The Central Drakensberg is without any doubt the most spectacular region of the majestic Drakensberg. The Drakensberg is South Africa's highest and most impressive mountain range rising to over 3 000 meters and the highest peaks are found in the Central Drakensberg
Central Drakensberg escarpment is frequently covered in snow in the winter
months, transforming the area into a picture-postcard winter wonderland.
Popular with hikers, rock climbers, trout fishermen, and other
holidaymakers, the Central 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 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.
Most of the Central Drakensberg makes up a good part of the Natal Drakensberg Park, a wilderness area with an abundance of wildlife. Hikers are frequently surprised by bushbuck, oribi, mountain reedbuck, tiny duiker, and the largest of South Africaís antelope species, the eland, as well as many others. Enormous lammergeier, or bearded vultures, fly overhead and baboons bark from the cliffs. The spring is heralded by carpets of wild flowers and the pink and orange watsonia, like miniature gladioli, bloom thickly on the hillsides. In autumn the fields and lower reaches of the Drakensberg are often a waist-high sea of confetti-like pink, white and deep velvet red cosmos blossoms. In the higher reaches on the slopes of the Little Berg, varieties of protea trees show their prehistoric flowers, and ancient tree ferns and the odd cycad dot the gullies. Hikers should note that there are 24 species of snakes in these mountains, and not all of them are willing to give way to humans!
The Central Drakensberg mountains also contain thousands of Bushman Rock Art sites, evidence of the small, primitive San people who practiced 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.
The Central Drakensberg is divided into the following regions: