The Drakensberg, or Berg as it's fondly known to locals, makes for an epic local weekend getaway or staycation, any time of the year.
The Berg's soaring mountain peaks, frosted with snow in the winter or blooms in the spring, shelter waterfalls, rivers and rolling greens. It's a natural paradise for anyone dreaming of the fresh mountain air of an Alpine-Esque escape.
Check out our Drakensberg travel guide, and you too will be convinced on why the Berg is a favourite handpicked local break:
What to see
With mountain peaks that touch the sky and rivers that run through endless meadows, the Berg is as pretty as a picture. Apart from Mother Nature's abundant charms, there are some remarkable works of human hands to see too.
Ancient rock art
The uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park boasts rock art that is over 2000 years old. It's the most extensive natural gallery of San rock art in southern Africa. There are over 30000 artworks depicting the lifestyle of the San people, and the pieces are notable for their enduring quality.
The sound of music
The Drakensberg Boys Choir is renowned the world over. They post a schedule of performances so you can time your visit accordingly.
Take a trip of nostalgia down memory lane. If you've visited South Africa's fun, wet and muddy festival in the Berg before, no doubt you've got memories to last a lifetime. Have a scroll through your photos and set a plan of action now for the next event.
What to do
The Berg is a UNESCO-listed heritage site brimming with nature and culture galore. Adventure lovers are in for a treat. Take your pick from horse riding, walking and hiking, mountain biking, trout fishing and much more.
Each national park and area offers many opportunities to indulge in your pastime of choice.
For an adventure of a different kind, hit the gas and drive up the Sani Pass. It's the highest pass in the country and is indeed the mother of all mountain passes. The views are epic.
What to eat
With such fruitful bounty thanks to Mother Nature, it's little wonder that you can dine on fresh farm-to-table cuisine comfortably in the Berg.
Pop into amazing farm stalls for a home-cooked pie and top up the padkos or a cute coffee shop for an early morning cuppa. Cosy up next to the fire in the hotel with an afternoon tipple or warm up around the braai with some vleis after dark.
Don't leave without sampling:
· A Durban curry. It will warm you up from the inside out, year-round!
· Trout fresh from the local streams and dams.
· Wine tasting at the Cathedral Peak Wine Estate. They produce Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinotage, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Sauvignon Blanc.
· A hearty pub lunch.
· Craft beer at the Drakensberg Brewery.
· Padkos or lunch at the Farmstall. The Pig and Plough is a family favourite.
Where to sleep
For the ultimate 'ski resort in the Alps' experience, check into the Cathedral Peak Hotel.
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The Alpine Heath Resort is a family and groups favourite with self-catering chalets that accommodate up to six people. There are many dining options available when no-one feels like cooking or braaiing, and a host of activities and special kids programmes to enjoy.
Kids can burn off energy in the kids' zone and make use of the kids' entertainment programme. Or hit the trails for horse riding, hiking and mountain biking.
Sold on a Berg break but not sure when to go, how to get there or what to pack?
Here are our top recommendations from our Flight Centre experts who love the Berg:
Best time to visit the Drakensberg
The Berg is a year-round destination. But some in the know say September is particularly special. Summer is hot and humid, and winter is a wonderland of snow and chills. September is right in the middle and boasts blooms everywhere.
If you're hankering after a Frozen adventure, visit in winter and hold thumbs for a snow spell.
How to get there: Fly into Durban or Joburg's ORT (they're almost equidistant from the Berg) and make the roughly three-and-a-half-hour journey.
Whatever you do, the Berg is one of Mzansi's priceless treasures. Pack the car with enough padkos to keep tummies filled and little hands busy, and set off on a road trip that will make your photo albums burst with fond memories.