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World Vacation Station
Map of South Africa
(WORLD HERITAGE SITE) - KWAZULU-NATAL, SOUTH AFRICA
Africa's Singing Ambassadors - The Drakensberg Boys' Choir. They Will Rock
Mighty Drakensberg Mountains
The impressive bulk of the
mountains the Zulus called Ukahlamba - the barrier of spears - and the
Voortrekkers called the Drakensberg - the dragon mountain - is an impressive
rampart of sandstone and basalt that separates the well watered Indian
Ocean coast from the dryer, harsher interior. Most of the escarpment falls
under the Ukahlamba-Drakensberg National Park. This beautiful montane grassland
is bright green in summer after the rains and fades to a delicate blonde,
often with snowy highlights, in winter.
|It's a great hiking destination
with a range of trails from walks of an hour or two to long epics such
as the Drakensberg Traverse, which takes about three to four weeks. Fabulous
rock art tells the story of the San, or Bushmen, who lived here till bigger,
stronger, more aggressive peoples pushed them aside. With over 2,500 flowering
plants, many of which are endemic, and game such as baboons, eland and
other antelope you'll never lack for something to look at. The birding
is great, too, with the rare Lammergeier, or bearded vulture, being one
of the real mega-ticks of the area.
The mountain slopes offer
great paragliding - particularly at Bulwer and Oliviershoek - and adventurous
ice climbers tackle the frozen waterfalls in winter. Four by four enthusiasts
and keen mountain bikers enjoy the challenge of Sani Pass and others, while
those who prefer a less technological form of travel can enjoy pony trekking
in the hills. Dams and streams are stocked with trout and some, such as
the Sterkfontein Dam, harbour the even more challenging indigenous yellow
Golf courses, spas, and a
range of cute coffee shops, funky craft shops, art studios, breweries,
cheese factories and other rural delights complete the list of attractions.
There is truly, something for everyone.
The uKhahlamba – Drakensberg
Park has exceptional natural beauty in its soaring basaltic buttresses,
incisive dramatic cutbacks, and golden sandstone ramparts. Rolling high
altitude grasslands, the pristine steep-sided river valleys and rocky gorges
also contribute to the beauty of the site. The site's diversity of habitats
protects a high level of endemic and globally threatened species, especially
birds and plants. This spectacular natural site also contains many caves
and rock-shelters with the largest and most concentrated group of paintings
in Africa south of the Sahara, made by the San people over a period of
4,000 years. The rock paintings are outstanding in quality and diversity
of subject and in their depiction of animals and human beings. They represent
the spiritual life of the San people who no longer live in this region.
Justification for Inscription
* Criterion (i): The rock
art of the Drakensberg is the largest and most concentrated group of rock
paintings in Africa south of the Sahara and is outstanding both in quality
and diversity of subject.
* Criterion (iii): The San
people lived in the mountainous Drakensberg area for more than four millennia,
leaving behind them a corpus of outstanding rock art which throws much
light on their way of life and their beliefs.
Africa's Singing Ambassadors - The Drakensberg Boys' Choir. They Will Rock
You! by Brian Kemp
The Drakensberg Boys' Choir
School was founded in 1965, with 20 students. The dream? To build something
that would rival the Vienna Boys' Choir. But not in a European city steeped
in history and tradition. In the boondocks. In the middle of the magnificently
scenic Champagne Valley in the Central Drakensberg.
They call them South Africa's
singing ambassadors. And if you're planning a trip to South Africa this
is something you just have to put on your itinerary. Yes, yes I know you're
going to Cape Town and you want to do a wildlife safari but this is not
to be missed. They'll give you goosebumps and they'll make you cry. And
you'll never forget them. They tour and compete internationally every year.
Now, they take in about 100
children a year. It's not that easy to get in and auditions are held countrywide.
They get a first-class education and a very active outdoor lifestyle in
their rugged Drakensberg paradise. So think crisp mountain air. Big blue
skies. In the winter, snow-capped peaks. And exquisite tenor harmonies.
Where, when and how much?
Let's start with where. Well once you've ticked the Big 5 and had your
fill of Table Mountain, you're going to need to take a little detour into
KwaZulu Natal. Find Route 600 into the Central Drakensberg and you're there.
