The towns of Himeville and Underberg have a 5-km buffer between them, the only reminder of a feud that once raged between the inhabitants of the two towns. The roadside row of oak trees symbolises this peace. In the 1890s, Himeville was a police outpost and home to a detachment of the Border Mounted Rifles. A settlement soon grew up around the outpost and the town was formally established in 1902. Himeville was named after Sir Albert Hime, the then Governor of Natal. Underberg is the administrative centre of a dairy and cattle-farming community. The name of the town means “Under the Mountain”, referring to its position in the shadow of the 1 904-m Hlokoma (Hlogoma) peak.
Adventure And Sport
Fly-fishing: Popular Underberg destinations for fly-fishing include Giant’s Cup Wilderness, Navarone Estates, Crystal Waters, Coleford, Hopewell and Belmont.
Giant’s Cup National Hiking Way Trail: The 60-km Giant’s Cup National Hiking Way Trail starts at the entrance to the Sani Pass and finishes in the village of Bushman’s Nek. It offers breathtaking views of the Drakensberg countryside.
Golf Courses: The area has three golf courses.
Hiking: There are several hiking trails in the area, some of which traverse the game reserves of the area.
Horse Riding: Horse trails criss-cross the area for those with an adventurous spirit.
Sani Pass: Sani Pass is named after the San people who once lived in the area. This scenic pass links South Africa with Lesotho and only 4×4 vehicles are allowed to travel over the pass. A valid passport or South African identity document is needed to enter Lesotho.
Trout-fishing: The region boasts excellent trout-fishing opportunities.
Water sport: The numerous rivers provide ideal spots for swimming, rafting, canoeing and tubing.
Archaeology And Palaeontology
Mpongweni Cave: Mpongweni Cave in the Cobham State Forest contains many San rock paintings that appear to depict historic events. It was proclaimed a national monument in July 1979.
Fauna And Flora
Bird Watching: The wetland and marshland conditions provide excellent opportunities for bird watching.
Himeville Nature Reserve: Himeville Nature Reserve has lovely scenery as well as two well-stocked trout lakes.
Game reserves: There are several game reserves in the area, including the Coleford Nature Reserve, Cobham and Vergelegen Reserves, Loteni Falls and Garden Castle. Reserves like these offer wonderful game watching and bird-watching opportunities in lovely natural surroundings.
History And Architecture
Himeville Arms Hotel: The Himeville Arms Hotel was built in 1906. The country-style pub is the ideal place for a cosy chat and a refreshing drink.
Himeville Fort and Museum: The Himeville Fort and Museum details the history of the area. The Old Fort, completed in 1900, was one of the last of Natal’s loop-holed forts and served as a prison until 1972 when it was converted into a museum. Now a national monument, it also houses a valued collection of San artefacts and various memorabilia.
Himeville Old Residency: The Himeville Old Residency was erected in 1898 and has been used as a magistrate’s residence ever since. It is a national monument.
Reichenau Mission Station: The Reichenau Mission Station was founded by monks in 1886. It consists of a church, monastery and convent.