Underberg- The Gateway to the Southern Drakensberg

Underberg, a small town set in the Southern Drakensberg, Kwazulu-Natal, is based at the foot of the world famous Sani Pass, which is the border of The Kingdom of Lesotho. Just 2½ hours from Durban and 6 hours from Johannebsurg, with roads leading to Kokstad, Pietermaritzburg and Nottingham Road; it sits at an altitude of 1580 metres above Sea Level.

Elgin Guesthouse - Elgin Farm

Elgin B&B lies on a good tar road, 6 km from the country village of Underberg which is a delightful blend of farming activities, galleries, interesting local shops, restaurants and coffee shops, a cheesery and farm stalls.

Himeville, just 5 km on, boasts the best rural history museum in the country, the famous Himeville Arms Pub and a nature reserve. From Himeville the road winds up to the Sani Pass, entrance to Lesotho.


The Drakensberg enjoys warm summers with plenty of sun, and spectacular thunder storms in the afternoons. The mountains are carpeted in green grass and sprinkled with wild flowers. This is the season for enjoying all kinds of river pursuits- fly-fishing, swimming, canoeing and tubing.

In autumn, the district turns into a blaze of bronze, orange and red as the many avenues of oaks and maples turn. Our winters are a tranquil time of soft, sunny skies.

This is the dry season, with the weather mostly stable, except for the occasional snowfall – which transforms the landscape into an enchanting white fairyland overnight. Cosy log fires take the chill off the frosty nights.

The Umzimkulu River is a river in South Africa. It rises in the Drakensberg mountains at the confluence of the Ngwangwane and the Underberg River.

It flows southeast towards the Indian Ocean, which it enters through an estuary at Port Shepstone. The Umzimkulu River is the second swiftest flowing river in KwaZulu-NatalThe origins of the name “Umzimkulu” river are cemented in Zulu tradition.

“Umzi” means kraal or home, and “omkhulu” means which is big. The home the Zulus referred to was the river – not a home as you would perceive it.

Legend has it that the river was given this name because in 1823 it swelled to such a point that the Zulus could not pursue the Bhacas who were fleeing King Shaka’s feared army.

One of the Zulu warriors said, while gazing across the fast moving stretch of water that had stopped their pursuit, “Umuzi Ubumkhulu” (the kraal -of water- has been great) and so the river became known as Umzimkulu – the great river.