Underberg

This town along with Himeville gives access to all the game reserves in the area. Underberg started as a single shop on the banks of the Mzimkulu River, which served the settlers who entered the area during 1886. Because the authorities thought that there would not be enough protection in case of trouble, they also established Himeville. The East of the town is dominated by the Hlokoma mountain (1904m) that means ‘place of echo’s.

The area is mainly grassland and the most important activity is sheep and cattle farming. Trout fishing in the area is excellent.

Coleford-nature reserve and fishing resort is 25km south of Underberg. Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife (was Natal Parks board) utilises it to breed various antelope for distribution to other game reserves.

The Reichenau mission station about 20km east of Underberg was established in 1886 on the banks of the Pholela River and is named after the German Monastery Island Reichenau. The buildings of stone and brick include a church with beautiful stained glass windows, an abbey and a monastery. The water wheel in the river was used until recently to generate electricity.

Himeville

Himeville was established in 1893 as a police post and the Border Mounted Rifles patrolledthe area from there. The gun smugglers and cattle thieves of Matatiele favoured the area as it offered good hiding places. The town was declared the main seat of the district and named after Sir Albert Henry Hime who was the Prime Minister of Natal at the time.

The town is well known for its trout fishing is also a popular holiday resort. It is also the nearest town to the Sani pass that is the only pass between Lesotho and Natal and is only accessible by 4 wheel-drive vehicles.

The local museum is based in the old fort and prison.

The oak trees next to the road between Underberg and Himeville were planted to strengthen the contact between the two towns. Kenneth Lund of the farm Hazeldene presented the trees for this purpose.

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