Monday, June 13, 2011

A Breathtaking Adventure in the Underberg

This past week-end my very dearest friend, Dawn, invited me to join her and two of her friends to go on a trip to the Underberg, which is in the lower region of the Drakensberg Mountain range in Kwa-Zulu Natal. The primary purpose of the trip was to collect a horse for Heather (Dawn's friend).

This is my special friend
Dawn and I have been friends for 18 years now. I am married to her brother, so not only are we really close friends, but we are sisters too!! How cool is that.
Dawn works in the horse industry, she is the senior lecturer for an Equine Diploma offered at one of our Universities, she is also a Bitting Analyst (one the only ones in South Africa) and because she isn't busy enough, she runs a livery yard, oh and she competes in Dressage and has also taken on Horse Endurance riding. Her last race was 160 Kilometers. She came first in one of the divisions. She is truly on of the most inspiring women you will ever meet!! I love her dearly.

So that is why Dawn was asked to help fetch Heather's new little baby :)

Our adventure began on Friday, when we left at 11 am on the dot. Our first stop was Petermaritzberg, where Dawn had to do some bitting business. We arrived at Midmar Resort later that evening. I don't have any pic's 'coz it was dark when we got there, and even darker when we left the following morning at 5h45.

On Saturday, The Father blessed us with the most magnificent day!!

Today was the day that we had arranged to go up the Sani Pass.

Here's a little History lesson (*^,)
The Pass originated in the late 1800's when traders would come over the mountains to trade with the folk of KZN. The pass was only narrow enough for one donkey/horse/mule to travel on it at one time, so no overtaking! Then in the 1920's the pass was then widened to be able to have two animals and the traders pass each other, as there had been so much loss of life. Then in the 1960's the old pass was abandoned, and a new pass forged, where a land rover would be able to drive on the road. That is is very same road that we were going to travel on. The Pass is strictly only 4X4 vehicles only, and one has to be very experienced to drive it. So as we did not qualify on either of the requirements, we booked a tour with Major Adventures,

Our guide's name was Steve Smith. And he was absolutely fabulous. I wish I could retell my story about a death defying driver, having my prayer life strengthened because of the danger, but alas no....he was a superb driver. I will however say that at times the road we travelled on was a bit bone jarring. But the views were so worth it!

It is so cold closer to the top and in the shadows that the waterfalls freeze

Once we reached the top at 2873 meters above sea level (9400ft) the view was spectacular. And it was chilly at the top. Minus 1 degree Celsius!

We were also taken to a traditional Basothu Village to see how the local people live. The top on the Sani Pass crosses over the South African border and into Lesotho. Meeting the local people was such a privilege. The lady we met, lives a very simple life. She makes bread and a home made beer, which she sells to the shepherds. She was wonderful. I haven't posted pic's of her, because I didn't get her permission...oops!!

These are the houses that they stay in. No windows, only a door, because it is so freezing there. The home was so cosy and warm inside.

This is her view. Breathtaking!

After meeting Meh Belina we were then taken to have lunch at the Highest pub in Africa. The food was fab.

And then we started our 2 hour decent.

What an amazing day!

We spent Saturday evening at the Penwarn Country Lodge situated on the Waterford Farm. The accommodation was lovely. This is where we were going to pick up Heather's horse on Sunday morning.

We woke to a very misty Sunday morning.

 Waterford Farm is set on 3500 ha. In the foothills of the Drakensberg. The farmer Pete, runs a dairy that produces 25 000 litres of milk a day, and he breeds horses. He also has a love for the Shire draft horse. And over time he has imported a herd.

These are my most favourite horses, and when I found out he had a herd of them, that really sealed the deal for me to come away for the week end.

So just just after 7h30 we went to meet Iron Man (the stallion) and his herd of mares and a 5 month old foal.

So after a loving kiss on his nose....
 he spat on me!!!

Oh gross!!

But all is forgiven! Such a gentle giant. I will never forget him! 

This is the 'little' foal only 5 months old, and looks like a full grown horse. She was very curious. But did not want any cuddles!!

After spending time with the Shires, we left them to go and load up Heather's new baby.

This is Zambuck and he is 1 year and 8 months old. Such a sweet boy! He's dun in colour, and will grow up to be a very handsome horse.

After loading up our precious cargo it was time to say good-bye to Waterford Farm.

 This is most definitely a place that I would love to come back to.

And if you are ever in the area I would highly recommend the lodge. And Major Adventures.

The Underberg is so very beautiful. The views are breath taking!!

Have a wonderful week

Chat soon

Niqui xx


  1. Such beautiful pics as evidence of an amazing time away! Good for you my sis. I'm so glad that you had this fantastic time. Love you lots!

  2. Friends are indeed Jewels and you are truly rich! The photos are amazing x

  3. I am so glad to know you had a wonderful getaway with your dear friend and sister! That is so great! She sounds like an amazing person! What a blessing!

    And our Creator is so amazing, isn't He? I was just marveling at His wonderful creation of nature when I was on a run this evening in a regional park.

    Your photos are great reflections of that. Thank you so much for sharing.



    p.s. I love your hat! And you look so beautiful in all your photos! Because you are so beautiful!