The enticing mountain wilderness of the Maloti Drakensberg issues an irresistible invitation to a distinct kind of adventurer; its extreme landscape of rock, ice, water and air offers a challenge to test their own limits of skill, endurance, strength and daring. The elation of conquering the elements and being immersed in this spectacular environment refreshes your spirit and invigorates your senses as you experience nature at its wildest.
The magnificent mountain region and escarpment of the Maloti Drakensberg comprises an array of habitats home to over 350 species of bird life. High-altitude alpine sites, steep grassy slopes, forested rivers and more provide sanctuary to majestic raptors, tiny thrushes, pipits and hundreds of other rare and even endangered unique birds. An increasing number of proficient local guides can assist in finding them, providing the rewarding experience of tracking down some of the most beautiful and fascinating creatures.
Home to more than 3000 species of flora, more than 10% of the plant diversity of southern Africa (surpassing the native flora of Switzerland or Germany and double that of Britain), the Maloti Drakensberg is a proverbial garden of Eden of rare and beautiful plants. 16% of its flowers occur nowhere else in the world
The Maloti Drakensberg region provides the ideal location for fly-fishermen looking to find undiscovered fishing spots, well-stocked, clear mountain waters and some of the best sight-fishing locations for Smallmouth and Largemouth Yellowfish. The large fish are strong, wild and in exceptional condition, making this age-old pastime the perfect opportunity for improving your skill and expanding community tourism.
The astounding landscape of the Maloti Drakensberg has served as the backdrop for countless tragic, romantic and dramatic stories of human progress; the birthplace of nations, the battlefields of war, refuge of the hunted and the place of worship for many whose complex histories are knitted into its very core. Observe the daily lives and practices of the region's traditional inhabitants or make a visit to battle sites, mission stations and museums as you come to grips with centuries of heritage and culture.
The trails and footpaths that criss-cross the four regions of the MDR offer a range of hiking options for those who take pleasure in being immersed in the fragile diversity of the natural world. From day hikes and gentle walks to extreme expeditions, the allure of exploring towering peaks and tranquil valleys or taking a moment to swim in a clear mountain stream provides a perfect escape from the bustle of daily life. There are numerous places to find accommodation, as well as the choice of taking a guide along many of the routes, making this one of the best ways to fully experience the splendour of the MDR, at any time of year.
The impressive mountains that overwhelm us with their sheer size and power shaped the lives of the people who lived amongst them for millennia, but recently, people have begun to shape the mountains to meet the needs for water, power, land and trade. The engineering exploits which can be seen in the region do not fail to inspire as a symbol of humanity's achievements in the face of great odds, however, they also serve as a sober reminder of humanity's capacity to create and destroy.
The layers upon layers of rock tucked away among the valleys and mountain passes of the Maloti Drakensberg reveal treasures attesting to the formation of this dramatic region over millions of years. Peeking out of the pages of the region's geological history are dinosaurs with their eggs, the very first mammals and the ancient vegetation they browsed amongst, perpetually frozen into the rock. Each layer tells a silent story of the life that once thrived in these mountains.
Undoubtedly one of the best and most authentic ways to experience first-hand, traditional cultural life in the Maloti Drakensberg mountains. The region is famous for its sturdy ponies who navigate the hills and valleys of the area with remarkable agility, allowing access to otherwise unreachable sights. Local guides and friendly hosts offer a range of trails and rides to choose from.
One of the most exceptional outdoor art galleries in the world, the Maloti Drakensberg boasts some of the most unique rock art in its range of colours and skilful techniques, as well as its tremendous concentration – some 45 000 images in 2 000 sites. This rich wealth of inspiring imagery provides insights into the lives and beliefs of those who painted them in ages gone by.