The Southern Drakensberg Mountains offer a unique blend of enchantment and splendour, making it an idyllic destination for a getaway. Renowned for its winter allure, Shaun Lamont, Managing Director of First Group Hotels and Resorts says that the Drakensberg proves equally magical in the summer months. “There is no doubt that the Drakensberg stands out as the best winter destination to enjoy a snow experience, nestling by the fire, savouring glühwein or hot chocolate, whilst gazing at the snow-clad mountains.”
However, he adds that the charm of the ‘berg doesn’t fade when the snow melts. “Summer unveils its own unique appeal, presenting a different opportunity to make magical, lasting memories with loved ones.” And, if you opted to avoid the frenetic Festive holiday season before taking a well-earned break, now is the perfect time, especially for parents of tots or those with adult children, who are not constrained by school holidays.
Lamont shares why he believes that the Southern Drakensberg is equally captivating in the summer months and why you should consider making it a holiday destination:
1. Flora and Fauna Diversity: Summer in the Drakensberg unveils a vibrant spectacle as the mountains transform into lush, green landscapes that come alive with a mass of wildflowers. This picturesque backdrop of colours is unrivalled in its splendour and beauty and coupled with rare plant and animal species, it is a must-see.
2. Moderate Climate: The ’berg generally has a more moderate climate, ideal for those who prefer milder temperatures and a respite from intense summer heat and humidity.
3. Early Starts and Afternoon Naps: Make the most of the temperate mornings with an early hike or leisurely cycle through the breath-taking scenery. As the day unfolds, indulge in a leisurely lunch and retreat for an afternoon nap, sheer bliss after the hustle and bustle of city life.
4. Water Wonderland: Enjoy a picnic next to crystal-clear streams or natural pools, plunge beneath refreshing waterfalls or relax poolside at top resorts like Bushman’s Nek. Experience the pleasures of summer as you cool off in the unspoilt water wonderland that this region offers.
5. Birding: Bird enthusiasts will find the Drakensberg a haven for rare and incredible birdlife like the mighty Bearded Vulture. The region boasts a unique collection of avian species, making it a top destination for birdwatchers eager to spot these feathered wonders.
6. Bushman Paintings: Explore the rich cultural heritage of the Drakensberg and visit ancient rock art sites left behind by the San people. With approximately 40,000 rock paintings across 600 caves and overhangs, this magnificent legacy is deserving of its world heritage site status.
7. Outdoor Adventurer’s Paradise: Take on the spectacular and majestic Sani Pass 4×4 trail, join a quad bike tour or experience horse riding in the mountains. You will run out of days to enjoy everything the beautiful ‘berg has to offer.
One of his favourite properties is Bushman’s Nek Berg and Trout Resort. Nestled at the foot of the Southern Drakensberg, it offers both premier hotel and self-catering accommodations and a host of activities for the whole family. These include fly fishing, adventure golf, paintball, cycling, hiking trails, archery, badminton and even squash courts, plus a beauty spa and kids’ club to keep the little ones entertained.
And, if you were working over the December holiday season or are experiencing “back to the grindstone” blues, why not book an Easter holiday break now? You can still enjoy the last of the ‘berg’s lingering summer beauty and tranquillity as you indulge in any number of outdoor activities.
Do something different this year and trade snowflakes for sunshine as you embark on a summer adventure in the Southern Drakensberg mountains. Discover the magic amidst breath-taking landscapes, cultural treasures, and an array of outdoor adventures. “It’s a stunningly beautiful and peaceful place to unwind, guaranteed to help you get your mojo back as you reconnect with nature and share unforgettable moments with family and friends,” Lamont concludes.
To explore options for either resort or hotel accommodation, visit First Group Resorts at https://www.firstgroup-sa.co.za/.