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Visitor Information

Much of the Berg falls under the protection of eZemvelo KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife (tel. 033/845-1000; www.kznwildlife.com). If you're traveling to Cathedral Peak, take time to visit the informal bureau at Thokozisa Centre, off the R600, 13km (8 miles) from Winterton (tel. 036/488-1207; www.cdic.co.za), where you can grab a bite to eat and browse for local crafts.

Getting There

The only way to get to the Berg is by road (or by helicopter). To get to the KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife properties, you will need to self-drive from Durban or Johannesburg. The excellent N3 toll road is the main artery off which a number of tributaries feed, depending on which area you are visiting. Signposting is clear and the roads are good, but look out for thick mist and summer thunderstorms.

Getting Around

Due to the geography of the area, there are no connecting road systems, making long, circuitous routes necessary to move from one part of the Berg to the next. Depending on where you are coming from, it's best to base yourself in one or two areas: I recommend a night at Royal Natal (possibly hiking to Cathedral Peak), followed by a night at Giant's Castle. If you're traveling with young kids, spend a few days at Cathedral Peak hotel.

On Foot -- Walks range from a few hours to several days. Detailed maps are available at Parks Board camps, the departure point for all of the best hikes. The most popular books are David Bristow's Best Walks of the Drakensberg and Drakensberg Walks: 120 Graded Hikes and Trails in the Berg (Struik), which are light enough to carry and available from most bookshops, on the Internet, and at the Parks Board shops. Because winter snows and summer rainfalls can put a damper on hiking expeditions, the best times to explore the Berg, as locals call it, are spring and autumn.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.