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Discover Drankensberg

Posted: 15th March 2016 08:31

With a name meaning ‘Dragon Mountains’, the Drankensberg is the eastern segment of the South African Great Escarpment. At over 1,000 km long it stretches between the borders of South Africa and Lesotho and at certain points it extends more than 3,000 m into the heavens.

Under the Drakensberg’s rocky protection, on the fertile land, many endemic species of flora and fauna are to be found. This includes the mountain pipit that lives only in the Drakensberg’s highest peaks along with another rare species; the cape vulture. There are also other endangered species to be found on the grasslands of the lower slopes, such as the extremely rare white rhinoceros and black wildebeest.

Wildlife is not the only thing to be found within the Drakensberg’s realm. In many of the caves formed in the easily eroded sandstone are examples of rock art. These are cave drawings etched more than 40,000 years ago by South Africa’s indigenous people, the San – or Bushmen. Examples of this rock art have been discovered in over 500 of the Drakensberg’s caves, all with unrivalled quality and subject diversity than anywhere else.

Sandwiched between the Drakensberg’s deep valleys and towering peaks is The Giants Castle, a nature reserve that rests on a plateau between the two. The imposing red sandstone cliffs overlook the plush green slopes, sequestered pools and the clear mountain springs. Furthest south The Giants Cup leads hikers to Bushman’s Nek, a mountain wilderness of dense forest, open spaces and birds of prey circling on the lookout for food.

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