13 Most Beautiful Mountains in South Africa

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If you were wondering what South Africa’s mountains are, you have come to the right place. Here you will find details of the 13 beautiful mountains in South Africa. You will find out what the highest and longest mountains in South Africa are.

Does South Africa have mountains?

When you explore South Africa as a possible holiday destination, you may wonder if there are any mountains in South Africa. You will be happy to find out that there are many South African mountains. 

Your next question may be, what mountains are in South Africa? Let’s look at the 13 most beautiful South African mountains.

Beautiful mountains in South Africa

What are the most beautiful mountains in South Africa?

To see what mountains there are in South Africa, let’s explore the most beautiful mountains in South Africa.

Table Mountain, South Africa

Table Mountain is one of the many Western Cape mountains, but it is the most famous mountain in Cape Town, South Africa. It is renowned for its flat tabletop appearance, caused by a level plateau of approximately 3 kilometres (2 miles) from one side to the other, ending in dramatic cliffs. Photos of Table Mountain often show a white tablecloth of clouds, often attributed to the “smoke” from the legend of Devil’s Peak.

Famous mountain in South Africa - Table Mountain, South Africa
Most famous mountain in South Africa – Table Mountain

Table Mountain is in South Africa’s Table Mountain National Park, which is popular for hiking, abseiling, running or biking. Most visitors to Cape Town will take the cable car to the top of Table Mountain, where there are lovely views of both the Indian and Atlantic oceans. On Table Mountain, you will also find indigenous fynbos and a range of flying creatures and animals.

Other well-known mountains, such as Devil’s Peak, Lion’s Head and Signal Hill, surround Table Mountain. 

Devil’s Peak mountain, South Africa

Mountains in South Africa - Devils Peak, South Africa
Mountains in South Africa – Devils Peak, South Africa

Another of the Western Cape mountains is Devil’s Peak Mountain, next to Table Mountain. On the eastern slopes of the Devil’s Peak mountain, you will find the University of Cape Town and the Rhodes Memorial. From here, you can see Stellenbosch and the Boland Mountains. There are historic military blockhouses and cannons on Devil’s Peak, intended initially to defend Cape Town from attacks from the South. 

Lion’s Head and Signal Hill

The Lion’s head mountain, South Africa, is next to Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa. In the 17th century, the Dutch called Lion’s Head Leeuwen Kop (Lion’s Head) and Signal Hill Leeuwen Staart (Lion’s Tail) because of the shape of the mountain resembling a crouching lion. In the 1800s, Signal Hill was used to signal weather warnings and anchoring instructions to shops to prepare for stormy weather. 

Mountains in South Africa - Lions Head at Dusk
Mountains in South Africa – Lion’s Head at Dusk

Nowadays, Lion’s head is popular for hiking and running. Signal Hill is a popular viewpoint over Cape Town’s City Centre and the V&A Waterfront. You can drive up Signal hill by car or bus, and it is a popular (and busy) place to watch the sunrise or sunset over Cape Town. You can also find several Muslim missionaries’ tombs on Signal Hill. 

The Cederberg mountains South Africa

Beautiful mountains in South Africa - Cederberg Mountains
Photo by Sean Brookes on Unsplash

You can find the Cederberg mountain, South Africa, in the north of the Western Cape Province, approximately three hours from Cape Town in the small town of Clanwilliam. The Cederberg is a World Heritage Site and part of the Cape Floral Kingdom. This mountain range is another popular spot for hiking, climbing and mountain biking. The mountains feature beautiful sandstone arrangements, and you can find San rock art here. The area surrounding the mountain hosts wildlife and fynbos, such as the red disa and rooibos plants. 

The Hottentots Holland mountains

There are several other Western Cape Mountains, such as the Helderberg and Hottentots Holland mountains. The Hottentots Holland Mountains offer bright wild flowers, rocky cliffs and natural pools. The mountain’s altitude ranges between 500 metres and 1590 metres. It is a perfect spot for hiking, kloofing and ziplining. 

Amatola Mountains

The best of the Eastern Cape mountains is the forest-covered Amatola mountains. Amatola is a Xhosa word meaning calves and represents the cattle grazing the mountains’ meadows. The Amatola Mountain is 1,800 meters above sea level. You will find stunning gorges, cascades and luxurious backwoods on the mountain. The nearest towns to the Amatola Mountains are King William’s Town, Stutterheim, East London and Hogsback. The area inspired J. R. R. Tolkien’s books about Middle-earth. If you are interested in the Xhosa culture, the Amatola Mountains is the perfect destination. It features the Sandile Heritage Route, where you can learn about the lives of the Xhosa leaders in the area. You can also try the six-day climbing Amathole Trail to test your endurance. 

