Drakensberg Information, Accommodation, Restaurants, Business Directory and Properties for Sale
|Search by Area in Drakensberg|
|Barkley East||Champagne Valley||Estcourt|
The highest mountain range in Southern Africa rising to 3,482 metres (11,420 ft) in height is The Drakensberg. In Zulu, it is referred to as uKhahlamba ("barrier of spears"), and in Sesotho as Maluti (also spelled Maloti). Geologically, the range resembles the Simien Mountains of Ethiopia.
It runs for some 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) from south-west to north-east. The mountains drain on the western slopes by the Orange and Vaal rivers, and on the east and south by a number of smaller rivers, the Tugela being the largest. The range separates KwaZulu-Natal Province from the Free State Province. In the vicinity of Giant's Castle, it "swings to the south-west and enters the Eastern Cape", splitting there into the separate ranges of Stormberg, Bamboes, Suurberg, Nieuveld and Komsberg.
The highest peak is Thabana Ntlenyana, at 3,482 metres (11,420 ft).
Other notable peaks include Mafadi at 3,450 m, Makoaneng at 3,416 m, Njesuthi at 3,408 m, Champagne Castle at 3,377 m, Giant's Castle at 3,315 m, and Ben Macdhui at 3,001 m. All of these are in the area bordering on Lesotho; north of Lesotho the range becomes lower and less rugged until entering Mpumalanga where the quartzite mountains of the Transvaal Drakensberg are more broken.
The Blyde River Canyon in Mpumalanga is within the Northern reaches of the Drakensberg, though its geology appears different due to the lack of a Basalt cap. South Africa's Drakensberg mountains are home to the world's second-highest waterfall, the Tugela Falls (Thukela Falls), with a total drop of 947 metres.