Physiography of the Kraai River Catchment
The Kraai River has its origins at the southernmost end of the Drakensberg, south of the Kingdom of Lesotho, in the magisterial district of Barkly East. The Kraai is a tributary of the Orange River and flows westwards from the junction of the Bell River and the Sterkspruit at Moshesh's Ford to join the Orange near Aliwal North. The Orange flows into the Atlantic at Oranjemund. The Kraai catchment starts at altitudes of up to 3000 m on the basaltic rocks of the watershed that forms the boundary between South Africa, Lesotho and the Herschel District of the former Republic of Transkei. North of this watershed, in Lesotho and the Herschel district, the Sebepala and Telle Rivers and their tributaries drain into the Orange, which is called the Senqu in Lesotho.
A westerly ridge of the Drakensberg is called the Witteberg west of Lundean's Nek. This beautiful ridge forms a continuation of the Upper and Middle Kraai- Orange watershed. The ridge ends in the vicinity of Lady Grey. The watershed along the easterly boundary of the Kraai catchment, along the escarpment above the districts of Maclear, Ugie and Elliot, separates flow between the Atlantic Ocean via the Orange and the Indian Ocean via the Umzimvubu. The latter river enters the sea at Port St John's.
About Rhodes, Drakensberg & Eastern Cape Highlands
Rhodes is located in the Eastern Cape Highlands, near the escarpment at the southernmost end of the mighty Drakensberg mountain range in the magisterial district of Barkly East. It is 1821m above sea-level and is 16km due south of the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho. The village is surrounded by the towns of Elliot, Maclear and Ugie below the escarpment and above the escarpment, Barkly East lies 60km by road to the west of Rhodes. It is an hour's drive on the R396 from Barkly East. The gravel road is narrow, winding and poorly maintained by the authorities. It must be driven with care.
The recommended route is via Barkly East unless you have a suitable vehicle or sufficient time to travel from Maclear to Rhodes via the Naudesnek Pass. Should you consider using the "short cut" via the Pitseng Pass to Naudesnek, please contact us before embarking on the trip.