Fauna & Flora

Flora abounds in the area.  The Drakensberg mountains harbour in excess of 3 000 species of flora (more than 10 percent of the plant diversity of southern Africa) of which are best viewed from December to February. The area is also home to more than 230 bird species. Bird watching offer anything from majestic raptors to exquisite little thrushes!

The Drakensberg is a world of botanical opulence, an Eden of beautiful and rare plants, many with spectacular flowers, at least 16 percent of which occur nowhere else in the world. It is worth noting that the types of flowers you can expect to find at any location depend mainly on two things - the aspect (which way the slope faces) and the altitude (height above sea level).  The higher you go the harsher the climate, resluting in three floral zones linked to altitude.  The lowest is the montane zone, with grasslands, shrubs and forests.  Next is the sub-alpine zone, consisting mainly of grasslands, followed by the unforgiving alpine zone at the summit, where only the hardiest of plants can thrive, adapted to strong winds, heat in summer, snow and ice in winter.

Tips for conservation and enjoyment of the local fauna and flora:

- stay on the paths - this prevents soil erosion and other damage to the environment

- don't pick flowers, leave them for others to enjoy and allow them to produce seeds

- don't trample or damage the plants

- don't dig up plants or bulbs - it is illegal

- take good walking shoes, a sun-hat and water

 

The range of habitats in the Drakensberg region also ensure a wide variety of birds.  Take a hike around Kinmel farm and get a rare glimpse of the globally endangered specie, the Bearded Vulture.  Birds in this region which are endemic to southern Africa inlcude Jackal Buzzard, Buff-streaked and Sickle-wing Chats, Fairy Flycatcher, Rudd's Lark, Yellow-breasted, Rock and long-billed Pipits, Gurney's Sugarbird, Cape and Sentinel Rock thrushes, Grey-wing Francolin, Ground Woodpecker, Barratt's Warbler, Spotted Prinia and Layard's Tit babbler.