Roggeveld mountains

The Northern Cape Mountains feature the Roggeveld mountains. The highest peak of the Roggeveld Mountains is the Sneeukrans, northwest of Sutherland. These mountains are remote and rarely visited by tourists. 

Magalies mountain 

The Magalies Mountains is near Johannesburg and one of a few mountains in Gauteng. The Magalies mountain range is 120 kilometres from Johannesburg and starts from Pretoria in the east to Rustenburg in the west. It divides the grasslands of the Highveld and the game land of the bushveld. They feature quartzite cliffs towering over deep gullies, waterfalls and plunge pools. The area is popular with locals for day or weekend trips focusing on hiking, rock climbing or picnicking. The Magalies mountain is the oldest in South Africa and dates back 3600 million years, making it older than Mount Everest!

Maluti Mountains

You can find the Maluti Mountains in the Free State, South Africa. The Maluti mountains have beautiful golden sandstone cliffs, and you can even find dinosaur sites and San caves in the Maluti mountains near Clarens.

Blouberg Mountain

The Blouberg mountain or Blue Mountain is in the northern part of the Limpopo Province of South Africa. The Tswana people have a history with this mountain, and they have names for the different parts of the mountain. The Blouberg mountain is part of the UNESCO Vhembe Biosphere Reserve.

Waterberg Mountains

The Waterberg Mountain is 150 kilometres long and is part of the UNESCO Waterberg Biosphere Reserve. You can find forest sand waterfalls in the Waterberg Mountains. You can choose from many backpacking and hiking trails to glimpse exciting rock formations and beautiful views. 

Soutpansberg Mountain

The Soutpansberg mountain is in Northern Limpopo. The name is from the salt pans in the foothills of the mountain. The Soutpansberg mountain range is 130 kilometres (81 miles) long, and its highest point is 1 500 metres above sea level. Its highest peaks of the Soutpansberg mountain is Hangklip (2 550 metres or 8 366 feet) and Lejuma (1 753 metres or 5,751 feet). The mountains have a rich history and heritage, with many rock art sites. You can find an extensive range of birds and trees on the mountain. You can do several hiking trails on Soutpansberg Mountain.

Drakensberg Mountains, South Africa

The Drakensberg mountain rises to over 11,400 feet (3,475 metres) and extends for more than 700 miles from northeast to southwest, parallel to the south-eastern coast of South Africa. The Drakensberg houses the most extensive collection of San rock art from thousands of years ago in this mountain range. The uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with many exciting activities for nature lovers and hikers. 

Beautiful mountains in South Africa - The Drakensberg Mountains
Photo by Arthur Hickinbotham on Unsplash

Some of the best-known areas of the Drakensberg are:

  • Champagne Castle: This is the second-highest mountain crest in South Africa. It features other ridges such as the Cathkin Peak (3149 metres), Sterkhorn (also called Mount Memory), Dragon’s Back and Monk’s Cowl.
  • Popple Peak: This peak lies on the border between South Africa and Lesotho. The Popple Peak is 3331 metres above sea level.
  • Goliath’s Castle: This mountain top is perfect for mountain climbing for all-encompassing views.
  • Mont-aux-Sources: This mountain has a height of 3,050 meters (10 000 feet). You can find the Drakensberg Amphitheater and Sentinel on the Mont-Aux-Sources mountain. The highest point of Mont-aux-Sources is 3,282 meters (10,768 feet).

There are many resorts and hotels near the Drakensberg to stay at while exploring this beautiful mountain in South Africa. 

Read about our experience at the Gooderson Monks Cowl Resort in the Drakensberg.

What is the highest mountain in South Africa?

The highest mountain in South Africa is Drakensberg mountain. At its highest point, Drakensberg Mountain reaches 3,482 metres (11,423 feet).

Beautiful mountains in South Africa

What Is the Longest Mountain Range in South Africa?

You can find the Drakensberg Mountains, South Africa, in KwaZulu Natal, Free State, Limpopo, Eastern Cape, Limpopo and Mpumalanga. This mountain range extends more than 600 miles (1 000 kilometres) from northeast to southwest.

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By Sunelle

Editor of the South Africa Travel Blog that focuses on travel to South Africa, including destinations, attractions, accommodation, food & drink.

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