Overview What to See & Do How to get there Climate Map

Background Information

The uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park is in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa. The park includes Royal Natal National Park, a provincial park, and covers part of the Drakensberg, the highest mountain range in Southern Africa. The park and the adjoining Sehlabathebe National Park in the Kingdom of Lesotho are part of the Maloti-Drakensberg Park, which was first declared a World Heritage Site on 30 November 2000. Most of the higher South African parts of the Drakensberg mountain range have been designated as game reserves or wilderness areas. The uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park is also in the List of Wetlands of International Importance. Adjacent to the park is the Cathkin Estates Conservation and Wildlife Sanctuary, which spans 10 km2 of virgin grassland and represents the largest privately owned game park in the KwaZulu-Natal Drakensberg region.

This spectacular natural site has many caves and rock-shelters with the largest and most concentrated group of paintings in Africa south of the Sahara, made by the San people over a period of 4,000 years. The rock paintings are outstanding in quality and diversity of subject and in their depiction of animals and human beings. Within the Ukhahlamba-Drakensberg Park there are some 600 sites, collectively representing over 35000 individual images. The oldest painting on a rock shelter wall in the park is about 2400 years old, while more recent creations date back to the late nineteenth century. The ecological integrity of the area has been preserved intact since the last San people living there and the climate, vegetation and fauna have not changed. Uniquely, it is possible to turn from rock paintings of eland, rhebok and other animals to look over pristine valleys and to see these very species feeding, resting or moving about.

By Road: Situated just 2 hours from Durban and 4 hours from Gauteng. GPS Coordinates: lat. 29d16'12.2; long. 29d31'11.8
Estcourt - Durban 165km / 103 miles (King Shaka International Airport, the closest major airport, is a 3 hour rive from the Drakensberg)
Estcourt - Johannesburg: 423km / 263 miles
Underberg - Durban: 199km / 124 miles
Underberg - Johannesburg: 642km / 399 miles
Directions from King Shaka International Airport: Turn off the N3 at Nottingham Road/Mount West, travel through Nottingham Road to Rosetta and take the Kamberg turnoff. Travel straight pass Kamberg turnoff (left) and follow the signs to Giants Castle.