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Maloti-Drakensberg Park

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Maloti-Drakensberg Park: Our most recommended tours and activities

Drakensberg Giants Castle Cave Art & Mandela Capture Site

1. Drakensberg Giants Castle Cave Art & Mandela Capture Site

The tour starts off with a visit to Pietermaritzburg, the capital of KwaZulu-Natal. Stop at Pietermaritzburg's City Hall, which claims to be the largest brick building in the southern hemisphere. Visit the Gandhi statue also before heading towards the Drakensberg mountains and Giants Castle Reserve. Giant's Castle is situated on a grassy plateau among the deep valleys running down from the face of the High Drakensberg, offering glorious views. At Giants Castle reserve, there is a large sandstone cave containing prehistoric San rock art. The San and Khoekhoe people were hunters and gatherers who roamed South Africa for thousands of years. This cave is one of the biggest and best-preserved painted sites in southern Africa. This cave is an easy 30 minutes’ walk from the camp office and regular guided tours are taken through this unique exhibition. A visit to Giant's Castle offers the privilege of entering the world of the San as well as the opportunity to study a varied and exciting range of habitats. From there, head to the small town of Howick and visit its waterfall. Howick Falls is approximately 95m in height and lies on the Umgeni River. The Zulu people called the falls KwaNogqaza, which means "Place of the Tall One".   Then visit the Nelson Mandela Capture Site Statue and Apartheid Museum. The Nelson Mandela sculpture comprises of 50 steel column constructions, each between 6.5m and 9.5m tall, set into the Midlands landscape. The approach to the site leads you down a path towards the sculpture where, at 35 meters, a portrait of Nelson Mandela, looking west, comes into focus. The 50 linear vertical units, line up to create the illusion of a flat image. The museum is dedicated to Nelson Mandela’s life and his struggle against Apartheid. After the tour, head back to Durban by late afternoon.

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From Durban: Sani Pass and Lesotho by 4WD Vehicle

2. From Durban: Sani Pass and Lesotho by 4WD Vehicle

Benefit from pickup at a location of your choice in Durban, and then make your way to the historic city of Pietermaritzburg, capital of KwaZulu Natal. Take a short sightseeing tour to see the statue of Mahatma Gandhi by City Hall. Then, venture into the Drakensberg Mountains on the amazing Sani Pass into Lesotho. Travel along the 33-kilometer gravel road that straddles the sheer cliffs in a series of tight zig-zag curves. Marvel at the dramatic landscape as you head from the Sani Pass Hotel, 1,566 meters above sea level. Be amazed as your 4WD Land Rover navigates the narrow road across the border post with Lesotho. Get spectacular views of the rolling hills and endless sky. Reach the top of the Sani Pass, 3,240 meters above sea level. Enjoy a hot lunch at the highest pub in Africa, and then meet the native Basotho people in a local village to learn about their everyday lives. Make your way back down the mountain to cross the boarder back into South Africa.

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Drakensberg World Heritage Tour

3. Drakensberg World Heritage Tour

The Bushman cave paintings are almost as old as humanity itself. They date back 2,000 years and are a fascinating look into the history and culture of the Bushmen or San people of South Africa. This full-day sightseeing heritage tour goes through the Drakensberg mountain range, a full 3-kilometer round trip hike. The cave paintings can be seen in the World Heritage Site Giant’s Castle. After the hike enjoy a hearty, well-earned lunch, which is included in the tour. On the return to Durban, visit the Nelson Mandela Capture Site, a significant monument that marks an important moment in South African history. Today it is commemorated as a world-class sculpture, in memory of Nelson Mandela and his heroic role in the struggle against apartheid.

