uKhahlamba

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Forward to Kloof

The next part of the safari took us to the green, green land of KwaZulu Natal. We visited the smallest church in the world on our way there and slept in the shadow of the majestic Drakensberg for one night. The next day first took  us on a hike along a mountain stream, past dainty wild flowers and lush tropical plants. We left the mountains following the Midlands Meander, frequently stopping to admire the craftmanship of the many artists that find their inspiration in the awesome surroundings of mountains, lakes and veld. 

On our way to Kwa Zulu Natal we decided to stop at Van Reenen to have a look at the smallest church  in the world. From there we proceeded to White Mountain where we were booked in at a self-catering chalet for the night.

The little church at Van Reenen

Left: Little church

Right:  Church garden and tea room

Left: Our group in the church tea garden

Right: The interior of the church

 

Patsi was leading the way from Van Reenen and we reached the White Mountain resort shortly before sunset. It started to rain and I was afraid that the rain would again prevent us to enjoy the beauty of the mountains the next day. I remembered the mountains being hidden behind clouds during my previous visit but it was never the less wonderful just to be in the mountains.  White Mountain Resort was beautiful and we enjoyed sitting on the stoep overlooking a dam with the backdrop of the mountains to round off the picture when the clouds lifted a little just before sunset. It rained through the night but the next morning the sun was out and the most beautiful day greeted us!
Sunset at White MountainResort

Left: Sunset at White Mountain

Right: White Mountain Resort - early morning

The lake at White Mountain Resort

Left: Chalet at White Mountain resort

Oor group enjoying our "self-catered"  meal in the chalet 

 

Back: Wia and Jo with Rose Donna and Patsi in front

After breakfast the next morning we departed for Giant's Castle. The itinerary for the day included a visit to the caves with San paintings at Giant's Castle and a leisurely drive following one of the Midlands Meander routes on our way to Patsi's home in Kloof. The drive to Giant's Castle was breatht-takingly beautiful and Patsi had to stop many times to wait for me when taking photos.

 

Mountain panorama on the way to Giant's Castle

 

 

 

The uKhahlamba on the horizon

 

The Barrier of Spears

uKhahlamba means "Barrier of Spears. The uKhahlamba  Drakensberg  World Heritage site is described as follows: (click here to learn more about this fascinating part of our country)

“Recognised by the ancient mystics of our land as breathing new life into the human spirit, the inescapable allure of this 200-kilometre- long wonderland owes much to its intense relationship with people...the million-plus years of Stone Age occupation in particular. This culminated in the tragic disappearance, during the late 19th century, of the San hunter-gatherers colloquially referred to as Bushmen. Migrating chiefdoms from the Great Lakes of Central Africa had in the 13th century been humbled by the sheer magnitude of this uKhahlamba - Barrier of Spears - destined to become the western extreme of their Zulu Kingdom. The ox-wagons of Boer settlers negotiated its precipitous passes in 1837 on the Great Trek from British dominion in the Cape Colony to a 'Promised Land'. The name Drakensberg was coined forty years later when a Boer father and son reported seeing a dragon - a giant lizard with wings and a tail - flying high above the cloud-shrouded mountain peaks.

The inscription in late 2000 of uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park as a World Heritage Site brought long-overdue recognition of its universal value to mankind. Meeting the criteria for both Natural and Cultural listings, the site can now officially boast 'superlative natural phenomena and beauty, unique richness of biological diversity, the conservation of all-important endemic and threatened species plus masterpieces of human creative genius in the form of 35 000 'San rock art images'. Many people have known this for a long time!”

Left: uKhahlamba as seen from Giant's Castle

Right :  Mountain stream, Giant's Castle - our hiking route to the caves..

Left: Donna at Giant's Castle

Right : The chalet's at Giant's Castle blending in with the vegetation against the hill

left and right:  The stream along the path that we followed to the Main Caves at Giant's castle.

Left: Drinks and lunch art Rawdon's hotel in Nottingham Road, Midlands Meander

Right: The main Caves where we were 5 miniutes too late for the tour:-( and Jo and Donna on the hike

Swissland Cheese, Midlands Meander - the goats and the shop where we bought that wonderful home made cheese... 

   

 

Back to Mpumalanga

Forward to Kloof