Posted by: Anna | December 11, 2010

Outdoors in the Drakensberg Mountains

You may notice our blogging is a little slower than previously, and unfortunately, that may continue as our internet access decreases now that we are in Africa.

This week we spent three days camping and hiking in the Drakensberg region of South Africa. The region is known for its stunning natural beauty, and for us, also for aggressive cows on the road (see previous post). We purchased very basic camping equipment – small tent, one sleeping bag (to use like a comforter), air mattress, and small camping dish set. The South Africans are hard core with the camping, and we were quite outdone in camp. People set up elaborate mansions made of canvas, sometimes two stories, with full dining rooms (table and eight chairs) and a tablecloth. Our little campsite was puny, but very quick to set up and travel friendly.

The first hike was really gorgeous, but the highlight was the thirty minutes we spent watching a baboon family eating and playing.

View from Tiger Falls

Baboons - check out the baby

We foolishly did not go to the grocery store in Joburg, instead waiting
until we got to the park. The store at the park was overpriced and very
limited in selection. For lunch after our first hike, we ended up with
this meal.

Lunch of Champions

On our second day, Tommy chose a much longer hike, around 6-7 hours, recommended by some neighbors at campDuring this hike, called “The Gorge”, we hiked into a river bed between towering rock walls. As the river flowed, it had small waterfalls on all sides. We also climbed up “Boulder Hop”, which involved literally climbing up a rock wall using steel steps drilled into the rock and a wire rope to hold onto. Not exactly my idea of a leisurely hike, but somewhat satisfying after I successfully navigated up and, more nerve-rackingly, down.

This was the easy part of the climb...

Inside the Gorge

We got to eat our PB&J on top of the rock after the long climb up. On the way down, we continued to admire the stunning views.

Lunch overlooking the Gorge

We spent our evenings at the Tower of Pizza, eating delicious pizza and pasta and lasagna, and drinking tasty and cheap wine. Not a bad way to unwind after a long day of hiking. It was on the way to Tower of Pizza that the “cow sitting” happened.


Our last morning, we decided to just relax at camp and read. I was absorbed in reading the last Millenium trilogy book by Stieg Larrson (awesome if you haven’t read it). Tommy started to reread the Harry Potter series from the beginning, inspired by seeing the movie last week.

You can see more Drakensberg pictures.

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  1. How much fun was watching the baboons? That is one thing I would love to see!! They fascinate me! Anna, I know I could never have climbed all that way — I don’t like heights any longer. Am glad that camping has gone well –each step you take you are learning something new. I’m so jealous — wish I was 30 years younger and could do what you are doing!

    Sending lots of love


  2. I really enjoyed the photos. That climb up the ladder looked scary! Enjoy that book Anna, I read all three of those and really liked them-

  3. Oh, what wonderous spirits you both have!! Each day is a gift & u are living it to the fullest! I’m VERY proud of you, Anna & Tommy!!! I enjoyed my visit with you today & felt better after u explained the “couch-surfing”situation AND that you will be well protected by a HIGH fence on your Safari! God bless you & keep you safe! XOXOOXkita

  4. I have always loved the outdoors and camping but have married someone who likes the luxury of a hotel better. This trip looks amazing — there are things you cannot see during a more urban vacation. This is it.

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