Drakensberg

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Drakensberg

a mountain range in southern Africa, extending through Lesotho, E South Africa, and Swaziland. Highest peak: Thabana Ntlenyana, 3482 m (11 425 ft.)

Drakensberg

 

mountains in southeast Africa, extending from the Sabie River in the north to the Groot Kei River in the south and forming part of the Great Escarpment. In the middle of the range are the eastern outskirts of the Lesotho elevation, with the highest points in all of southern Africa (Mt. Thabana-Ntlenyana, 3,482 m). The Drakensberg Mountains serve as a divide between the short rivers of the Indian Ocean basin, which dissect the abrupt, stepped eastern slopes, and the upper reaches of the Orange River. A stretch of rolling foothills separates the mountains from the coastal lowlands. The mountains are composed of bright sandstone from the Karroo system, covered by darkly hued beds of basalt. The latter are responsible for the plane of peaks dissected by erosion into steeply sloped, stepped plateaus.

The climate and vegetation of the eastern windward slopes and the western leeward slopes differ sharply. Heavy rains (mainly in the summer) of up to 2,000 mm a year fall on the eastern slopes. The dry western slopes have an extremely continental climate. Snow falls on the mountain peaks in the winter. The damp eastern slopes are covered up to the elevation of 1,200 m by tropical rain forests with evergreen leafy and coniferous trees, lianas, and epiphytes. From 1,200 or 1,500 m up to 2,000 m there are growths of spiny shrubs, xerophytes, and succulents (acacias, aloes). At higher elevations are mountain meadows and rock streams. On the western slopes the forests give way to savannas and shrubs.

L. A. MIKHAILOVA

References in periodicals archive ?
Seasoned pilots David MacGregor and Danie Honiball took it upon themselves to ensure that we get the best views of the Drakensberg Mountain range as we geared up for a thrilling hot air balloon ride.
Only one of these species has been collected from the proteas in the Drakensberg Mountains, whereas none of the other species has any recorded biological association.
One highlighted project - the restoration of grasslands around river systems in South Africa's Drakensberg Mountains - is projected to bring back winter river flows of almost 4 million cubic metres.
Some trekkers who crossed the Drakensberg Mountains met the Zulus, whose land was eventually annexed and became part of Natal.
Other places worth a visit are the mighty Drakensberg Mountains, now a World Heritage site because of its Bushmen Paintings and dramatic beauty, and the great Limpopo River.
Our first few days are spent in the glorious Drakensberg mountains.
The prime visitor attractions remain Cape Town and the Kruger National Park, so the country's main challenge will be to promote other locations, such as the beaches of Kwa-Zulu-Natal, the desert flowers of the Northern Cape and the Drakensberg Mountains, which are already very popular with South Africans themselves.
His dad Brian's firm is set on the mily farm, 100 miles from Durban in the picturesque Drakensberg Mountains.
Presentation at VASSA October 2008, Champain Spot Drakensberg Mountains.
The Moholoholo reserve, situated in luscious rainforest at the foot of the Drakensberg mountains, hosts not only the ranger courses but also a forest camp and an animal rehabilitation centre - as well as rhinos, hippos, giraffe, zebra, a crocodile and more than 300 species of birds.
From the peaks of the Drakensberg mountains, to the timeless semi-desert landscapes of the Karoo; the forests, sea-shores and mirror-like lakes of the Garden Route to the temperate valleys of the winelands; the national parks to the instantly recognisable Table Mountain - all under an endless azure-blue sky.