The Drakensberg Experience is located in the Midlands of the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa. The route is centred on the Drakensberg World Heritage Site, which includes Giant’s Castle and the Central and Northern Drakensberg.
The route extends from Hidcote in the south to Sterkfontein Dam in the north, including towns such as Estcourt, Winterton, Bergville, Weenen and Geluksburg, and covering the area up to but not including the towns of Colenso and Ladysmith.
Reasons to visit:
Known to the Zulu people as uKhahlamba (‘barrier of spears‘), the Drakensberg mountains (‘dragon mountains‘) provide a magnificent semi-circular border between KwaZulu-Natal and the inland mountain kingdom of Lesotho. The watershed of the basalt peaks divides the rain and snow, some flowing westwards over the alpine plateau of Lesotho towards the Atlantic Ocean, and some down the vertical slopes into KwaZulu-Natal, towards the warm Indian Ocean.
This 200km-long mountain range has witnessed many historical events in South Africa’s history. The San people were probably the first to gaze upon its magnificence, but they tragically disappeared in the late 19th century, leaving only engraved rock walls and artefacts to remember them by. The same range was also the western boundary of the mighty Zulu kingdom, encountered by the Boer settlers around 1837 on their Great Trek north from the Cape Colony.
The name Drakensberg was coined only 40 years later, however, when a Boer father and son reported seeing a dragon flying high above the cloud-shrouded mountain peaks.