Showcase of the Maloti-Drakensberg Mountains

Essence Of The Dragon is a photo competition hosted by Vertical Endeavour featuring images of the Maloti-Drakensberg Mountains - showcasing their splendour & unique character, towards better recognition of their worth & enhanced enjoyment of those who explore them.

Vertical Endeavour has hosted these photo competitions since 2010. Visit our photo gallery to see all the amazing shots of the Drakensberg that have been collected during this time.


Each round follows a theme. All entries can be rated by members of the site, and the image with the highest rating wins the round. The winner is eligible for a prize should one be sponsored.

The governing rules of the competition provide full details on how to participate and on all applicable rules. Before entering the competition, please read through these fully. Should you have any questions, feel free to ask the moderators.

For each round that is held, there is a forum thread on which all communication and all entries are posted, these are listed in the Essence of the Dragon category on the forum. Since 2016 we also have an annual overview page:

In the gallery section you will find an Essence of the Dragon album where the images are uploaded and where the voting is done. Each round is presented in a sub-album, and all the winning images are also copied to the main album. These are also shown below:

  • Rhino Morn
  • Pins Perfect
  • Christmas Drops
  • Dramatic Splendour
  • Red Mystique
  • Morning Glory
  • Bells and Emeralds
  • Still Got The Blues For You
  • Mponjwane Cave
  • Line of Fire
  • A sure mount
  • 'Clearing Storm' -Karl Beath©
  • Cathedral Sunrise©
  • Didima Falls Ice
  • Dragon's Cauldron
  • Lesotho Sunset
  • Perspectives of man - Karl Beath©
  • Rainbow Traverse
  • Red Hot Sani Tops
  • Rivers in Flood
  • Snow Jaggies - Karl Beath©
  • Winter Morning Glow, Amphitheatre
  • Early Morning Mist

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