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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Royal Natal National Park, South Africa

Dec 17, 2011 - Lesotho

Lesotho is an independent country located completely within the boundaries of South Africa--a result of the peculiarities of British colonial rule. The Drakensberg Mountains form the country's eastern border and so I had the opportunity to visit it on a day-long excursion from the lodge. Lesotho (pronounced "Lesutu") is an extremely impoverished nation with virtually no infrastructure. The roads are in such poor condition that you are not even allowed to cross the border unless you have a 4 X 4 vehicle and less than 2% of the country has...

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Trip Journal


Overlanding Africa

Dec 17, 2011 - Drakensberg

"Lord of the Rings " meets "Sound of Music!" That's the way one of my hiking partners described the Drakensberg Mountains. I've previously mentioned that Drakensberg has some of the best hiking and prettiest scenery in South Africa and I've seen nothing to contradict that. I will be here a total of 5 days and have spent most of it hiking. There are numerous hiking trails ranging from easy strolls to strenuous 10-12 hour hikes. There are even multi-day treks on which you can spend the night in mountain caves. I've mostly stuck to 4-5 hour...

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Overlanding Africa

Dec 15, 2011 - Hitting the Road

After my incredibly rewarding stay in St Lucia the time has arrived to plot some new adventures on the map. On December 12th I picked up my rental car and headed west for the Drakensberg Mountains. Eight weeks of being a passenger in cars driven on the left-hand side of the road prepared me for where the car should be positioned but not for the finer details, namely that the wiper and blinker controls are reversed on the steering column. So now when my windshield wipers are on it either signals that it's raining or that I'm turning...

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Trip Journal


Overlanding Africa

Jan 23, 2009 - Robbed in the Royal Natal

NORTH DRAKENSBURG – Jan. 23 We are making our way up north and decided to stop at the Royal Natal National Park, in the North Drakensberg area. The park is said to be home to some of the Drakenberg’s most dramatic scenery. The Amphitheatre, an 8km wall of rocky cliff face, is particularly impressive. The drive was longer than expected and we didn’t arrive at our hostel until the late afternoon. We decided to stay at the Amphitheatre Hostel, situated just off the main highway and outside of the National Park. It seemed like a great place...

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Oct 24, 2007 - South Africa - Ukhahlamba-Drakensberg - Royal Natal National Park

We made it through the night, packed up and headed out to Monk's Cowl with a quick stop for a much needed coffee and toasted cheese sandwich in Winterton. More stunning Drakensberg Mountain range, Monk's Cowl offers great hiking and 2 peaks, Monk's Cowl and Champagne Castle. Unfortunately (or luckily for us) thick rain cloud was hovering over the mountain peaks so we had to cancel our morning walk. Later that day we planned to stop at the Drakensberg Boys Choir School to see their public performance. Expecting only a handful of people to...

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Jan 18, 2007 - Northern Drakensberg

I stopped off at the Drakensberg because its one of the places me and Jax overlooked on our first time through South Africa and loads of people had raved about it since. I got off the bus at a hostel called the ampitheatre and as it drove away I realised I was actually in the midlle of nowhere. It was amazing, the hostel was completely on it own surrounded by lush green fields and mountains, and the hostel was amazing as well. I extended my stay to 4 days because it was so nice. I went for a wander around the fields and it was heaven, sang...

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Dec 12, 2006 - Battle Fields / Drakensberg Park (A UNESCO World Heritage Site)

Appropriately named, this area has the largest concentration of bloody, historical battles in all of South Africa. Battles between Zulu and Voortrekkers, English and Zulu, and English and Boers. One of the most famous sites is Blood River - so named after 12,500 Zulus attacked 468 Voortrekkers secured in their laager (a ring of wagons and thorn bushes) in 1838. It is said that over 3000 Zulus were killed, turning the river blood red. The fact that there were no Voortrekker casualties supported their belief that they were a blessed people,...

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Oct 11, 2006 - Camorhi Reserve to Giant's Castle

Day 5 - October 11, 2006 Our fears about the weather were ill-placed: we woke up to brilliant sunshine! Headed out on a 4-wheel drive open-air truck just the 3 of us and our guide - first to see some huge male white lions and and then several smaller young lions that had just been moved from another area - thankfully all penned in! The Camorhi game reserve is currently being used as a breeding farm. They also had some very young springbok fawns (or whatever young bok are called!) - very skittish but very cute. And finally, we got to see a...

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Apr 29, 2006 - Drakensberg Mountain Range- South Africa

Drakensberg Range- April 25-29 From a scenic point of view South Africa and the Drakensberg Range in particular are one of our favourites. It is a hikers paradise and the weather is perfect-(cold nights and warm days- end of April is fall here). We spend 2 days in the southern range around Underberg/ Himesville and a few days in the northern range around Bergsville. Heidi hiked to the top of the Amphetheatre Mtn. and enjoyed the exercise and views a lot.

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Mar 13, 2006 - UNESCO World Heritage Sites

At first we were confused why the St. Lucia Wetlands had been given the exclusive designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. UNESCO assigns special status to unique places around the world based on biodiversity, beauty, cultural or historical significance. Yes the area was crawling with thousands of hippos, crocs and a dizzying array of birds but scenic-wise we had seen places of similar beauty without the UNESCO status. Then we learned that St. Lucia has over 400 species of trees (compared to 73 species of trees in all of Europe) and...

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Trip Journal


The Travellin Ts

Aug 30, 2005 - South Africa - Central & Northern Drakensberg

Finding a backpackers in the middle of nowhere at night when it's dark out is never a good idea yet here we are again! And, it's a strange thing when you wake up in the morning and realise you don't really have a clue where you are or what the world looks like outside. Here we are in Central Drakensberg, next to mountains like Cathedral Peak and Champagne Castle yet the area surrounding us looks predominately flat; go figure. Since where we were only seemed to offer hikes that looked to take hours and all going in a general upwards...

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