Escape to the Berg

The Midlands MagazineJanuary 3, 2024

If you want to venture out of your daily surroundings but still stay close to home, why not adventure to Underberg? Around an hour and a half drive from Howick, it’s a beautiful area to explore. If you’re not sure where to visit or what to do, we share a few fun activities and accommodation and foodie spots you must try – the ultimate traveller’s guide!


Even if you are familiar with Underberg, you will know one of its main attractions: Sani Pass. Sani Pass Tours offers a variety of guided 4X4 tours into Lesotho on a daily basis (remember to pack your passport!). The Sani Pass Day tour is the most popular but overnight tours are also available – all departing from Underberg. Traverse the winding Sani Pass through two border posts to enter the eastern highlands of Lesotho, enjoying rich Basotho culture and adventure at the same time.


If four-wheel driving isn’t your thing, why not try horseback riding with Khotso Lodge and Horse Trails? There is a choice between one, two or three-hour rides including full-day and sunset rides. They all start from the Khotso Backpacker’s Lodge and traverse over 1300 hectares of beautiful mountainous terrain and scenery. 


Lake Naverone is an idyllic spot to discover, nestled in the Southern Drakensberg region just outside Underberg. With picturesque lakes, the area offers a smorgasbord of outdoor activities amidst magnificent mountain landscapes. From fishing, birdwatching and boating to hiking, mountain biking and horse riding, there’s something for everyone. You can also stay in their self-catering cottages, which come in various sizes to accommodate families or provide a romantic getaway for two. 


Sani Lodge Cottages and Backpackers, a Fair Trade in Tourism-certified lodge, offers a wide range of accommodation including standard rooms, dormitories, a group facility for hiking or university groups, camping, self-catering cottages and en-suite rondavels. Amenities include a swimming pool, restaurant, on-site ceramics and organic dairy and a tour company offering tours up Sani Pass. There are also hikes into Drakensberg Park that start from the lodge, which are sure to offer some incredible views. 


Another accommodation option is Sani Mountain Eco-Lodge, which is a top choice (excuse the pun) because it’s perched right at the top of the snaking Sani Pass Road at Sani Mountain Escape. While there will be high-altitude weather here, you can still enjoy your stay in comfort. The choices available include the traditional Basotho-styled, en-suite huts as well as backpacker facilities, rooms that can accommodate two to six people, and a communal kitchen. If you enjoy the outdoors, you can book an eco-camping spot (if the weather allows). 


While you are here you have to try The Highest Pub in Africa, where heaven and earth meet, so to speak. The facility includes a restaurant where you can warm up with some hearty meals or enjoy a couple of beers with your pals after a long day’s hike. 


For something a bit more down to earth, The Olde Duck is a family-run restaurant that is situated on a working dairy farm in Underberg. They serve breakfast, lunch and the best cappuccino in their large open gardens. There is an animal farm and kiddies play area which includes a splash pad and other fun-filled activities while you can enjoy a delicious meal. 


Whilst there are so many other wonderful spots in the Underberg, definitely give these suggestions a try, whether you’re a solo traveller or an adventurous group. There are so many exciting places to explore and uncover right here on our doorstep!

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