Known as the 'Rainbow Nation', South Africa has a colourful mix of people (with 11 official languages) and a great geographical variety. One of its most exciting regions for the adventure traveller and trekker is the Drakensberg, a 200 kilometre escarpment that rises up between KwaZulu-Natal and the landlocked country of Lesotho. With several 3000 metre peaks, steep cliffs, towering waterfalls and network of good trails, there is a long tradition of hiking and climbing in this part of the world. Combined with the game-filled reserves and pleasant coastal resorts of Kwa-Zulu-Natal, this is also the perfect place for family groups and school groups. At the southern tip of the country, one of its most well-know cities is Cape Town, backed by the iconic Table Mountain. This is the point of access for mountain biking on the beautiful coastal strip of the 'Garden Route' and for 2-wheel adventures in the Swartburg Mountains and amongst the vineyards of Stellenbosch.


South Africa occupies the southern tip of Africa, its long coastline stretching more than 2,500 kilometers (1,553 miles) from the desert border with Namibia on the Atlantic coast southwards around the tip of Africa and then north to the border with subtropical Mozambique on the Indian Ocean. It is conveniently divided into 3 separate geographical areas, which are; the Kalahari Basin, the central highland plateau and the eastern coastal lowland area. One of the provinces which makes up the eastern coastal region is KwaZulu-Natal, the "Kingdom of the Zulu." This is a fascinating and diverse province which includes pleasant coastal resorts, numerous game-filled reserves and a rich Zulu history. On the western edge of KwaZulu-Natal, the rugged 200 kilometre escarpment of the Drakensberg rises up to form an effective barrier between the lowlands and the land-locked territory of Lesotho. The Drakensberg is a remarkable mountainous region, which boasts several 3000 metre-high summits and an unusual landscape of steep cliffs, towering waterfalls and dramatic rock formations.

Time Zone

The time in South Africa is GMT + 2 hours.

Additional Sources/Information


Africa the South. Lonely Planet Guide.
South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. Lonely Planet Guide.
The Rough Guide to South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland.
Mammals of Southern Africa. Charles and Tilde Stuart.
Barrier of spears: drama of the Drakensberg. R.O. Pearse.
Drakensberg walks: 120 graded hikes and trails in the Drakensberg. David Bristow.
A Guide to the Drakensberg. August Sycholt.
AA Guide to KwaZulu Natal. Discover the Magic.


Globetrotter Travel Map of South Africa. 1:2,400,000.


Lonely Planet -
Rough Guides -