The Drakensberg scenery is spectacular and rugged, but the underlying geology is simple.
At lower altitudes are a series of near horizontal sedimentary sandstones, mudstones and shale, these are topped by deep basalt flows up to 1 km thick, forming the main escarpment. Outcrops of dolerite, which have pushed through faults in molten form, are common and often occur as straight dykes across the landscape.
The sandstone zone, often referred to as the Little Berg, forms cliffs of multicoloured rock, ranging from almost black and grey, blue and red shale and mudstones, to cream, yellow, brown and pink sandstones. It is here that erosion and weathering has formed most of the caves once inhabited by the San people. Above the sandstone is a zone of relatively rolling country leading to the scree slopes and buttresses and sheer walls of the main escarpment. At the summit the topography is incised and broken, with rugged cut-backs and steep passes.All these maps are full colour on one side, with information in black and white on the reverse. The paper varies and seems to be lighter on later editions. The unfolded size also varies but is always larger than A1. All maps are at a scale of 1:50 000, with full contour detail at 20m intervals, and Lat/Long lines for GPS users. None of the maps have ISBN numbers.