WATCH: This drone in the Drakensberg will make you pack your hiking bag, stat!

2018-03-15 11:11 - Selene Brophy
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Vimeo / The Reel Thing

Cape Town - If you were ever in doubt about the unparalleled beauty of the Drakensberg, this drone footage captured by local drone operator Ruan Kotze will put an end to that and have you packing your hiking kit.

Kotze captured this dramatic footage of the Drakensberg escarpment, which stretches for over 1 000 kilometres from the Eastern Cape Province in the south to KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). The arresting landscape also forms the border between Lesotho and the Eastern Cape, and between Lesotho and KZN.

Shared via SA People, the Vimeo footage showcases the Drakensberg, so named by the earliest Dutch settlers to the region, meaning Mountain of Dragons.

Producers the Reel Thing go on to say there are several possible reasons for this name including the "pointy tops giving an appearance similar to that of the back of the mythical European dragon, old local myths of dragons roaming the mountains, and possible findings of dinosaur fossils, which would have been confused with the remains of dragons.”

Enjoy the following 2 minutes of wanderlust below:


TRAVEL GUIDE: 4 Wildly romantic escapes locals will simply love

Want to see the Drakensberg for yourself?

Outdoor adventurer and photo-Journalist Scott Ramsay recommends heading to Catherdral Peak.

A popular romantic and nuptials location there’s a little chapel at Cathedral Peak Hotel, and it’s there for good reason.

Many lovers who stay in the northern part of the Drakensberg tend to come back and tie the knot. That’s because there’s something achingly dreamy about the soaring basalt cliffs and peaks which bonds a couple together, sometimes forever.

These are the highest mountains in Southern Africa, reaching 3 500 metres, snowcapped in winter but luminous green during the epic storms of summer, when thunder and lightning rip the sky apart. If you’re extra adventurous, take your Valentine for a hike into the Mnweni region, the wildest part of the Berg, guided by Caiphus Mthabela, a local Zulu who knows these mountains better than anyone. 

MUST READ: Wild Drakensberg: Giant's Castle

Afterwards, head back to Cathedral Peak Hotel for a well-deserved hot bath. Then take a flip in a helicopter with Sky Adventures and land on top of the escarpment for a glass of champers. Go on a guided walk to one of several rock art sites, where bushmen paintings 2 000 years old surpass maybe even the Louvre in Paris for sheer impact.

Finish the day with a G and T on the stoep of the hotel, as the sun’s last rays tickles the tops of Cathedral Peak itself. It’s a delicious recipe of romance that may or may not end up in the chapel one day. Who cares really - what matters is doing it all again the next day.

HIKING GUIDE: 4 Exceptional SA hiking trails to tackle

Satisfy your adventure wanderlust:

King Swing

This 17 meter free-fall from a treetop platform after which you swing gracefully or zipline to the next platform, 175 meters away. You have to climb to the top of the platform, which is said to be as thrilling as the swing and zipline itself. Vertigo alert!

For the younger folk (2 -7 years) there’s a milder zipline with less steep gradients available.

Cost: R160 per person 
Contact: Click here for more information

Hike the Amphitheatre Heritage trail

Rising over 1000 metres from KwaZulu-Natal’s Tugela Valley, The Amphitheatre Heritage Hike is one of the most dramatic features in the Drakensberg range.

The hike is around 25-30 kilometres long and generally takes three days to complete. There are accommodation offerings along the way such as lodges, tented camps and backpackers, but one can also sleep in caves if you're feeling adventurous - which can be arranged by a hike organiser such as Active Escapes.

Go White Water River Rafting

Get ready to be drenched! This is one of the best character and team-building activities out there as your true colours show when you’re paddling for your life! It’s great fun too, though.  

There are a few places in the central Drakensberg to do this - Tugela River and Umkomaas River are but a few of the many. 

Cost: R620 - R750

Contact: Active Escapes