Drakensberg, South Africa refers to the eastern part of the Great Escarpment, which forms the border with the mountain kingdom of Lesotho. One of the best journeys in Southern Africa is taking the road up the hair-raising climb through multiple switchbacks up to the Sani Pass, a fabulously scenic trip. The Drakensberg Mountains have the most dynamic scenery in South Africa and is as essential a stop for all travelers to the country as Kruger National Park is.
Drakensberg (meaning "mountains of dragons" in Afrikaans) offers so much to the hiker. There are several walks from a few hours to six days through this gorgeous mountain scenery, and pony trekking is very popular here. All hostels in Drakensberg, South Africa, offer a variety of trips as well as various adrenaline excursions such as mountain hiking, zip-lining, bungee jumping, and white-water rafting. You don't have to be super-active to visit, though. Just sitting on your veranda and admiring the scenery is enough for most.
Traveling by vehicle, you cannot drive along the mountain range. Roads lead west/east into the mountains via each of four valleys, necessitating a trip back to the main road to reach the next one. Some of the major attractions are Giant's Castle Game Reserve; Champagne Castle; Cathedral Peak; Maloti-Drakensberg Park; Royal Natal National Park featuring the Amphitheatre, a five-kilometer-long range of sheer peaks; and the Sani Pass. Thaba Ntlenyana, at almost three thousand five hundred meters, is the highest peak in Southern Africa and there are three others at similar heights. Most of the access points to these attractions have hostel accommodation as well as any number of guesthouses and bed-and-breakfasts. This is an extremely popular area for tourists, so you should book ahead if you want the cheaper Drakensberg, South Africa hostel options.
There is plenty of history here, too. The original indigenous "Bushmen" left many cave paintings and there were significant battles during the Boer War, the battlefields of which can also be visited. On the Lesotho side, there are many small villages sitting on the ridges and in the foothills revealing a rural life not changed much in recent years. Some of these have hostel accommodation, from where hikes and pony trekking can be undertaken.
Klipspringer, eland, reedbuck, rhebok, and chacma baboons can be seen on hikes on the lower slopes and there are a reported three hundred-plus species of bird in Drakensberg as well as more than a hundred species of plant listed as globally endangered.
This is a wonderful area to explore, and the number and quality of the hostels in Drakensberg, South Africa, means you don't have to fork out a fortune to do it.
Hi, I'm Londonroad,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Drakensberg hostels. Welcome.