The Drakensberg Mountains is the furthest mountain range in Africa which stretches from just north of Durban at the mountain kingdom of Lesotho east northeast to just below Kruger National Park. It’s a very old mountain range with the highest peak just over 11,000′ and not immediately seen by visitors from more mountainous countries as a true range.
But the Drakensberg is a sharply beautiful place with a very precious ecology. Almost 5% of all its plant species are endemic, it contains more than a third of all the non-marine bird species in southern Africa and crosses a number of big game reserves and national parks. In total its biomass is so varied and precious that UNESCO has designated it a World Heritage Site.
Unlike most of the world’s ranges, the Drakensberg is more than 200 million years old, a direct result of the breakup of the super Godwana continent that birthed what we know as Africa, today. Prehistory is rich in the range, including a number of early cave paintings and even older archaeological sites.
The scenery is most stark in the southwestern edge of the range, which includes the world’s second highest waterfall (Tugela Falls). Its eastern and northern edge is mostly high forests which reach to the very border of Kruger National Park.