Drakensberg

(redirected from Drakensburg Mountains)
Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.

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 ?
On Sunday, viewers can follow Lenny Henry on his journey from Cape Town, South Africa, through the Sani Pass in the Drakensburg Mountains.
Malcolm Piper, founder of Malcolm Piper & Co, will be riding 1,000 miles off-road within the Drakensburg mountains, between Port Elizabeth and Port Edward in South Africa.
We will then drive through the Drakensburg mountains to the St Lucia Wetlands in Kwa-Zulu Natal, up through Swaziland to the Kruger Park, and then back to Johannesburg, where we fly on to Perth in Western Australia, spend two weeks there, then on to Sydney, to catch an overnight train to Brisbane, down to the Gold Coast for Christmas, then back to Sydney through the coastal hinterland of New South Wales.
For the second stage the challenge moves to Cape Town when competitors will be given eight Defenders that will take them across Lesotho through to the Drakensburg mountains.
He loved the outdoors and we had been on a nine-hour hike in the Drakensburg Mountains in South Africa the weekend before he died.
Mike and Claire Carson from Twyford, near Winchester, camped overnight in the Drakensburg Mountains, wearing eight layers of clothing, before boarding the Blue Train.
The British tourists, most of whom were elderly, died along with their South African guide when the Springbok Atlas coach careered off a road in the Drakensburg mountains.
The waterfall is also close to a spectacular viewing point in the Drakensburg Mountains, known as God's Window.
The accident followed a suspected brake failure on a steep and winding pass in the scenic Drakensburg mountains.
Originally from the wooded ravines of South Africa's Drakensburg mountains, they have been bred to produce a dazzling array of varieties in many shades of white, pink, red, purple a nd blue, often with attractive markings.