The Drakensberg Mountains of South Africa
They say that once you get Africa in your blood you can never quite get it out. Things are simple there, holding an elegant beauty, exceptional nature, and an eternal spirit. Africa gets under your skin, leaving the taste of bush tea on your tongue and the scent of wood smoke in your mind.
Most tourists think of lions, zebra, and endless plains when they consider an African scene, but they do not realise that the true heart of Africa is held in the high views and plummeting falls of its landscape. Located along the eastern lines of South Africa, the Drakensberg Mountains are a familiar holiday spot to locals and an exceptional gem for travellers. The name “Drakensberg” is Afrikaans for “Dragon Mountains”, with the Zulu people having named it “uKuhalamba” in their time. These names inspire images that hold true in nature, providing images of history, life, and awe.
With a UNESCO World Heritage Status, The Berg, as it is fondly known, has everything for every kind of traveller. There are ancient fragments of cave art to admire, hiking trails that move up the mountains and through their shadows, venturing over cool streams and to hidden waterfalls. Even after pursuing such adventure a traveller can retreat to a range of cosy hotels, each of which has their own signature and their own remarkable position from which to view the landscape.
There is something for everyone in The Drakensberg Mountains. The adventurer can hike, fish, horse ride, climb, and swim to their heart’s content while a more relaxed soul can admire a great many views, swim in manicured pools, or play tennis, badminton, or croquet at their leisure. There are even lovely little shops run by the locals that sell handmade jewellery all with a unique meaning, women who sit by the road and weave baskets, boys who dance, wine and cheese makers, roadside cafes, and the Drakensberg Boys Choir whose voices suit their surrounds with perfection.
There is always an opportunity to sit by a fire at the end of the day, and an endless array of sunrises and sunsets for the most avid photographer. From the second highest peak in South Africa, Champagne Castle, to the remarkable Amphitheatre holds its surrounds within an ethereal curving shadow.
There is always something there, always something in The Drakensberg for someone to find, some place for their spirit to soar, and a complete and perfect set of memories to create and hold dear for the rest of your life.
Australian Over 50s Living & Lifestyle Guide