Arguably one of the most picturesque places in the world to find a hiking trail is the central Drakensberg region, located about three hours from Durban’s King Shaka International Airport. The Drakensberg stretches over 1 000 kilometres (600 miles) and is interpreted as Mountain of Dragons. To get the most from the numerous central Drakensberg hiking trails, here are some things to look out for.
Central Drakensberg Fauna
If you plan to make animal spotting part of your hike in the central Drakensberg it is best to research the areas for the fauna that you would most like to see. The central Drakensberg ranges from 1 000 metres (3 280 feet) above sea level to 3 500 metres (11 482 feet) above sea level. The incredible size and variety of environments not only adds to the beauty of the hiking trails but also to the diversity of the flora and fauna. There are almost 300 species of bird and 24 species of snakes.
Most visitors are interested in the birds of prey, here the central Drakensberg does not disappoint with hikers having the potential to spot the Cape vulture and lesser kestrel. Some larger animals in the region include the klipspringer, eland, mountain reedbuck, black wildebeest and rhebok. Of particular interest is the opportunity to spot baboons and even white rhinoceros.
Central Drakensberg Trails
There are numerous hiking trails in the central Drakensberg region to suit all ages, fitness levels and capabilities. As with any hike the fitter you are, the more chance you have to enjoy the scenery. One the feature trails at Champagne Sports Resort is the Cathkin Trails where mountain bikers, trail runners and hikers can select from the 12 kilometre (7.5 mile), 20 kilometre (12.5 mile) or 30 kilometre (18.6 mile) routes.
Central Drakensberg Flora
With more than 2 100 different plant species calling the Central Drakensberg home, any budding botanist would be delighted to mark a number of unique species off of their list. A staggering 119 of the plant species are listed in the Red Data Book, a comprehensive global list of endangered biological species. There are 98 plant species unique to the central Drakensberg, including a number or Erica species and the rare Spiral Aloe. One plant found nowhere else on earth is the Protea nubigena.
Central Drakensberg Hiking Safety Tips
As with any hike, being prepared will ensure that you can enjoy your trail adventure with peace of mind. The central Drakensberg hiking trail region is vast and so these tips and hints will help to avoid any possible mishaps.
- Always hike in a group, having someone to assist in the advent of an emergency is vital
- Drink often to stay hydrated and always carry more water than you need
- Bring along some small snacks to keep the energy levels up
- Use sunscreen regularly through the day, even if it is overcast
- Take a first aid kit
- Leave the trail as you found out, future generations will thank you for letting them enjoy nature as you see it today
Get your heart pumping and adrenaline rushing with a challenging but fun trail run, or mountain bike trails through some of the most breath-taking scenery within the secure Champagne Sports Resort estate in the central Drakensberg. View all of the activities on offer at the Champagne Sports Resort.