The Magical Drakensberg

I’ve always wanted to go to the mountains of Drakensberg. It’s the highest mountain range in South Africa, and I knew that I wouldn’t believe it can rival the magnificent mountains we’ve seen in New Zealand till I’ve seen it for myself.

It was a long 5 hours plus drive from Johannesburg to Drakensberg and we had to set off before dawn broke. To travel at that ungodly hour was a pain, but the skies made it worth our while.

While I was knocking down Red Bull at 6am, my faithful South African companion, Thando kept us company by being wide awake on the road.

If you’ve already seen the updates I’ve been posting on Facebook (add me HERE) in the last few days when I was too lazy relaxed to blog, you would know that even with an iPhone, every shot of the journey has been amazing.

My first glimpse of waters made me gasp. South Africa really is beautiful.

The landscape was magnificent. It was mountain after mountain. The pictures do it no justice because in real life, it’s just spectacular.

I love the plants and flowers that lined the roads. Drakensberg is rich in flora life. This was probably the last bit of spring flowers that we would see before autumn weather set in and everything would dry up to a sea of brown, reds and orange.

I was surprised to see so many settlements in the mountainous area. There were many lodges and motels businesses. And many of the settlements were townships (squatter settlements). Kids were playing by the bridges and rivers. There were soccer matches in the neighbourhoods. And we saw so many people walking from town to town.

It’s nice to see people on the road. In South Africa, people acknowledge your presence even if you are zooming past in a vehicle. They’ll lift their hands, wave and smile.

While visiting Drakensberg, no matter where one stays, a drive to see the Giants Castle is a must. There’s a reason why they call these the giants. They are huge mountains!

In New Zealand, much of the landscape we saw was during the cold season so I would always remember snow capped peaks and grey mountains. But in South Africa, all the highlands that we’ve seen to date has been in bright sunny weather and they are a luscious green every time.

We’ve always known that South Africa has her beautiful bits, but this really sealed it for us. I’m definitely in love with Drakensberg. What a wonderful Easter weekend.
 

 

8 Comments

  1. What a lovely post! I have been (guilty of) lurking for about 1 month, I think you are doing a fantastic job in your blog. I am a Malaysian and stayed in SA for 2 years (2007 – 2009) as an…errrr expat wife. I stayed near the Drakensberg in a small town in the Free State and yes, I totally agree, the mountains in that region are breathtaking….your post reminds me so much of our weekends in the Drakensberg spent hiking, cycling, picnicking, or just driving around admiring the beauty. Thanks, Bing for bringing back such lovely memories!

    • Thanks for dropping a note for me, S.L.! I hope you enjoyed your stay in SA as much I do right now. I’m sure I will have the same fond memories as you do when we have to say goodbye to SA. =/ Keep lurking! =)

  2. Beautiful! If you need another relaxing mountain weekend, book 2 nights at a chalet in the Thendele camp at the amazing Royal Natal park, where your view is of a jagged 3500-metre high ‘amphitheatre’.
    http://www.kznwildlife.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=21&Itemid=346

    • Oh wow! I googled it. The “amphitheatre” looks amazing!

  3. What great pictures. It looks absolutely stunning. Yet another thing for my Africa list but having a hard time convincing hubby to do road trips. Just came back from Botswana and decided we have to go there more often, we totally fell in love with the people and everything else.

    • My hubby doesn’t like road trips that much too because he does the driving. Haha.. but it’s probably the best way to see Africa!

  4. I am a South African and have visited these beautiful mountains since 1974, but every time I return there I am absolutely astonished by the beauty and splendour

  5. I agree Drakensberg is beautiful it was our first visit to South Africa ,we had not been abroad for thirty years and we traveled with our son and his South Africa born girlfriend and enjoyed three weeks travelling around its an awesome country .
    We remember the night after returning to our room when our son tapped on the patio window come outside mum and don’t look up we walked across the dewy grass he then said look up, my god that night sky was wonderful we the most beautiful night sky we had ever seen.
    We must go back sometime we had fallen in love with that country and the people and Drakesberg and Pilanesberg where really special for us.

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