For many years Cathedral Peak was known as Zikhali’s Horn – after the son of Matiwane. King Dingaan killed Matiwane but Zikhali’s life was spared. He took refuge in Swaziland where he fell in love with one of King Sobhuza’s daughters and they fled back to the Cathedral Peak area. The Swazi influence can still be seen along the country roads, in the design of their homes and in the tall thatch grass screens at the kraal entrances .
The 3004m Cathedral Peak gives the area its name. It lies on the eastern end of a spur of on mountains branching off from the main wall. The peaks on this spur include the 2 930m Bell, the Outer Horn and the Inner Horn. Of all the summits Cathedral Peak is the easiest to climb.
The first forestry research conducted in this area was to determine the consequences of planting pines in a water catchment area. By 1972 it was proved that pine plantations used far more water than natural grasslands and were detrimental to streams. The knowledge that plantations reduced water run-off brought an end to forestry in the area. No farming or any other kind of development is now permitted and the Drakensberg today is preserved as a recreational wilderness area and field research laboratory.
There is a magnificent resort at the foot of Cathedral Peak, with a hotel, stables, shop, recreational areas, garden, conveniences for hikers, riders and mountaineers.