Property and area guide to the Drakensberg

Property and area guide to the Drakensberg

Private Property South Africa
Megan Deane

Home to unpredictable weather, beautiful green mountains, a farm-like lifestyle and friendly, down-to-earth locals, the Drakensberg is a perfect place to call home or visit for a shorter stay.

Whether you are looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city life, or wanting to travel to a place that is full of adventures, the Drakensberg is the perfect place. You’ll be surrounded by lush green mountains and the only noise you can hear are the birds, wildlife or the rustle of leaves in the wind; and the next you can be rambling through the dirt roads on quad bikes.

The area’s farm-style houses are simple, with modest decor. The main star of the destination is, of course, the incredible cluster of mountains. Residents in this area are families and farmers who lead simple and uncomplicated lives.

Travelling from Durban you will most likely travel through the N3 highway and take the R617 off-ramp. There is one main road that you find within Drakensberg, which means there are many trucks and loaded vehicles you will pass along the way.

There are no huge shopping malls like you would find in the city. Instead there are a selection of shops from a Spar to a furniture store, and a number of curio shops for tourists to browse through. Coffee shops and eateries serving farm-style food are also scattered throughout the area.

One of the major drawcards for the Drakensberg, especially for tourists passing by, is the chance to explore the Midlands Meander. Over a stretch of road, there are quirky eateries, shops and tourist sites to explore, capturing the enchanting country lifestyle the Drakensberg has to offer.

The Drakensberg is also the venue for Splashy Fen, an annual music festival established in 1990. The White Mountain Acoustic Festival is another popular music gathering in the Drakensberg that draws music and nature lovers together.

There is no denying that the Drakensberg is a beautiful, unique and picturesque destination.

We moved up here permanently from Durban in 2007. We chose this area to move to for peace and quiet, and the quality of life, far from the madding crowds. My wife opened her salon, Jennifer’s Unisex Salon, and I started up J&B Lodge self-catering

says Barry Stevens, resident and business owner

Top schools:

  • Drakensberg Primary School
  • Royal Drakensberg Primary School
  • Drakensberg secondary
  • Drakensberg High School

Things to do:

  • Enjoy a day travelling through the Midlands Meander.
  • Take a trip up Sani Pass.
  • Enjoy hiking at Giants Castle.
  • Go game viewing at Weenen Game Reserve.
  • Adrenalin junkies can enjoy white-water rafting, abseiling and quad biking.

Best in food:

  • The Pig and Plough
  • Granny Mouse Country House
  • Champagne Castle
  • Hartford House
  • Fern Hill

Property statistics

Estate agent Q&A on the Drakensberg

What lifestyle could someone expect if they lived within the Drakensberg area?

The lifestyle would be simple and humbling because of all that is around you. You would live a healthy, exhilarating life made up of swimming, riding and climbing. One would also be more environmentally and nature conscious than usual. The weather is pleasant as it is never very hot in summer and you are more equipped with clothing for the cold winters and dealing with snowfall.

Roy Emanuel: Dormehl Property Group Estcourt

What makes the Drakensberg, as a location, such an attractive area to reside in?

The pristine environment with crystal-clear skies, the ever-changing landscape from early summer where the land is green, to the winter months where the grass turns brown. The crisp winter mornings and, most importantly, the views of the far-off Drakensberg with glimpses of the glowing Giant and Champagne Castle

Iain Sinclair: Pam Golding

How would you describe the type of property you would find in the Drakensberg area?

The type of properties in the Midlands range greatly, from farms, with farming families who have lived here for generations, to lifestyle farms or smallholding properties, and then of course the people or families who are just looking to get out of the rat race and bring their children up in this beautiful place. Estate living is a good option. It provides a lock-up-and-go solution, is secure and has all the amenities nice and close, like primary and high schools, gyms, shops, restaurants, cafes, doctors, pharmacy, butchers, bakers and candlestick makers. Where else would you need to be?

Athene Henriks: Harcourts

This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times.

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