Natural Wonders of the Drakensberg South Africa

in travelfeed •  3 months ago 

South Africa a world in one country.

Setting off around nine in the morning with sun shining bright after previous days storm, everything was vibrant in the Drakensberg. Come walk with me exploring natural gems.

Could never resist stopping to take one of many reflections off of the pools, bulging with water a wonderful sight no wonder people play golf. Reminds me of a sign I once noticed up there about Golf (Gentlemen Only Ladies Forbidden), yeah bet the ladies Teed your balls off on that one.

Teed: The verb meaning "place a ball on a golf tee" is recorded from 1673; figurative sense of "to make ready" (usually with up) is recorded from 1938. Teed off in the figurative sense of "angry, annoyed" is first recorded 1953, probably as a euphemism for p(iss)ed off . Dictionary

Fairways Southern Drakensberg
One of the many that golfers lose their balls in.. Photo 09h23 f/8 1/125 sec ISO-80 - Canon PowerShot SX730 HS

Looking down the valley approximately 5 km's as the crow flies, to what we call the Castle, likened to Edinburgh Castle high up on the hill with proud spires for peaks.

Photo 09h34 f/8 1/40 sec ISO-80 - Canon PowerShot SX730 HS

Wild flowers aplenty, here I will share as much information I have found to identify flowers in this region (not being an expert identification may be wrong).

Ranunculus multifidus - Common buttercup
Photo Ranunculus multifidus - Common buttercup f/8 1/125 sec ISO-80 - Canon PowerShot SX730 HS

Photo berries f/4 1/250 sec ISO-160 - Canon PowerShot SX730 HS

First encounter with baboon troops, not scared of people languishing around enjoying the morning, we moved quietly past this was the start to knowing how much havoc they are starting to cause in the area.

With hotel and resort growing a dump site was placed higher up the valley behind pine trees (now being removed slowly), hidden from sight, baboons scavenged food there, now moved into the resort, change had to come, only organic material goes to the dumpsite now.

Photo baboons f/5.6 1/60 sec ISO-100 - Canon PowerShot SX730 HS

Back to flowers Autumn flowers with splash of colour the silver/grey leaves do not belong to the flower with a beetle perched swaying to and fro.

Flower and Beetle
Photo may be Euryops laxus - Resin bush or Gazania krebsiana - Common Gazina f/4 1/100 sec ISO-100 - Canon PowerShot SX730 HS

Kerriebos sutera floribunda
Walking alongside the river or close to the river a Kerriebox sutera floribunda - f/8 1/10 sec ISO-80 - Canon PowerShot SX730 HS

Yellow crassula Flower
Standing proud off the ground a patch of Yellow crassula - f/4 1/100 sec ISO-100 - Canon PowerShot SX730 HS

Yellow crassula Flower closeup
Yellow crassula close up shot a cluster of small flowers together, this was a little bit of a cheat having to use the zoom lens to assist with flower being in a boggy area - f/4 1/800 sec ISO-80 - Canon PowerShot SX730 HS

Watsonia densiflora
Pretty little heads popping up between the local grass the Watsonia densiflora - f/4 1/640 sec ISO-80 - Canon PowerShot SX730 HS

Slender poker - Kniphofia laxiflora
Slender poker - Kniphofia laxiflora were quite plentiful, the stem stands about 25cm from the ground with tear drop flowers each a diameter of about 20mm - f/4 1/200 sec ISO-160 - Canon PowerShot SX730 HS

Red star Flower
Red star flower I believe this may be, it stands relatively close to the ground at about 8cm bloom approximately 55mm - f/3.3 1/500 sec ISO-400 - Canon PowerShot SX730 HS

Butterfly lobelia Flower
Another dainty flower leans with weight of bloom, another small plant close to the ground bloom approximately 25mm - f/4 1/60 sec ISO-100 - Canon PowerShot SX730 HS

Butterfly lobelia closeup
Butterfly lobelia as you can see the grass tufts below how low growing and hanging this flower is - f/4 1/60 sec ISO-125 - Canon PowerShot SX730 HS

More than flowers I sighted a Porcupine quill, thought just the instrument for @quillfire he could scroll away all day with some good old fashioned ink!

