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Browse Southern Drakensberg

A Truly Special Place

The Maloti Drakensberg Park, a World Heritage Site, should be a part of every journey to South Africa and this site will show you why. Artists, photographers, fishermen, birders, campers or hikers can escape to where you can breathe clean air under clear skies, the Southern Drakensberg will fulfill your hopes, time and time again.

We offer more than 2500 beds in modern and comfortable hotels, lodges, B&B and self-catering accommodation as well as camping facilities. People here are very friendly and hospitable – we pride ourselves on warm welcomes and personal service. All year round, in winter snow or summer sun, the Southern Berg offers plenty to see and do.

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History of the Southern Drakensberg

The district’s first inhabitants were the Bushmen or San people. They were nomadic and migrated between the high Berg in summer and the lower valleys in winter, following the natural migration of the game which they hunted. The tragic end to their presence in our mountains came with the arrival of white settlers to the Midlands area of KwaZulu Natal in the mid 1800’s. The Bushmen’s food, the game, was hunted almost to extinction by the white settlers and their guns, and so the Bushmen took to raiding the farms for cattle and horses. This led to reprisals and the eventual annihilation of the Drakensberg Bushmen by the late 1860’s. All that remains are their stunning paintings in rock shelters in the mountains. The Drakensberg mountains are an area incredibly rich in rock art. Our Southern section contains well over 150 discovered shelters containing rock art. Some well-known sites have been badly damaged as a result of uncontrolled visitor access, and sites on Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife land can now only be visited with an approved guide.Β 

Many African splinter groups such as the Bhaca lived in this district from the middle of the 1800’s onwards. Today they all consider themselves as Zulus. The road north towards Lotheni and areas around Bulwer and Donnybrook go through large areas of tribal land.

White settlers arrived in the district in the 1860’s. The towns of Bulwer, Donnybrook and Creighton were established in the 1860’s. A store in Underberg was the start of this village in the 1880’s, while Himeville grew up around the fort built in the 1890’s. This building survives, having been used for many years as the jail. Today, half is the magistrate’s court, and the other half is the excellent Himeville Museum. Other historical buildings in the area are the missions at Reichenau, Centocow and Kevelaer which boast beautiful turn-of-the-century churches with interesting paintings and stained glass windows. There is also an amazing church, built entirely of yellowwood, in the village of Bulwer.

Today, this area makes up the Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma Local Municipality. Agriculture and Tourism are the major industries in the area.

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