The Drakensberg Mountains

The Drakensberg Mountains

I recently returned from two weeks in the Drakensberg Mountains and it was an excellent holiday. Both hotels we stayed in are superb, set about 1,400m above sea level in spectacular mountain scenery.

 

A feature of nearly all the walks was the need to cross numerous fast running streams either by boulder-hopping or simply wading barefoot. On each walk we went up and up to various peaks or ridges, often watched over by the local vultures (looking for a meal?), whilst surrounded by stunning views of the green clad mountains & cliff like rock faces.

 

On the first Tuesday about noon we were contouring around a peak when suddenly 4 large  paramilitary types suddenly appeared. They were checking to see if we were local drug smugglers! We were not, so they said ‘goodbye’ & disappeared.

Our most dramatic walk was 24km that included a climb up to a ridge above Orange Peel Creek. We then continued along the ridge accompanied by thunder & lightning and watching the rain coming towards us only for it, fortunately, to move away and we were able to return dry to the hotel.

 

A few of us went to the Amphitheatre in the Royal Natal National Park where one of the features is a 30m near vertical metal ladder that gives access to the plateau at 2,900m. After all that effort in temperatures well into the Thirties was a welcome British tradition of afternoon tea & cakes on the terrace.