“The Berg” is a stunningly beautiful World Heritage site.The Drakensberg mountains got their name from the Voortrekkers because the ridges resemble a dragons back but the Zulus call them uKhahlamba the “Barrier of Spears”
Whatever you call it, the Berg is unadulterated beauty and perfect for any artist who wants dramatic paintings.
The Drakensberg is located in the west of KwaZulu-Natal along the border with Lesotho, it stretches 150 kilometres, and the peaks are a massive basalt cap on top of sedimentary rocks formed 150-million years ago.
Usually sunny, the weather is quite capricious and can change in the blinking of an eye so go prepared, as the scouts say. Generally speaking the summers are warm and wet, up to 800-2000mm of rain can fall a year here, it has been known to thunder down in a storm of lightening and rain and clear just as quickly. Misty clouds can pull down over the peaks and leave a hiker blinded until it lifts again.
A visit in the cold dry winter between April and September is best. The nights are frosty with a daytime atmosphere crisp and invigorating. Above 2000m you are most likely to see snow; however it can snow at any time of the year up on the peaks ( Check out my previous blog about our most recent snow!)
Hikers and walkers delight in the many trails through the mountains, there are some fairly extensive maps which show the trails to make your path easier to travel.
THE OLDEST ART GALLERY
4000 years ago the San Bushmen painted 520 pictures on the walls of caves and rock shelters and despite all those years of weather most of them are still clearly visible. You can hike, with a guide, to view them and see a world unchanged in all these years but accessible to only a few… will you be one of those few lucky people to be transported back to the beginning of painting and the lives of the little guys who made these incredible masterpieces.I’ve been lucky enough to see several sites and each time they really do make your mind scrabble back and try to imagine their life as it was then. There are a few locations where the San are continuing with their life very similar to those days but the modern world keeps getting too close so I’m not sure how long it will be until their life is only to be read in history books. A real shame but we always seem to think the grass is greener on the other side don’t we?
Or better still come and see them for yourself