My post for yesterdays weekly photo challenge – mountains was about Table Mountain, which as I mentioned in my earlier post is a World Heritage site. My response to the topic was quite obvious seeing I am fortunate to live live literally below the mountain. Nevertheless, the topic got me thinking about other mountains in our country, and considering it was a photo challenge, I narrowed it down to the mountains that I had visited and photographed.
Top of my list was another World Heritage site and at 3482 m above sea level is the highest mountain range in South Africa. To put that into context, Table Mountains highest point is 1000 metres above sea level!! Yep! sooner or later the superlative had to be unleashed, so here it is, the highest :-). The Drakensberg mountain range is in Kwa Zulu Natal, one of our 9 provinces. Under 2000 kilometres from here, one can imagine the landscape is very different to the Western Cape. Whilst both mountains are probably sandstone, the vegetation is very different, the Western Cape has an abundance of fynbos, which is an extremely tough shrub like vegetation, Kwazulu Natal has more rolling hills of grasslands which has a rather softer appearance, giving a fluid like appearance when swaying in the wind.
The Drakensberg (translated from dutch or afrikaans meaning the dragon mountains) consists of various peaks the highest being Thabana Ntlenyna.
The Amphitheatre is one of the Geographical features of the Drakensberg, and is over 5km in length, with cliffs rising in the region of 1200m along its entire length. I was fortunate enough to be in the region quite a few years ago, and manged to drive to the parking area where hiking trails to the top of the Amphitheatre start. Whilst this not the infamous view that is depicted in numerous images, it is still very significant. Unfortunately, I was there in the late afternoon, and without a hiking permit, so had to settle with just taking in the completely adequate view. The distant views were completely breathtaking, and considering the parking area was already at 2500m above sea level, the slopes in front of me were still another 700 odd metres higher. I was fortunate enough to have a camera with me at the time, not a dslr camera, but a very capable point and shoot. The images are of the rear view of the Amphitheatre and other areas in the region. Look out for the image showing the timber chalets tucked into the mountain slope, where I had the privelage to stay while visiting the region…………The journey continues……………………………………………