Roughly translated, the Drakensberg means “dragon mountains” or “mountains of the dragon”. The mountain range stretches more than a 1000 km from the Eastern Cape Province in the South through Kwa-Zulu Natal, Lesotho, the Free State , through Mpumalanga Province and ends up North through Limpopo where it is known as” klein Drakensberge”.
Some of the peaks are mammoth in size and is on average 2900 meters high. The highest peak is Thabana Ntlenyana and reaches 3482 meters above sea level. The mountain is a dynamic wonderland and home to river valleys, foothills, stunning waterfalls, rock pools, mountain streams as well as caves. These majestic Drakensberg is over 180 million years old.
The Drakensberg is the eastern portion of the Great Escarpment which encloses the central Southern African plateau. It is within the borders of South Africa as well as Lesotho. In the summer it is very warm and many travellers will visit this region during December to February. During the winter the mountains are dusted with snow and is transformed into a winter wonderland.
Within the Drakensberg of Kwa-Zulu Natal lies the 243 000 hectare mountain region that is a world heritage site. It is known as Ukhahlamba-Drakensberg Park that has around 300 San rock art sites with over 35 000 paintings in caves all around the park depicting humans, animals and complex spiritual life of the San stretching over a period of 4000 years. It is also home to a huge diversity of plans and animal species.
The very high treeless peaks of the Drakensberg are the furthest South in Africa and farther away from the equator. Therefor this provides cooler habitats and lower elevations than most mountain ranges in Africa. High rainfall generates mountain streams and rivers. These rivers include the mighty Orange River as well as the Tugela River.
The mountains are very rich in plant life and includes 119 species listed as globally endangered. There are more than 2000 plant species and 98 of them are endemic. The flora of the high grasslands is mainly creeping plants as well small shrubs. Included in this is the rare Spiral Aloe which has a spiral shape. In the meantime, the lower slopes are home to conifers (Podocarpus) which are rare in Africa. It contains a great number of endemic plants and grasses found here includes oat and caterpillar grass to name just two. In the highest part of the mountains the flora depends on the slope and varies depending on the hardness of the rock clasts.
The Drakensberg area is home to 299 recorded bird species. This makes up 37% of all non-marine avian species in southern Africa. This is a wonderful place to visit for all bird lovers, you will probably not even have enough time to see even half of them on a visit. You will also find 24 species of snakes of which two are highly venomous. So be careful when you go for walks!
There is one bird that is endemic to the high peaks, the mountain pipit, and another six species are also found mainly in this area. Th endangered Cape vulture and lesser kestrel are two birds of pry that hunt in the mountains. There are also mammals found here including the klipspringer, eland and mountain reedbuck. These are all types of antelope. You will also be able to see three endemic species of frogs in the mountain streams. Fish are also found in many rivers and streams including the Maluti redfin.
The lower slopes of the Drakensberg support a lot of wildlife. Perhaps the most important of these are the rare southern white rhinoceros as well as the black wildebeest. It is also home to large herds of grazing flowers and antelopes. Endemic species include a large number of chameleons as well as other reptiles.
This is a wonderful are to visit, something you must see. The view is absolutely breath taking and you will not be disappointed in the beauty of the snow on the mountain tops or the wonderful grass cover in the summer. Go and visit, you will love it.
How wonderful that there is a day dedicated to baking and eating pancakes. Not that I ever need a reason for baking these wonderful treats. I love eating them warm with cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top. If I close my eyes I can just smell that now. Why no treat yourself and your family to these wonderful treats.
2 1/2 cups of water (you can replace the half cup with milk)
1/4 cup of oil (I use sunflower oil)
2 cups of self-raising flour (you can use regular flour with 2 teaspoons of baking powder. If you are a celiac, replace with self-raising Gluten Free flour and add 1 teaspoon of baking powder and a 1/4 teaspoon of xanthan gum)
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon of sugar
1. Beat the eggs, water and oil together.
2. Add the flour, salt and sugar and mix very well.
3. Bake as many pancakes as you can eat!!!
The nice thing about pancakes is that you can either fill them with beautiful mince and sauce or chicken as a main meal, or sprinkle with cinnamon sugar as a wonderful snack. Enjoy your pancake day!!
Kan jy glo!! Internasionale pannekoekdag. Die perfekte verskoning om pannekoek te bak al reën dit nie. Nie dat ek enige rede nodig het om pannekoek te bak nie. Vir my is daar niks lekkerders as ‘n lekker warm pannekoek besprinkel met kaneelsuiker nie. As ek my oë toemaak kan ek die geur van kaneelsuiker in die lug ruik. Waarom bak jy nie ook vandag heerlike pannekoek nie!!!
2 1/2 koppies water (jy kan die 1/2 koppie water vervang met melk)
1/4 koppie olie (ek gebruik sommer sonneblomolie)
‘n knippie sout
2 koppies bruismeel (jy kan gewone meel gebruik met 2 teelepels bakpoeier)
1 teelepel suiker
1. Klits die eiers, water en olie goed saam.
2. Voeg die meel, sout, en suiker hierby. Klits goed.
3. Vul ‘n pan met die deeg en bak soveel pannekoeke as wat jy kan eet!
Jy kan gevulde pannekoeke bak met heerlike maalvleis en sous of sommer net met kaneelsuiker.
This is a wonderful recipe we stumbled upon by accident. My husband was diagnose as a celiac in 2009 and ever since we have been trying out new recipes, trying to make things the way we used to with gluten free ingredients.
It is not as easy as you might think and has taken over 10 years to get to where we are today. I published my Gluten Free South African recipe book a few weeks ago and there is one recipe in there that saves us all the time.
My husband went to the USA in 2013 and there he tasted the most beautiful little cheese rolls served with gluten free meats. He loved it so much he looked it up when he returned home. We have made these ever since and they are really tasty. You can eat them as they are, warm out of the oven or fill it with whatever you want. Cheese, jam, little sliders (mini burgers), the options are endless.
They are so easy to make and tastes wonderful. Try a stick blender if you don’t have anything else.
1/3 cup of olive oil
2/3 cup of milk
1/2 cup of grated cheese
1 1/2 cups of tapioca flour
1/2 teaspoon of Dijon Mustard for extra taste! (optional)
Pinch of salt
1. Add all the ingredients in a bowl and use a stick blender to mix it together.
2. Pour the mixture into mini muffin pans and bake in a pre-heated oven of 180 degrees Celcius for 20 minutes.
Don’t use the large muffin pans or the cup cake pans. They are all too big and the cheese puffs will not rise correctly…
When I bake my cheese puffs I use a stick blender, the Russell Hobbs one… The price is not too high and It really does work wonderfully…
I have just launched my Redbubble shop. This will be for selling products, anything from coasters to T-shirts, with photos about South African food and South African scenery. Something you can buy and keep to remind you of home if you are living overseas somewhere. Keep a look out. I uploaded my first picture today. There are many more to come. Remember to keep checking back!!!
Click on the link above and have a look. What do you think? What kind of things would you like to see on my next design? Let me know…