"Outeniqua" is said to be derived from a Khoikhoi tribe that once lived in the mountains, and means "they who bear honey".
The range is characterized by gentle southern slopes and steep drops on the north side down to the low valley Little Karoo. High points include Cradock Peak at 1578 m and George Peak at 1370 m located to the north of George. The varying conditions create diverse habitats. On the south-facing slopes there is montane fynbos at higher, moister altitudes, while the north hosts karroid and renosterveld shrubland. On the mesic southern slopes there are afromontane gallery forests. Rock paintings by the Khoikhoi tribe can still be found in the area.
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