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Himeville and Underberg

© Jennifer Stern© Jennifer SternThese two towns in the foothills of the Southern Drakensberg are so close together they are virtually the same place – but don’t ever let a resident of either hear you say that. Underberg is the bigger town by far and has most of the facilities one would expect from a small country town. Himeville is very tiny with just a hotel, a few shops and not much else. Both towns are surrounded by some wonderful guest houses, the nearby streams and dams are stocked with trout, and the hills offer fantastic views, lovely walks and fascinating rock art. This is the gateway to the southern part of Lesotho, with the iconic Sani Pass heading up the mountains from Himeville to Sani Top in a vertiginous, cliff-hugging zig-zag. There are escorted trips up the pass where you can spend some time in the village, and enjoy a drink in Southern Africa’s highest pub which (not surprisingly) has a fantastic view. Underberg is on the R617, which leaves the N3 on the Durban side of Pietermaritzburg. If travelling to the Southern Berg from Johannesburg, it is quicker and shorter to leave the N3 at the Nottingham Road turn-off but this necessitates driving on unpaved roads.

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