Ukhahlamba DrakensbergUkhahlamba (Drakensberg) or "The Berg" is a mountainous region in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa.
The name 'Drakensberg' is derived from the Dutch and means "mountains of the dragon". The mountain range was formed by a lava flow.
The N3 highway (a toll road) is the major road artery through KwaZulu-Natal and connects with Durban to the south and Johannesburg to the north. One of the regional roads leading off the N3 will get you to where you need to be.
There are no major airports in the region. The nearest international airport is in Durban. Pietermaritzburg has a smaller regional airport with daily domestic flights.
Baz Bus, runs a regular service between Durban and Johannesburg/Pretoria with stops in Pietermaritzburg and at the Amphitheater in the Royal Natal National Park.
Underberg/NUD Express runs door-to-door shuttle service between the Sani Pass lodges, Underberg, Pietermaritzburg, Howick, Kokstad, and Durban.
The best way to get around is by hired car. Roads are tarred and for the most part well maintained and signposted.
The Northern Drakensberg is generally the warmest area of the berg in Winter, with little to no snow and higher temperatures than Johannesburg.
Hiking around the AmphitheatreSpectacular hiking around a mountain feature known as the "amphitheater" or "theater" for short. 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.
- Royal Natal National Park features excellent hiking and accommodation facilities. In particular, there is the Tugela Falls Gorge Walk, which is about 22 km on relatively flat terrain.
phone: +27 82 731-4696Guided Drakensberg trekking and climbing.
The Southern Drakensberg is generally the colder area of the berg in Winter, with often thick snow and cooler temperatures than Johannesburg though spring and summer can be as hot.
Gateway to the Southern Drakensberg in KwaZulu-Natal is primarily through Underberg and Himeville.
Sani PassSani Pass is an 8-km mountain pass that can only be traversed by four wheel drive vehicles. These 8km are "no man's 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. Several tour operators/guides offer various excursions, from one to multiple days in Lesotho, up/down Sani Pass. On the Lesotho side, a spotless tarred road (1Nov 2016) begins after the border post.
Giant's Cup Hiking Trailphone: +27 33 845-1000address: KZN Nature Conservation ServicesThis is a 5-day hike covering about 13 km every day in unspoilt mountain terrain with ample pristine water sources and streams along its route. Being at altitude of about 1570 m above mean sea level on average can in some cases be taxing on those with a medical condition of the lungs or heart, especially on hot days. In general, a very enjoyable and scenic route with lots of interesting fauna and flora to be discovered. Not to forget the historic rock art of the San people.
phone: +27 36 438-6675
Sani Lodge Backpackers HostelLocated near Sani Pass. Accessible via Underberg Express shuttle service. Offers excellent multi-day tours to Lesotho and nearby hikes to Bushman paintings. Restaurant food is mediocre and overpriced at R50 for breakfast and R70 for dinner so it is advisable to bring food. Kitchen facilities are available.
phone: +27 36 438-8000address: R74 Bergville
phone: +27 39 727-4547address: 21 Hawthorn StDrakensberg Express offers you a vast search for Accommodation, Activities and Cuisine in the Drakensberg region of South Africa. The entrance and lounge area of this hotel personifies the warmth of the peaceful surroundings, so typical of the famous Drakensberg community.
phone: +27 58 713-6361Witsieshoek Mountain Lodge offers a variety of accommodation and activities, such as hiking trails, camping, bird watching and rock climbing.
- Lesotho can be accessed via the Sani Pass and border post. A 4x4 is recommended for Sani Pass.