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South Africa’s Highest Peak

Mont-aux-Sources was long considered South Africa’s highest point, but Mafadi is 300 metres taller. For many years, Mont-aux-Sources was thought to be South Africa’s loftiest peak. Although mountaineers from the earliest days doubted this, it was only in the 1950s that accurate measurements taken further south of the range revealed the truth. The dome-like crest of Mafadi lies several hundred metres from the edge of the Drakensberg’s escarpment, with the border between Lesotho and South Africa running right through it. The summit is a humble one – more of an insignificant flat-topped hill than a peak, 20 metres long and 100 metres wide, full of cairns built by jubilant hikers and peppered with the scars of lightning strikes from millennia of passing storms. Despite its unassuming appearance, this high-lying hill is important for one notable reason: at 3 451 metres above sea level, this is the highest point in South Africa.