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.)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Drakensberg Mountains cover approximately 1,125 km and reach heights of over 3,475 metres above sea level.
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Ardmore Ceramic Art was established by Fee Halsted on Ardmore Farm in the foothills of the Drakensberg Mountains of KwaZulu-Natal.
The wreckage was found in the Drakensberg Mountains, near Ladysmith, in KwaZulu-Natal province, AP reports.
The River has its source from the Drakensberg Mountains in Mpumalanga province, east of Johannesburg.
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.
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.