South Africa near covers the full spectrum of animal habitats (from verdant forests, arid plains and almost everything in-between), resulting in a remarkable diversity of flora and fauna. Take a look at the full details from our upcoming trip for more information on the guided walking routes we take through these incredible National Parks and Wildlife Reserves.
Wildlife & Flora in the Drakensberg Mountains
The natural border between South Africa and the kingdom of Lesotho, the Drakensberg Mountains – known as uKhahlamba (the Barrier of Spears) to the Zulu, hold an extraordinary diversity in wildlife, plants and flora. March is a great time to observe the area’s migratory birds, of which a remarkable 250 species endemic to the mountains have been discovered. One such species are the Drakensberg Rockjumpers, one of the most localised bird species found on the planet. As the name suggests, they have a distinctive habit of jumping between the rock strata of the Drakensbergs mountains. Birds of prey found in the Drakensberg mountains include Lammergeiers (mountainous birds with a wingspan of over 10ft), Verreaux’s Eagles, Jackal Buzzards, Black Harriers and Lanner Falcons.
A large factor that led to the designation of the Drakensberg Mountains as a protected national area, was the safeguarding of its large population of Giant Eland, a large species of antelope that only exists in dwindling numbers throughout the Savannahs of Africa. Here, a 2000 strong herd of Eland roam the Drakensbergs mountains and their foothills, migrating to lower ground over the winter period. Despite their size, the eland are athletic animals, well suited for the uneven and rocky terrain of the high Drakensbergs.
Almost 400 plant species are found here and nowhere else in the world, and growing among the high-altitude region of the Drakensberg mountains, you can find the colourful Bell African Lily (Agapanthus campanulatus), River Lily (Hesperantha coccinea) and the Watsonia Coccinea. Some species of plant native to the Drakensbergs only grow at a certain altitude, with one species of plant known solely to exist on the summit of Cathedral Peak! Follow the link here to see more of the native wildflowers of the Drakensberg National Park.
Seeing Wildlife in the KwaZulu-Natal Province
Home to historic battlefields and miles of remarkable geography, there are over 5,000 acres of game reserve to explore from the stately trappings of Fugitive’s Lodge. Through a combination of driving and exploring areas such as The Buffalo Gorge on foot, we can see firsthand the diverse and abundant swathes of wildlife that make up the KwaZulu Natal province, including Giraffe, Zebra, Kudu, Antelope, Wildebeest, Hartebeest, monkeys and porcupines.
Getting out and exploring these places on foot offers a great opportunity to connect with the scents, feel and uninterrupted views of the distinctive plains of the KwaZulu Natal. Back at the lodge, you can witness giraffes, springbok and other animals while you sit at the balcony, relaxing after a day spent out in the bush.
Day-to-day details of the nature, history and places we stay in South Africa are available here.