KWAZULU NATAL » DRAKENSBURG REGION
The Drakensberg mountain range stretches over 200 kilometres with the biggest portion situated in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
. This spectacular mountain range was first referred to as 'uKhahlamba' by the native Zulu people, meaning 'Barrier of Spears'. Much later, with the arrival of the Dutch Voortrekkers, it became known as 'The Dragon Mountain'.High rainfall in the area generates a number of cascading streams and rivers, including the Tugela River, the largest river in KwaZulu-Natal
, and the sources of the Orange River, the longest river in southern Africa. The Drakensberg is also home to the Tugela Falls, the world’s second highest waterfall, with an extraordinary drop of 947 metres.
However, these awe-inspiring water features are not just beautiful to observe, they also provide water for the provinces of Mpumalanga and Gauteng.As is expected, the mountains are teeming with indigenous flora and fauna.
Plant species such as tussock grass, creeping plants, Spiral Aloe and rare conifers
are just some of the vegetation blossoming
within the Drakensberg. It is also home to 299 recorded bird species (including the endangered Cape Vulture)
as well as eland, the rare Southern White Rhinoceros, Black Wildebeest
and a large number of reptiles and amphibians
.The uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park was declared a World Heritage Site
in 2000, thanks to some 20 000 well preserved traditional San rock paintings
that adorn the walls of 500 different caves
and overhang sites between the Royal Natal National Park and Bushman’s Neck.