The Drakensberg is the highest mountain range in Southern Africa, rising to 3,482 metres in height. Its geological history lends it a distinctive character amongst the mountain ranges of the world. Geologically, the range resembles the Simien Mountains of Ethiopia. The Drakensberg mountains span the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mpumalanga and end in Tzaneen in Limpopo Province.During Precambrian times, volcanic eruptions in the area resulted in lava covering large sections of the Southern African sub-continent. In the Palaeozoic Era, wind and water deposited thick layers of shale, mudstone and sandstone, now known as the Karoo Supergroup, over the ancient primary rock. When Gondwanaland began to break up 200 million years ago, the resultant forces caused the extrusion of magma, known as Drakensberg lava, through fissures and cracks in the Earth's surface.In the Drakensberg region it capped the sedimentary rock formations with layers of solid basalt up to 1400 m thick. Weathering reduced the range's size, and caused the plateau to recede. In modern times, continued erosion has exposed some of the underlying sediment.