend time at Giants Castle for some of the most dramatic hiking opportunities available as well as that its way less touristy. Kamberg for a Southern Drakensberg aspect of the mountains and some of the best rock art available that’s easy to hike to. Of course the Drakensberg region offers all sorts of adventure activities which include horse trails, game viewing and game reserves, microlight flights, helicopter flips, white water rafting, quad bikes and hot air ballooning. Then there are battlefields tours, arts and crafts, restaurants, cheese tasting and lots

Kamberg’s Game Pass Shelter is the site of the best rock art available to tourists in the Drakensberg. There is a lot of rock art sites but most are not well known and difficult to get to. Game Pass Shelter at Kamberg is an exceptionally good site where the spirituality can clearly bee seen in the rock art. There is a really good video presentation before you hike up the easy 1 and a half hours to the rock art site. This is a special Drakensberg treat

Giants Castle has some fantastic hiking trails. There is something for everyone from very easy 1 hour strolls to 13 hour grueling climbs to the top of the Drakensberg escarpment. The big advantage of Giants Castle is that you start walking at 1800 meters and generally the higher you get the better the views. The most visited locations you start walking at 1250m so Giants Castle gives We recommend Berg View a 2 hour easy trail with lovely views of the Drakensberg or Worlds View a 4 hour trail with a lovely 360 Degree view at the end of the trail. Both trails are easy and offer great views. There is also a lovely restaurant deck to have lunch or a cold beer after your walk.

The Weenen Game Reserve is a game reserve with wild and undulating African Savannah, thornveld valleys, spectacular river gorges and distant mountain peaks which form the backdrop for your visit to Weenen Game Reserve. An excellent road network and guided and self guided trails allows visitors to view a variety of wildlife species including black and white rhino, giraffe, zebra, kudu, ostrich, common reedbuck, grey duiker, bushbuck, steenbuck and mountain reedbuck. Over 250 bird species have also been recorded. Guest facilities include a game-viewing hide near one of the waterholes, a vulture feeding site and three picnic sites with barbecue facilities.

There are a number of horse trail providers. Some horse trails are particularly suited to beginners as well as horse trails that go up into the Drakensberg foothills or even in a game reserve where you can view giraffe, zebra, white rhino and more.

White water rafting is available on the Tugela River. Too little water and we would recommend something else. But when the water is good so too is the white water rafting.

There are few providers that offer quad bike trails. There are great quad bike options for kids too. The real quad bike trails are for children over 16 years of age and can be found various different parts of the mountains. A stunning quad experience, which includes a briefing and a scenic guided outride along the either the Puterill’s Stream or Tugela River Trail.  The trails covers a range of exciting terrain, including a river crossings and hill climbs.  This is a great introduction to quads for new riders, without being too dull for those with some experience.
All riders receive a briefing and must complete a basic competency test before departing on the ride.

The Drakensberg formed the backdrop to the largest concentration of battlefields in South Africa. But don’t let the description battlefields mislead you into thinking you are going to spend time in the past. The climate, the scenery, the cultural diversity, the cuisine and the hospitality makes your visit a unique and memorable experience. Spieonkop is one of the most interesting of the battle sights of the Anglo Boer War. But there are plenty more sights that a worth a visit. Take a battlefield guide and relive this history. Raymond Heron is a specialist South African War raconteur and registered guide who will accompany you to the many historic sights of the Kwa-Zulu Natal Battlefields.

The Midlands Meander craft route makes for some of the best driving around and stopping at a host of quaint little coffee shops, craft outlets and artists. Its little wonder thousands of people traverse the Midlands Meander each year. From humble beginnings, the Midlands Meander has grown to more than 160 places to eat, drink, sleep, shop, play as well as a diverse and fascinating mix of arts and crafts. There are weavers, potters, woodcrafters, leather workers, artists, metalworkers, box makers, herb growers, cheese makers, beer brewers and so much more. There is very little time to be bored with the array of activities and things to see. These villages are also set in picturesque landscapes offering magnificent views. There is so much to explore in the Midlands Meander. From the vastness of shimmering waters of the Midmar Dam to the looming but breath taking Drakensberg Mountains, from quiet villages to an array of craft shops, there is just so much to see and do!

The Amphitheater, Oliviershoek pass and the Sterkfontein dam make a lovely drive in the northern part of the Drakensberg. The view of Tugela Falls from the top of the Amphitheatre is considered by many to be the highlight of any trip to the Drakensberg. The picturesque and pristine mountain hiking trail takes hikers to the summit of Mount-Aux-Sources, and starts at the Sentinel car park at Witsieshoek traveling through Phuthadjhaba, from where it is a 5 hour walk to the top of the Amphiteare. With the use of two chain ladders one can gain easy access to the summit. This is the only day hiking trail which leads to the top of the Drakensberg escarpment. The most popular hiking trail in the Drakensberg called the Gorge walk starts at Royal Natal National Park leads to the base of the Tugela Falls. This trail winds through the Tugela gorge, passing through indigenous forests along an easy-to-hike gradient, covering a distance of seven kilometers. The final stretch of the route to the falls, consists of a series of boulder crossing over the river. After climbing a small chain ladder visitors can take the opportunity to view the majestic falls, tumbling down the Amphitheatre into a series of five spectacular cascades

The Drakensberg Canopy Tour is a unique eco-experience that takes people on a 3-hr adventure. The canopy tour involves traversing from one platform to another along a steel cable suspended up to 30m above the forest floor. The tour comprises seven platforms and eight slides that zig-zag down a pristine forested valley.  The scenery and birdlife is spectacular and professional guides provide interesting facts about the forest ecology during the tour.

