DRAKENSBERG GUIDED ADVENTURES
GoVertical's Drakensberg mountain guides invite you to join them trekking or on a hiking tour exploring this magnificent Drakensberg mountain range of huge basalt walls, cliffs, peaks and pinnacles that tower over the coastal lowlands of Kwa-Zulu Natal separating it from the mountain Kingdom of Lesotho.
This is a wilderness area of untouched beauty. It was granted Cultural & Natural UNESCO World Heritage Status in 2000 for the unique environmental diversity & priceless legacy of Rock Art preserved in sandstone rock shelters which offer us a glimpse into the enigmatic lives & rituals the San people who once lived in these mountains.
Typically altitude at the base of the Drakensberg is 2000m while the High Berg escarpment rises & falls around 3000m. The Drakensberg is also South Africa's major watershed and many of the country's biggest rivers start in these Mountains which include the Tugela which flows out to the Indian ocean on the east coast, north of Durban and the Orange River that winds its way West to the Atlantic ocean.
WHEN TO GO: ALL YEAR Mountain weather can be unpredictable, it’s advisable to be prepared for icy nights, snow or blistering hot sunshine at any time of the year. Typically you can expect:
SPRING- September, October; High rain fall moderate temperatures, a spectacular change from winter browns to a riot of flowering alpine plants & water cascading over the escarpment.
SUMMER- November to March; High daytime temps, often in the 30's warm clear nights. The brilliantly green Berg is a magnificent backdrop to the dramatic afternoon thunder and lightening storms.
AUTUMN -Mid March to April; fairly stable weather, the alpine plants & grasslands taking on autumn hues.
WINTER -May to end of August; Often snow, frosts, sub zero temperatures at nights, day temperatures may stay close to zero degrees Celsius, days and nights are generally clear.
The closest freeway to the Drakensberg is the N3 from Johannesburg to Durban with access roads to the Berg towns & hiking areas from Harrismith to Howick. Most secondary roads are tarred, a notable exception is Sani Pass in the Southern Drakensberg where a 4x4 vehicle is required. Passports required when going up Sani, as you’ll cross the South African border & enter Lesotho.
At the base of the High Drakensberg, an area known as the 'Little Berg', there are many towns with an abundance and variety of accommodation ranging from Camping sites– The KZN Wildlife sites are normally well maintained and situated to 5 star luxury accommodation. There are many local tourist attractions and restaurants for ‘non-hiking days.
The main towns in the Drakensberg regions are:
NORTHERN DRAKENSBERG: Bergville, Winterton
CENTRAL DRAKENSBERG: Estcourt, Nottingham Road, Rosetta,
SOUTHERN DRAKENSBERG: Underberg, Himeville, Howick
IN THE MOUNTAINS
The Drakensberg escarpment, where most of GoVertical’s trekking & adventures take place, is a wilderness area, this means there are no facilities, no forms of ‘civilisation’ and no paths.
The Drakensberg escarpment averages 3000m above sea level.
We camp in mountaineering tents & carry all our provisions with us for the trip.
Be prepared for any type of weather throughout the year. It does snow, even at the height of summer.
Fires and littering are strictly forbidden.
The water from streams in the High Drakensberg is safe to drink.
Porters are not common, but can be arranged on request as an optional extra.
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