Porcupine Quill
Porcupine being nocturnal animals you see their burrows along the banks of rivers of close to the river if you are lucky, we never saw any on this visit. f/4 1/160 sec ISO-160 - Canon PowerShot SX730 HS

From small to large, sandstone face to the left side up the valley along the Mashai River we have seen evidence that eagles roost in this rock formation.

Sandstone Rock Face
Taken at 09h51 in the morning with the sun revealing the crevices. f/8 1/125 sec ISO-80 - Canon PowerShot SX730 HS

Breaking from flower spotting we made our way down to the Mlambonja River, taking in full view of the Southern Drakensberg Range, Wilson Peak to the left above Swiman in fore, Rhino Peak to the right shape of a Rhino horn.

Southern Drakensberg Mountain Range
Photo was taken 10h01 f/8 1/250 sec ISO-80 - Canon PowerShot SX730 HS![Garden Castle Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park.jpg]

Map to see layout of the area and estimated hiking times for the energetic.

Drakensberg Mountain Range. Drakensberg, the main mountain range of Southern Africa. The Drakensberg rises to more than 11,400 feet (3,475 metres) and extends roughly northeast to southwest for 700 miles (1,125 km) parallel to the southeastern coast of South Africa. [Source:(

Splashing our feet, refilling water bottles, lots of photography childish enjoyment of crisp, cool, clean water bubbling off the escarpment!

Crisp Cool Clean Water Drakesberg
Photo was taken 10h04 f/8 1/1000 sec ISO-80 - Canon PowerShot SX730 HS

Moving along any paths up here you see grasses, region is made up predominantly of certain grasses, here are some to see.

Split leaf sheath - Phragmites australis Drakesberg
Introduced to the area for water ponds on the 18 hole golf course. Photo f/8 1/50 sec ISO-80 - Canon PowerShot SX730 HS

Red Oat Grass - Themeda triandra
Local grass - Photo f/3.3 1/1000 sec ISO-160 - Canon PowerShot SX730 HS

Festuca costata grasses
Clumps of grass seen high and low in the Berg, normally burn every second year, although debates are being held about this procedure. Photo f/8 1/60 sec ISO-80 - Canon PowerShot SX730 HS

Common bulrush - Typha aapensis
Photo f/8 1/125 sec ISO-80 - Canon PowerShot SX730 HS

Orange Mushroom - Hycrocybe miniata
Moving slightly up the opposite hill we saw these tiny mushrooms about 25mm diameter 2-3 cm height above ground. Photo f/8 1/8 sec ISO-80 - Canon PowerShot SX730 HS

Autumn Colours Drakensberg
Framed between two pine trees autumn starting to show her true colours, walking quietly for almost two hours now seeking shaded path. Photo f/8 1/160 sec ISO-80 - Canon PowerShot SX730 HS

Weaver bird
Lunch time sharing with Weaver this time, every day another bird swoops in to let you know they count! Photo f/5.6 1/640 sec ISO-400 - Canon PowerShot SX730 HS

Thanks for joining me the first part of the story began with Life's Road Trips Like Human Wings
Day 1 Supporting @steemitworldmap How Green Was My Valley

Thought for Today: ** If you wish to move mountains tomorrow, you must start by lifting stones today. ~ African Proverb **


!steemitworldmap -29.7562 lat 29.2369 long Fairways Drakensberg Gardens D3SCR

Communities I Support: #qurator #steemitbloggers #teamsouthafrica #steembuilder

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This was such a superb post in so many ways. I had it opened up in a window and kept looking at it and thought I had left my footprint... and yet I didn't.

For that, I apologize. You are such a great steemer and I dislike when I intend to leave a comment for a wonderful post and I forget...

As an aside, this part of Africa is so truly beautiful and someday, I hope to spend some time there.

Have a most fabulous week, Joan!



All is forgiven Denise, we often get distracted (well I know I do).

Each country offers unique beauty, have a wonderful day.

