Introduction to Drakensberg towns and communities
A wide range of Interesting Drakensberg towns and communities exist in the Central and Northern Drakensberg area. Moreover, these towns are fascinating to visit on a wet, rainy day.
List of these towns
The following towns or communities are undoubtedly worth a visit when you are in the Northern and Central Drakensberg:
- Firstly, Ladysmith. The largest town in the region. A significant commercial and industrial hub with a fascinating heritage. This town has all you need in terms of services.
- Secondly, Estcourt. The second biggest town in the region. Some of the key attractions include Fort Durnford. Has vital shopping areas and all the vital services tourists may need.
- Thirdly, Winterton. A quaint village with a range of stores. Very much an agricultural town. In close vicinity to Cathkin Park or the Champagne Valley (some 32 km), a suburb of this village.
- Fifthly, Bergville. The municipal offices of Okhahlamba are found in this town. Additionally a major multi-purpose sport and conference centre. Key services in this town include a dentist, vet, pharmacy and a large mal—thee gateway to the Northern Drakensberg and its stunning peaks.
- Also, Newcastle. Newcastle is a fascinating gateway to an important portion of the Northern Drakensberg. The peaks are not as high here as in the Central and Royal Natal sections, some 2000 metres. However, the landscape is magnificent, and the range of activities is extensive.
- Geluksberg. A hamlet from a bygone era;
- The community of Oliviershoek. This area is the most scenic route into the Northern and Central Drakensberg;
- Cathkin Park. A suburb of Winterton deep in the Central Drakensberg. Also known as Champagne or Cathkin Valley. A centre for adventure tourism.
- The Cathedral Peak Community;
- Injisuthi, Loskop and Ntabahlope Communities – the communities on the outskirts of the two highest peaks in South Africa;
- The Culfargie and Bell Park Community;
Excursion and services
Furthermore, you could add a Battlefield site like Spionkop or Willow Grange or a game reserve like Spionkop Nature Reserve, Wagendrift Dam or Zulu Waters as part of your itinerary. Most of these towns are close to the various camps in the Drakensberg. They also have beautiful long-distance views of the Drakensberg. So it is possible to stay at an accommodation establishment in one of these towns or on the outskirts and still have a Drakensberg experience.
Many of these towns have fascinating museums, memorials, churches and other cultural centres. They also provide most of the services and goods that you require for a stay deeper in the Drakensberg. The services range from clinics, hospitals, police stations, tourism information centres, doctors and dentists to shopping malls and hardware stores.
Additionally, some excellent eateries and pubs exist on the outskirts of these towns, where you can engage with the friendly local communities. Some of them have country clubs, where you can watch a game of rugby or cricket. Furthermore, you could arrange to use their facilities such as tennis or squash courts. Most of them have pubs as well. Here you can enjoy a pint while you get to know the locals who are warm and accommodating. Very often big events such as the Winterton Agricultural Show take place at these clubs, and these are worth a visit. Some towns also have street markets, which are always fun for the family.