Central Drakensberg Mountains
Central Drakensberg is regarded as the most spectacular
region of the majestic Drakensberg. Its little
wonder as the Drakensberg is South Africa's
highest and most impressive mountain range rising
to over 3 000 meters and the highest peaks are
found in the Central Drakensberg. The Central
escarpment is frequently covered in snow during
the winter months, transforming the area into
a winter wonderland. Popular with hikers, rock
climbers, trout fishermen, and holidaymakers,
the Central Drakensberg region offers a wide
range of hotels, Self Accommodation Cottages,
and bed and breakfast accommodation venues,
as well as camping sites and caravan parks.
Most of the Central Drakensberg makes up a
good part of the Ukahlamba Drakensberg Park,
a wilderness area with an abundance of wildlife.
Hikers are frequently surprised by bushbuck,
oribi, mountain reedbuck, tiny duiker, and
the largest of South Africa’s antelope species, the eland,
as well as many others.
Enormous lammergeier, or bearded vultures,
fly overhead and baboons bark from the cliffs.
The spring is heralded by carpets of wild flowers
and the pink and orange watsonia, like miniature
gladioli, bloom thickly on the hillsides.
In autumn the fields and lower reaches of
the Drakensberg are often a waist-high sea
of confetti-like pink, white and deep velvet
red cosmos blossoms. In the higher reaches
on the slopes of the Little Berg, varieties
of protea trees show their prehistoric flowers,
and ancient tree ferns and the odd cycad dot
the gullies. Hikers should note that there
are 24 species of snakes in these mountains,
and not all of them are willing to give way
to humans! The Central Drakensberg has the
highest level of tourism activity in the Drakensberg
region.The Central Drakensberg mountains also
contain thousands of Bushman
Rock Art sites, evidence of the small, primitive
San people who practiced a prehistoric life
style in the area long ago. The earliest of
these paintings are about 800 years old, and
the golden age of the painters was between 400
and 200 years ago.