News and Views from the Central Drakensberg
Autumn  2020
 

In this Issue >>>

  • Autumn an extraordinary time to visit the Drakensberg;
  • Regular Events;
  • So much to do- so little time to do it;
  • Music in the mountains;
  • What makes the Drakensberg Unique?;
  •  Autumn Events; and
  • Wits End a Special Events Venue.

Autumn
An extraordinary time to be in the Drakensberg!

"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”

Albert Camus

Autumn regarded as one of the best, if not the best time of the year to visit the Drakensberg. The days are warm and sunny. There is very seldom and any likelihood of rain and the evenings are cool enough to light a log fire and enjoy a good glass of local red wine. The scenery of these beautiful mountain’s changes from a dark lush green to spectacular hues of red, yellow and brown. This is undoubtedly the case with Wits End, where its avenues of Oaks provide a dramatic, colourful backdrop to Cathkin Peak, Champagne Castle and Sterkhorn in the distance. 

  • Sunsets are spectacular displays with the full spectrum of yellow, orange, red and purple. The night sky also puts on an exceptional array of stars and planets as a result of the crisp and crystal clear sky. 

    As mentioned earlier, Autumn is the perfect time to hike.  There are several hikes that we would like to recommend. These include:·      
  • Sterkspruit Falls;
  • Nandi’s Falls;
  • Blindman’s Corner; or
  • The Blue Grotto.

Some Regular Events

  • Firstly, every Wednesday during Term time the Drakensberg Boys Choir Wednesday Concerts– 036 468 1012;
  • Champagne Valley Walking Club. Tuesday mornings;
  • Taigalaties at Wits End, Monday, Wednesday and Friday 07h30 to 08h30 and Thursday 13h00 to 14h00;
  • Also, every Saturday: Winterton park run at 8 am at The Waffle Hut. www.parkrun.co.za. Cannibal’s Cave park run at 8 am at Lizzie’s Store near Royal Natal National Park;
    Furthermore, every Tuesday: 7 am in summer, and 8 am in Winter - Champagne Valley Walking Club;
  • Cathkin Trails for Mountain Bikers and Trail Runners;
  • Moreover, the Cathbrew Trail Run takes place on the last Friday of each month at 17.00 in summer and 16.30 in winter;

So much to do so little time to do it >>>

There are a wide range of activities and experiences of the Drakensberg and surrounding area for leisure tourists, incentive groups and conference delegates. Therefore, there is no reason why you should not have an active experience in the Drakensberg. Activities and experiences of the Drakensberg and surrounding area range from:
• helicopter flips over the Drakensberg:
• hiking;
• hot air ballooning;
• golf:
• Scootours;
• motorbike scrambling;
• trail running;
• parkruns – in Northern Drakensberg and at the Waffle Hut;
• regular events;
• mountain biking and circuits;
• bowling – especially at The Nest Hotel;
• paintball;
• gliding;
• para-gliding;
• a chocolate factory;
• tennis;
• visits to San rock art sites and museums – Main Cave at Giants Castle, Didima Rock Art        Museum and Battle Cave at Injisuti;
• The reptile centre;
• Falcon Ridge bird sanctuary;
• swimming;
• bee and honey tours;
• bird watching;
• fishing at locations such as Wits End;
• mountaineering and so much more…     

Music in the Mountains

Join the Drakensberg Boys Choir for a festive weekend filled with music. The dates are Thursday, 30 April 2020 until Sunday, 03 May 2020.

The main events are Loki Rothman (Friday night performance), the Saturday Pop Gala (performed by the Joburg Youth Orchestra and DBCS) and the Mozart Requiem (performed by the Drakensberg Boys Choir School, Johannesburg Youth Orchestra, Drakensberg Old Boys, and Symphony Chorus of Pretoria). The Mozart Requiem performance on Sunday will be religious.

Visiting choirs are Whitestone, Jacaranda, Glenstantia, the Symphony Chorus of Pretoria and St. Davids.