When? Every Wednesday afternoon during school terms at 3:30. (Although
it's a relatively big 600-seater auditorium in the middle of nowhere, booking
is essential - phone (+27 (0)36 468 1012). How much? R75. That's about
And the music? Well the first
half of the 3-hour concert is classical. Mozart, Bach, Beethoven - they
do the gamut. Then hang onto your seat and prepare yourself for diversity.
It could be Queen, music from the movies or gut-wrenching African rhythms
and harmonies. A spellbinding and enthralling performance.
South Africa's Singing Ambassadors
- The Drakensberg Boys' Choir. They Will Rock You!
to the Drakensberg Boy's Choir singing "Shosholoza"
About the Author - Accommodation
in the Drakensberg? Brian Kemp owns Halls Country House, a retreat in the
DRAKENSBERG / BATTLEFIELDS ACCOMMODATION
BED & BREAKFASTS/GUEST HOUSES/LODGES IN CENTRAL DRAKENSBERG
Guest Farm, Guest House, Farm Lodge, Dinner, B&B, Winterton, CENTRAL
We provide personal, farm-style
accommodation on a Dinner, Bed & Breakfast basis. Ardmore Guest farm
is situated in the enchanting Champagne valley of the central Drakensberg,
just below the majestic Champagne Castle (2nd highest peak in South Africa
at 3377m) and Cathkin Peak Mountains of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
Ardmore – the perfect lodging when you travel South Africa.
Country Lodge @Rose Cottage B & B, Winterton, CENTRAL DRAKENSBERG
A perfect stop over or hide
away from everydays chaos! Romantic and quaint! Abundant birdlife with
peace and tranquility! Indulge yourself in our lovely garden, cool
down in the inviting splash pool or try some flyfishing in the dam. Enjoy
a sundowner in the lapa, overlooking the majestic drakensberg. Treat yourself
with a homestyle cooked dinner at candle light. A hearty farm breakfast
will be served in the charming dining room or in the lapa. Arts & crafts,
golfing, hiking, horseriding, game reserve, quad biking, river rafting,
well known Drakensberg boys choir School and much much more, close by!
Kop Lodge, Self-Catering/B&B, Winterton, Battlefields,
Tranquil and relaxing with
a choice of activities, has been transformed into a beautiful 4 Star Lodge,
offering an Out of Africa Experience, with warm hospitality, 8 well-appointed,
double-ensuite bedrooms, plus two self-contained cottages, is set in tranquil,
park like grounds. Housing a library, cosy pub, conference centre,
swimming pool and dining room with breathtaking views, fine cuisine.
This owner-managed destination, situated on a 703 hectare ecco farm, offers
Battlefield Tours, Birding, Boat cruises, Game Viewing, Drakensberg Mountain
Hikes and Horse-riding amongst the animals. Relive the past that
changed the future!
SELF-CATERING IN CENTRAL DRAKENSBERG
Kop Lodge, Self-Catering/B&B, Winterton, Battlefields, CENTRAL DRAKENSBERG
SPION KOP LODGE : (KwaZulu
Natal) tranquil and relaxing with a choice of activities, has been transformed
into a beautiful 4 Star Lodge, offering an Out of Africa Experience, with
warm hospitality, 8 well-appointed, double-ensuite bedrooms, plus two self-contained
cottages, is set in tranquil, park like grounds. Swimming pool and
dining room with breathtaking views, fine cuisine. This owner-managed
destination, situated on a 703 hectare ecco farm, offers Battlefield Tours,
Birding, Boat cruises, Game Viewing, Drakensberg Mountain Hikes and Horse-riding
amongst the animals. Relive the past that changed the future!
DRAKENSBERG PARK (WORLD HERITAGE SITE) AND SURROUNDS
Peak Hotel, DRAKENSBERG PARK
Cathedral Peak Hotel is
famous for warm hospitality, luxurious accommodation and excellent cuisine.
This award winning resort has achieved the perfect balance between being
a family resort and a premier conference venue. Accommodation, ranging
from Deluxe Suites to Family Interleading Duluxe Suites, is available.
A wide range of sporting facilities offered at the Hotel includes daily
guided walks, guided horse and pony rides, tennis, squash,swimming, bowls,
volleyball, table tennis, badminton, floodlit mini-adventure golf &
trout fishing. The hotel’s immaculate 9-hole golf course has been termed
“the thinking golfer’s course” and has alternate tees for a challenging