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The Drakensberg escarpment stretches for over 1,000 kilometres (600 miles) from the Eastern Cape Province in the South, then successively forms, in order from south to north, the border between Lesotho and the Eastern Cape and the border between Lesotho and Kwa Zulu-Natal Province.Thereafter it forms the border between Kwa Zulu-Natal and the Free State, and next as the border between Kwa Zulu-Natal and Mpumalanga Province.When most South Africans and visitors speak of the Drakensberg, they refer to the Great Escarpment that forms the border between Lesotho and Kwa Zulu-Natal, believing it to be a range of mountains extending into Lesotho, more correctly known as the Lesotho Highlands.(This narrow use of the name "Drakensberg" is analogous to the use of the name "America" to refer to just the United States of America, rather than to the continent in which the United States is situated.) This highest portion of the Great Escarpment is known as u Khahlamba ("Barrier of up-pointed spears") With the widening of the Atlantic, Indian and Southern oceans, Southern Africa became tectonically quiescent.The Drakensberg (isi Zulu: u Khahlamba, Se Sotho: Maluti, Afrikaans: Drakensberge) is the name given to the eastern portion of the Great Escarpment, which encloses the central Southern African plateau.The Great Escarpment reaches its greatest elevation in this region – 2,000 to 3,000 metres (6,600 to 9,800 feet).
They called them the Drakensbergen, or "Mountains of Dragons".Several possible reasons for this name include the pointy tops giving an appearance similar to that of the back of the mythical European dragon, old local myths of dragons roaming the mountains, and possible findings of dinosaur fossils (which would have been confused with the remains of dragons).A map of South Africa showing the central plateau edged by the Great Escarpment and its relationship to the Cape Fold Mountains to the south.The portion of the Great Escarpment shown in red is known as the Drakensberg.It winds north, through Mpumalanga, where it includes features such as the Blyde River Canyon, Three Rondavels and God's Window.
It moves north again above Tzaneen in Limpopo Province, where it includes the Wolkberg Mountains and Iron Crown Mountain, at 2,200 m (7,200 ft) above sea level, the Wolkberg being the highest mountain range in Limpopo.