For more information, please visit  http://dbchoir.com/web/

What makes the Drakensberg so unique?

A significant portion of the Drakensberg is a World Heritage Site. It is a unique area of 250,000 hectares. This destination received World Heritage Site status on two counts. Firstly, due to its unique vegetation and wildlife. There are some 1,800 plant species in the Drakensberg. Of these over 350 are endemic. Furthermore, there a range of insects, frogs, fish, lizards and birds that are endemic or unique to this area.

Secondly, this mountain received this accolade as it has the largest repository of San Rock Art and possibly the largest concentration of rock art in the world. There are more than 30,000 examples of these maestros’ frescos.

There is one frog that is only found in the Drakensberg and four frogs that are mainly found in this area.

The Forest Rain Frog (Breviceps sylvestris) is endemic to the lower slopes of the Drakensberg. The Long-toed Tree Frog, Rough Rain Frog, Plaintive Rain Frog the Poynton’s Caco Plaintive Rain Frog (Breviceps maculatus) are found mainly in this area.

The Forest Tree Frog is particularly interesting. It is a robust bodied frog with the male measuring 41.7 mm and a female measuring 44.0 mm. This frog has a moderately broad head which is smaller than the body. It also has a short-rounded snout. The mouth is down-turned, making the face appear “clown-like” The robust body has rough and granular skin that is denser at the mid-line. There are dorsal ridges that are unique to the species positioned on either side of mid-line, running approximately parallel to each other starting just behind the eye to the middle of the back.

Autumn 2020 Events >>>

4th - 5th April:  Bushman’s Trail Run at Wagendrift Dam. www.kzntrailrunning.co.za

11th April: 80’s Event at Champagne Sports Resort events - csr@chamapgnesportsresort.com

30th Apr- 3 May: Music in the Mountains at Drakensberg Boys’ Choir School www.dbchoir.co.za 

16th – 17th May: Yellow-billed Oxpecker. The Oxpecker Trail Run is South Africa’s top 2-day trail running event that takes place in the central Drakensberg, www.theoxpecker.co.za 

23rd- 24th May: Red-Billed Oxpecker www.theoxpecker.co.za

23rd – 24th May: Ride the Berg.      www.ridetheberg.co.za

30th – 31st May: African Oxpecker: www.theoxpecker.co.za
 
(Source: Ann Gray)

Wits End
A Special Events Venue ...

The unique selling feature of Wits End is that it is an ideal Drakensberg Venue for weddings and other events such as family get-togethers, small conferences and retreats.
 

Individuals, groups or organisations can book out the whole resort for a function. The resort has a multi-purpose chapel and large hall, as well as a range of outdoor venues for, for example, an outdoor wedding or dinner under the stars.

We have nine fully equipped self-catering chalets. 

·       2 Suite chalets – 2 bedrooms en suite-2 available

·       3 suite chalets – 3 bedrooms en suite-2 available

·       family chalets – 3 bedrooms one bathroom-2 available

·       Group chalets – 4 bedrooms two bathrooms-3 available
 
Wits End has two formal meeting or event venues and a series of outdoor facilities.
 
The primary function centre can do banquets of up to 150 people, and the adjacent multi-purpose building/ chapel can seat 150 theatre style.
 
 

Specials >>>

Pensioners in off-season periods - less 10% promotion code 2020;
May Day Mid-week specials - stay for Monday to Friday and only pay for three nights promotion code May Day.
 
To qualify for these specials book directly by phone 036 468 1133 or info@witsend.co.za 

Contact Us >>>

Wits End Mountain Resort
Off R600
Central Drakensberg, Champagne Valley
3340
South Africa
 
 

In the Next Issue >>>

  • Winter in the Drakensberg;
  • Winter 2020 events;
  • Polar Bear Swim Challenge;
  • San Rock Art

Polar Bear Swim Challenge
created in Publicate