The South African landscape is magnificent, there is no doubt. This beauty is made up of coastal stretches, dense forests, lush valleys and arid desert. Another major natural feature that really adds to the complexity and splendour are the many imposing mountains that litter the horizon. These mountains make for incredible hiking and walking opportunities, but also for abseiling, mountain climbing, kloofing and caving.
A mountain holiday is amazing for families, couples, corporate groups and outdoor enthusiasts. It offers so much in terms of stunning views and plenty of activities. It is also usually more budget-friendly than costly hotels or other high-end vacation options.
Here are five of South Africa’s many, many mountains
The Drakensberg Mountain Range
At 3483 metres high, this is the highest mountain range in the country and is made up of a number of individual mountains. It covers five South African provinces. The fauna and flora in the Drakensberg really is unrivalled in terms of variety and beauty. Some of the areas are virtually untouched, giving it natural integrity. There are countless cave paintings, which are so fun to explore and discover.
Table Mountain, Signal Hill and Lion’s Head have become the iconic representations of Cape Town. They are visible from almost anywhere in the city and create a fabulous backdrop for so many of the beaches. There are a number of trails that lead to the peaks of these mountains, some a lot tougher than others. Table Mountain has a modern cable car, which transports people to its flat top, from which the Western Cape is showcased to perfection.
Formed by an ancient volcanic eruption, this mountain range of the North West Province is created by three concentric hills. This round geological formation is within the protection of the greater Pilanesberg Game Reserve. The ancient nature of this range is haunting in its beauty, creating a really mysterious ambience in which to enjoy the country as it is showcased magnificently.
The Baviaanskloof is in the Eastern Cape and covers well over a million acres. The topography is unique and the vegetation typical of this part of South Africa; that is, scrubby and varied. The Baviaanskloof and Kouga mountains run parallel to one another, creating a long valley that is home to an enormous range of animals, including leopards. There are many accommodation options within Baviaanskloof, ranging from lodges to camping facilities, and even guesthouses inside caves.
The Amatola Mountain Range
The Amatola (or Amatole) Mountain Range is covered by lush green forests and is famous for its spectacular waterfalls. Nearby towns include Hogsback, King William’s Town, East London and Stutterheim. One of the Amatola hiking trails extends for six days and is recognised as one of the best trails in the country.
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