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 ?
Exploring the incredible Drakensberg Mountains Away from the sea, sharks and safari parks lies the Drakensberg Mountains, the highest range in South Africa.
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.
It features the dramatic Drakensberg Mountains, historic battlefields recalling the bloody Anglo-Boer and Zulu wars, wildlife-watching at its game reserves and a chance to kick back by the beach along a 375-mile stretch of Indian Ocean coastline.
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.
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.