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Drakensberg Kamberg Cave Art & Mandela Capture Site Day Tour

4. Drakensberg Kamberg Cave Art & Mandela Capture Site Day Tour

Your tour starts off with a visit to Pietermaritzburg, the capital of KwaZulu-Natal. There you will stop at Pietermaritzburg's City Hall, which claims to be the largest brick building in the southern hemisphere. Visit the Gandhi statue before heading towards the Drakensberg mountains. Your main stop is Kamberg Nature Reserve which forms part of the Maloti- Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site and is situated centrally in the foothills of the mountains. The reserve was proclaimed in 1951 and is 6,300 ha in extent. This reserve is particularly scenic, with many walks throughout the area. The natural landscape has many rock shelters, containing San rock paintings. These were created by the San people over a period of at least 4,000 years. The rock paintings are outstanding in quality and diversity representing the spiritual life of the San people who no longer live in the region. From there, head to the small town of Howick and visit its waterfall. Howick Falls is approximately 95m high and lies on the Umgeni River. The Zulu people called the falls KwaNogqaza, which means "Place of the Tall One".   We visit the Nelson Mandela Capture Site Statue and Apartheid Museum. The Nelson Mandela sculpture comprises of 50 steel column constructions – each between 6.5m and 9.5m tall – set into the Midlands landscape. The approach to the site leads you down a path towards the sculpture where, at 35 meters, a portrait of Nelson Mandela, looking west, comes into focus. The 50 linear vertical units, line up to create the illusion of a flat image. The museum is dedicated to Nelson Mandela’s life and his struggle against Apartheid.

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Durban: Drakensberg Rock Art & Mandela Capture Site Tour

5. Durban: Drakensberg Rock Art & Mandela Capture Site Tour

Get picked up bright and early at your hotel at 6 AM and start your trip toward the mountains. Make your way to Kamberg, part of the Northern Drakensberg mountain range and home to the Rosetta Stone of SAN (Bushman) rock art. Upon arrival, meet your anthropologist guide, Dr Jeremy Hollmann, a specialist in early civilization rock art in Southern Africa, and watch an introductory video to understand the context of the people who inhabited this area. Then, follow Dr. Hollmann through the rugged terrain all the way up to Game Pass Shelter where he will delve deeper into the anthropology of the SAN people. There are several spots along the way which he will bring to life with historical anecdotes and anthropological theories. At Game Pass Shelter, take in the mystery of Bushman rock art, and explore theories and beliefs that underpin the art and culture of the SAN/Bushmen of Southern Africa. Tuck into lunch at the Nottingham Road Brewery (at your own expense), and try out the local craft beer, if you like. Thereafter, continue along the Midlands Meander and visit the internationally acclaimed Ardmore Ceramics. Watch the ceramicists at work when the studios are open, and maybe even buy a keepsake. Your penultimate stop is at the iconic Nelson Mandela Capture Site for a peek into South Africa's notorious history and a bucket list photograph. Finish your tour witnessing the water gushing or trickling down (depending on the time of year) at Howick Falls as it flows into the Umgeni River. Finally, head back to Durban with your expected time of arrival set for 7 PM.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Maloti-Drakensberg Park

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What people are saying about Maloti-Drakensberg Park

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 34 reviews

Stunning scenery, new friends & cultural insights

Everything from pick up at the Zulu Safari Office to our arrival in Lesotho and back to SA worked out well. We first of all went to PMB to see Ghandi’s Statue and hear a little bit more about KZN’s capital. Then we picked up a nice couple from Boston, who we spend the day with. Our guide Nduduzo NeNe was superb in explaining the landscape and culture to us. He was helpful getting nice pictures and kept up to our wishes and questions. It was good to have an experienced 4x4 driver for the Sani Pass and he led us through customs both sides. After visiting the Basotho people of Lesotho we went to the Highest Pub in Africa at Sani Pass and had a light lunch and some beers and ciders. The way back was as rough but we had spent a lovely day with newly made friends and an awesome local. 13hrs were quite exhausting but we were happy to have seen that stunning scenery!

I had a guide / driver to myself. He conveyed a lot of knowledge about people, places and nature. I had enough time to look at things everywhere. The day trip was a lot of fun. Again any time.

I had a really awesome day and Ndu Nene was professional &informativei

My trip was a very interesting and fun one . Ndu Nene tour guide was jolly person and he taught us many interesting things.

Great landscapes, exciting tour, very nice guide with a lot of knowledge.

nice day trip, lots of driving but really worth it.