A Week In The Drakensberg, KwaZulu-Natal

A Week In The Drakensberg, KwaZulu-Natal


A week in the majestic Drakensberg range at the four-star Drakensberg Sun in KwaZulu-Natal! Thank you, Neville and Sterna, for inviting me along! The luxury hotel is situated in the Champagne Valley in the Central Berg. For those who do not know, berg means mountain, and draak is a dragon; hence, Drakensberg translates to Dragon Mountain. The mountain range is located in the eastern part of South Africa, bordering on the independent country of Lesotho in the northwest. The highest peaks of the Drakensberg Mountains in South Africa reach up to 11,422 feet in height. In the isi-Zulu language, they are called the barrier of spears (uKhahlamba).


Roadsigns in the Free State, South Africa

We set off from Pretoria and past Johannesburg with heavy traffic on the N3, but luckily, it thinned out, and as we traversed through dry-stalk mealie farms, the drive became very pleasant. We passed turn-offs to my old hunting grounds in the Free State: Bethlehem and Puthaditjaba. I recognized the flat top mountain at Harrismith, another town I frequented when I lived in the old QwaQwa.


Sterkfontein Dam



We turned off and passed the magnificent Sterkfontein dam. This huge dam supplies the biggest hydroelectric power station in South Africa and is a popular watersports and fishing resort. The road curved around hills, and we climbed higher, enjoying the beautiful vistas.




Little Switzerland



It was getting cold, and we made an icy pit stop at Little Switzerland, a well-known family resort in the mountains.









There were some mini peacocks near where we parked the car. At first, we thought they were turkeys, but then we noticed the little crowns on their heads.










Eroded road near Bergville, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa




We were reminded of the devastating floods in 2022 as we traveled along the mountain pass. We drove at a snail’s pace across a severely eroded stretch of road. We traveled along the Lange Kloof, near the small town of Bergville in Kwazulu-Natal.





Sign Drakensberg World Heritage Site Kwazulu-Natal


Spotting the Drakensberg World Heritage sign along the road was a thrilling moment. Besides its magnificent natural beauty, the Drakensberg is also home to endangered species such as the Cape vulture and the bearded vulture. There are many caves and rock dwellings to explore. They harbor the largest and most concentrated group of rock paintings done by the San people (bushmen) who lived in this area over a period of 4,000 years.

Drakensberg Mountains, Kwazulu-Natal



The Drakensberg was now in full view on the horizon. The sun began to set, and the sky turned yellow. We still had about an hour’s driving ahead.









Finally, we reached the road to Winterton, the nearest town to the Drakensberg Sun. I was delighted that the famous Drakensberg Boys Choir school was only a stone's throw away from where we would be. Unfortunately, the school was closed for the winter vacation, and we would be gone when they would next perform.



Drakensberg Sun, Winterton, Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa



We arrived in the half-dark and settled into our beautifully equipped self-catering unit. We had a lovely view of the mountain and the river running through the property.






Zebras on golf course, Drakensberg Sun, Kwazulu-Natal, SOuth Africa



Early the following day, I walked around the gardens and sat on a bench at the golf course. I was pleasantly surprised to see two zebras nearby nibbling on the grass. After a few minutes, they both lay down for a nap—not a sight one sees every day.




Dragon's Peak Restaurant and Bar, Drakensberg, Kwazulu-Natal

It was such a lovely day that we decided to pack a picnic and go for a drive. We drove carefully from spot to spot and finally selected the perfect shade and view. To our amusement, we reached for the picnic basket and discovered that we all thought the other one had taken it. So, we backtracked and turned into the Dragon’s Peak Restaurant and Bar for a lovely fish and chips lunch.



Sterna, Neville, Elsa at Dragon's Peak Restaurant and Bar, Drakensberg, Kwazulu Natal

We spent the next few days lounging at the hotel, reading, and enjoying a braai at the pool. Neville enjoyed the daily hikes offered by the hotel; Sterna explored the grounds while I soaked up the sun. Exploring the surrounding areas, we discovered Chocolate Memories (a chocolate-tasting shop) a few excellent bakeries and restaurants. Of course, there are plenty of other things to do, such as horse riding, fishing, and mountain climbing. When temperatures dropped in the rest of South Africa this week, we felt the cold, but had no snow. All in all, we highly recommend a vacation in the Drakensberg.

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