Cathedral Peak State Forest, uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park, KwaZulu-Natal
The Cathedral Peak State Forest is one of the more popular areas of the Drakensberg mountain area situated in the Northern part of the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park world Heritage Site, with an area of 32 246 hectares. Cathedral Peak is one of the 12 protected areas that form the uKhahlamba-Drakensburg Park, which together with the Sehlathebe National Park in Lesotho, forming the Maloti-Drakensberg Park, has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It is the only heritage site in South Africa that has natural and cultural values as well as being a significant water catchment area for both countries.
Cathedral Peak can be reached from Johannesburg with a 5 hour drive and from Durban with a 4 hour drive and has much to offer the visitor from a variety of excellent accommodation, to San rock paintings, and much more.
The park has a fair amount of animals such as:
- Bush buck
- Grey Duiker
- Grey Rhebuck
- Hyrax Dassies
- Reed Buck
- Snakes – Rinkhals, Puff Adder, Berg Adder
The park harbours more than 170 specie of birds such as:
- Bearded Vulture
- Malachite Sunbirds
- Fly Fishing
- Masongwane River Walk
- Mikes pass tours
- Mlambonjwa River Walk
- Mountain biking
- Rainbow gorge Walk
- Rock Art Sites
All chalets have satellite TV and fireplaces:
- The 62 two-bed chalets are individually designed to convey the nomadic huts of the San people who lived in the area for thousands of years
- 2 four-bed chalets with full amenities
- 1 six-bed chalet with 3 bedrooms
- There are 30 sites with electrical points and they can be paid for at the camp site gate office.
Caves are ideal for overnight hikers but they have to be booked well in advance:
- There are 12 caves available for visitors
- There are no amenities and fires are not permitted
Didima Resort is located inside the Cathedral Peak State Forest and has a restaurant with a comprehensive menu and a cosy fireplace for winter. The resort also accommodates the campsite and chalets mentioned above, as well as the San Rock Art Centre.
The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research have a station at Cathedral Peak. Since it was initiated 25 years ago many projects have been undertaken by this facility such as:
- Archaeological studies of San rock art
- Climate change studies and effects on the land
- Monitoring of fauna and flora
- Palynology studies of wetlands (study of dust and particles that are strewn)
San Rock Art Centre
The San Rock Art Centre is a monument to the San people who left a legacy of expression in their Rock Art that is found right throughout the uKhahlamba-Drakneberg Park. The centre offers the visitor a better understanding of the San people and their paintings and how they convey and record their spiritual beliefs.
It consists of:
- Display Hall
- Preview room for fireside stories
- Auditorium for audiovisual presentations
Ndumeni Craft Centre
The Ndumeni Craft Centre offers the indigenous art of the local communities who live around the reserve and contributes to the betterment of their economic conditions.
All visitors who are going to stay overnight have to register at the control gate, where the key deposit and the entrance fees are payable.
For camp sites and caves:Cathedral Peak
Private Bag X1
Tel: +27 36 488 8000
Fax: +27 36 488 1346
For hutted accommodation:Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife Reservation