South Africa Highlands

Hiking in Natal Drakensberg Park
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Giant's Castle dominates the scenery.

Stretching over some 125 miles, from the Sentinel in the north to Bushman's Nek in the south, the Natal Drakensberg Park is one of the five largest protected areas in southern Africa. Covering over 600,000 acres in the Kwazulu/Natal province, the park consists of six game parks and reserves and six state forests. It is a world of spectacular sandstone cliffs, towering peaks—often snow capped, waterfalls, soaring buttresses and the home of the bearded vulture. Little wonder then that it is South Africa's most popular backpacking and mountaineering area.

Giant's Cup is a favorite. This easy trail traverses the gentle foothill area, where the wildlife is stupendous. If you long for heights, Cathedral Peak is a good choice. This mystical area is the home of many ancient rock paintings as well as mountaineering routes.

If you're used to hiking in the northern hemisphere, you'll find the wildlife and plantlife of South Africa intriguingly strange. Be on the lookout for such wonders as bearded vultures, rock baboons, and many unusual wildflowers and woody plants.

© Article copyright Menasha Ridge Press . All rights reserved.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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