Again beautiful photos from this awesome landscape with all this fauna and flora. But the first pic I love the most. When you look to the horizon, you think it was clouded, but in the small lake you see the real sky reflected. I love that one.


With light changing, the photography off one of the many small ponds around the golf green was a lot of fun @ikarus56 thanks for visiting.

How I long to be up in the Berg when I read the posts of your trip, absolutely beautiful photography @joanstewart!


Lovely break away @lizelle doing what I have come to enjoy, photography.

So green. I really like the pond. I would put many frogs in there and maybe a few ducks.

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Frogs and ducks are in the ponds and lakes @abitcoinskeptic

Lovely pictures Joan and enjoyed doing this walk with you! Great to see you use the travelfeed tag this time round! Hope they pick it up :)

I like the rock formations and it does remind me a little bit of the spires on Edinburgh Castle, pretty structures! I can imagine the rush of the water as well down there. Don't go interrupting any golfers now :)


Had a book many years ago about how the area obtained the name relating to the Edinburgh Castle, now I have seen both I relate to why they named it so.

Amazing to think wind and water beating the sides of sandstone create such wonderful master pieces.

Golfers get irate when you in their way, look comical standing a few hundred meters away yelling....

Hello @joanstewart
all the photographs are beautiful but i love first photograph most ..
Beautiful reflection of blue sky with clouds in that pond..
nice photograph..


Thanks for lovely compliment on photography @tussar11

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Wow, I love the reflection of the sky, so blue!
And look at all those beautiful flowers!!

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I fall in love with first photo. :)


Thank you for your kind comment @nesni996


Welcome. :)


Beautiful pics, all. The one with the "Castle" ... literally, awesome.

I spent several years in Africa (considerably North of you) and your pic with the baboon triggered a memory ... it would make a good post. And the porcupine quill ... Africa has the largest porcupines (or the porcupines with the largest quills) in the world. They are ... spears.

Drakensberg ("Dragon's Mountain") ... what a great name for a mountain range.

God's Country.



Castle is on the road into the area so where I was standing it is looking back down the valley to the coast.

Africa you find strange, dangerous or beautiful around every corner, keeps you on your toes. Have yet to see a wild porcupine, have seen their dens, have a collection of quills varying in size and length.

Nice post, very creative


Thanks @cryptocheta

Lovely photos @joanstewart, we used to go to a place called The Cavern Berg. Its quite near to the Sterkfontein Dam. it was stunning there.


Each nook and cranny has it's own beauty @claudiaz.

Have never visited Cavern Berg, stayed in Royal National Park (Northern Berg) at the hutted camp Tendile, which is in the same area.


yes it actually borders on it

A superb blog featuring many interesting nature shots and picturesque landscapes @joanstewart And I really love your weaver bird image.


So much to see and do out in nature @trudeehunter, birds land on the table almost a self-service.

Nice to see more of South Africa and that mountain range.

I think I saw who steals the golf balls on a photo above. Not gonna snitch, though.


Thank you for visiting @manoldonchev, 'mountain range' is an escarpment with Lesotho high up in the clouds.

Lovely. I have been to Africa, but not South Africa ... yet!


Hope you find your way so far down south, some lovely places to visit @toolanm


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A great post Lady Joan and the Berg is so lovely that its beauty is indescribable. How well do I remember the baboon's late afternoon bark and we found the caves where they sleep. We unfortunately only visited the southern part of the berg once and your post is stunning!


Over the years we have hiked to most places in this region, now I enjoy ambling along viewing nature.

Have been fortunate in visiting many areas in the berg, south being closest travel time, approximately 3 hours, with prices increasing year on year, this is where we pop in whenever we are able.


Very wise to keep the distance as short as possible. Also in our case when we lived in Gauteng, as the northern parts were the closest. We always had to wait for one of the congregation members to donate their timeshare in the Berg to us whenever they couldn.t make it!


Travel has become expensive in our own country, living in Gauteng we visited northern Berg regularly, now in Durban it makes sense to go southern Berg.

Time share is also costly, going into retirement one can only hope to keep it up, we normally share with family members so everyone has a turn to get away.

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Words can't fully describe this post, well done.