The southern Drakensberg lies a bit off the beaten tourist track and is not very well known. In this beautiful area of the Southern Drakensberg the nature lover finds alpine landscapes of dramatic beauty. A Southern Drakensberg favourite is with trout anglers, since the region has an abundance of crystal clear lakes and rivers. There are several Southern Drakensberg nature reserves, of which particularly the Kamberg and the Loteni are worth a visit. In both reserves live the almost extinct reedbuck, blessbuck, eland, bushbuck und oribi. A wonderful circular trail leads through the Loteni Reserve.
Southern Drakensberg South Africa links
The tourist highlight of the southern Drakensberg is the Sani Pass. It's the highest pass-road in South Africa and leads all along the upper Mkomazana River up to the border with Lesotho (2874 metres above sea-level).One frequently comes across people from Lesotho on their donkeys. At the river one can find many an idyllic picnic spot. Particularly the last part of the untarred stretch (behind the South African border post) is extremely steep and rocky and can only be managed with a four-wheel drive vehicle. But the breathtaking view of the rugged alpine landscape is a memorable reward. It is highly recommended to cross the border, because on the Lesotho side there is a little restaurant and a Basotho village. The border is open daily between 8.00 am and 4.00 pm.
Provision centres for the southern part of the Drakensberg are the towns of Underberg, Himeville and Bulwer, where there is accommodation in different price ranges available. Popular with hikers, rock climbers, trout fishermen, and other holidaymakers, the Southern Drakensberg area offers a wide range of hotels, country lodges, and bed and breakfast accommodation venues, as well as camping sites and caravan parks.
For the more adventurous there are also many trails in the Southern Drakensberg which use caves up in the mountains as overnight stops. A weekend of hiking and climbing, interspersed with dips in the icy pools and rivers, goes a long way to restoring those weary of city life. The escarpment of the Southern Drakensberg is frequently covered in snow in the winter months, transforming the area into a picture-postcard winter wonderland.
Himeville has an excellent museum which gives mainly information about the first white settlers who came here in the 1890s already. One gets to the Southern Berg either by travelling the R101 (Midlands Meander) via Nottingham Road (from there the Sani Pass is sign-posted) or over the southern access via Bulwer (easier drive, but less scenic).
The Southern Drakensberg is also the home to thousands of Bushman painting sites, evidence of the small, primitive San people who practised 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.