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uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park

uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park



+27 (0) 33 845 1000



Poaching Hotline:

+27 (0) 8600 10111


Size:  242,800 ha / 2,428 km2

Nearest major city:  Durban (3h approx by car)

Species Numbers:  57 Mammals        354 Birds        76 Reptiles

Big Five:  No


  • - Some of the most dramatic scenery in South Africa
  • - Lots of good hiking trails with no risk from potentially dangerous game
  • - Great birding location
  • - Some of the finest rock art sites in South Africa

The mountains of uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park – a World Heritage Site - are one of the country’s true wilderness areas and cover some of southern Africa’s most inaccessible terrain. This mountain range is in effect a very steep escarpment, forming the geological boundary between the highveld plateau of central South Africa and the low-lying hills and coastal belt of eastern South Africa.

Although the foothills are dotted with rural villages, country hotels and traditional Zulu homesteads, the higher altitudes are wonderfully wild, and accessible to only the most determined and prepared of hikers. “uKhahlamba” means “Barrier of Spears” in Zulu, while “Drakensberg” is the Afrikaans name, meaning “Dragon Mountains”.

Culturally, these mountains are the repository of Africa’s largest and most well-preserved collection of rock art, some of which dates back 8,000 years; there are more than 40,000 paintings spread across 1,200 sites, caves and shelters. The mountains make up most of the Drakensberg Alpine Centre with around 2,500 species of plants, of which more than 330 are endemic, while the area is also one of southern Africa’s eight major centres of reptilian and amphibian diversity.