The Sani Pass does require a 4×4 to drive up to the top of the escarpment. Starting at 1540m above sea level you will follow the deep valley incised by the Mkhomazana River to breast the summit of Sani pass at 2873m – with almost 1000m climbed in the last 8km of your trip. Why not go on a day trip to the Sani Pass, if you have a 4×4 then it makes for wonderful driving. The back roads hug the berg and the lack of other vehicles along this way is almost suspicious.

A number of golf courses can be found in the Drakensberg, both 9 and 18 holes. The most special is Champagne Sports which is nestled within this spectacular leisure, conference and time-share resort. The golf couse offers a magnificent clubhouse, which overlooks a hidden golfing masterpiece. The top 30 ranked championship golf course has been rated as SA’s most beautiful golf course in recent years with the clubhouse rated in the top 5 19th’s holes in South Africa.

The Drakensberg Boys Choir plays to an auditorium filled to capacity on most Wednesdays during the year. These Wednesday concerts and music festivals, which include Music in the Mountains are rated as one of the top festivals in the country which showcases the coral music of the Drakensberg boys’ Choir and features some of the country’s most popular artists. The initial part of every concert is given over to whatever the boys are currently working on. Classical music that includes Bach, Handel, Mozart or Beethoven and include hidden delights – jazz, folk, or music by Freddie Mercury – an array of what it means to enjoy music. The second half is consists of an Afrcan medly of different languages, gum boot dances, african musical instraments and vocal effects. This is not simple music by any means. The boys take on complex melodies and difficult rhythms, and rise to the challenge time after time.

Experience the awesome thrill and peaceful serenity of hot air ballooning over the Drakensberg region. Hot air balloon flights are offered principally on the edge of the Drakensberg mountains. You will meet at the hot air balloon launch site approximately 30 minutes before sunrise, your pilot will then give you a safety briefing. Once the hot air balloon is heated and you are in the balloons basket you will enjoy a flight of around an hour. Then you all return to a breakfast together.

The Drakensberg is renowned amongst pilots of all kinds as one of the most picturesque and exciting places to fly in South Africa. The scenery is awe-inspiring and this is an experience never to be forgotten. You may even land on the little Berg and enjoy a picnic complete with champagne before continuing your flight and returning to base. Westline Aviation offer scenic flights helicopter daily from their base at the Dragon Peaks Mountain Resort’s Airfield. Transec Aviation offer Helicopter Rides from Cathedral Peak Hotel.

The Drakensberg Mountains are home to an impressive collection of crystal clear dams and rivers where there are plenty of bass and trout to be caught. In this area alone there are nearly 25 unique fly fishing locations – most of which, have more than 1 dam or river to choose from. If you would like us to recommend a good guide for a fly fishing day, we can certainly do so. For rivers it is the headwaters of the Bushman’s River (in the Giant’s Castle nature reserve) or the Little Mooi (in the Kamberg Valley). Both in the foothills of the Central Drakensberg. If you have never tried fly-fishing, it is a fabulous day out in beautiful surroundings. Fly fishing equipment can be hired in Nottingham Road.

Falcon Ridge is home to a wide variety of raptors, some of whom have been rehabilitated after suffering from injuries. Daily shows begin at 10.30 am (except Fridays) See these magnificent birds fly and feed off the wing. The show includes a presentation by the excellent handlers so you can learn more about these magnificent birds. During peak holiday season, and weather permitting, they offer a second show each day. An insight into Falconry is included in the show and the public will learn how these birds of prey use their wings and sharp beaks and claws to their advantage. This is also a great activity for the kids

Top accommodation in the Drakensberg

  • Antbear Lodge – Stunning location with a spectacular view looking out over Giants Castle. Top tip here is to book the luxury cave, an accommodation unit that is built under a rock with a glassed in front, a wooden deck with hammock chairs. Food served is also a treat and you could even opt for private dining on the deck of your cave.
  • Ardmore Guest Farm – Lovely farm situated in the Champagne Valley. Thatched chalets with views of Champagne Castle.
  • Witsend – Self Catering chalets in the Champagne Valley just opposite the Drakensberg Boys Choir School. Great little wedding venue too.
Antbear Lodge - View

Antbear Lodge - Hot air ballooning

Antbear Lodge – Hot air ballooning

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Drakensberg mountain biking

Drakensberg mountain biking

cosmos3 drakensberg adventure

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