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antbear Guest HouseDrakensberg accommodation review

Antbear Guest House is rated as the TOP Drakensberg accommodation. Superb food, comfortable and artisticly styled this boutique hotel is perfectly positioned to experience all that the Drakensberg has to offer.


Northern Drakensberg
- Royal Natal
- Cathedral Peak
- Bergville
- Ladysmith
- Oliviershoek
- Van Reenen

Central Drakensberg
- Monks Cowl
- Champagne Valley
- Injasuti
- Giants Castle
- Highmoor
- Kamberg
- Winterton
- Estcourt
- Mooi River
- Weenen

Southern Drakensberg
- Lotheni
- Vergelegen
- Sani Pass
- Cobham
- Bushmans Nek
- Drakensberg Gardens
- Underberg
- Himeville

Natal Midlands
- Rosetta
- Nottingham Road
- Balgowan
- Howick
- Lidgetton
- Currys Post
- Karkloof
- Lions River
- Fort Nottingham
- Hilton
- Dargle

Drakensberg Attractions
- Bushman Rock Art
- Hiking Trails
- Hot air ballooning
- Horse trails
- Helicopter & Microlight flights
- Restaurants
- Arts & Crafts
- Drakensberg Boys Choir
- Canopy Tours
- Midlands Meander
- Fly Fishing
- Game Viewing
- Golf
- White Water rafting
- Birding
- Quad Biking
- 4x4 Offroad trails
- Battlefield Tours
- Wine Tasting
- Museums
- Bicycle tours
- Abseiling
- Wellness & Spas



Drakensberg Links






Oliviershoek Pass - Northern Drakensberg

A scenic drive along the Alternative Route to Durban from Harrismith, will take you down the Oliviershoek Pass.

The trek-party of Piet Retief started to ascend the Drakensberg along the Oliviershoek Pass on 19 October 1837. They trekked left past the Oudeberg Spring until they reached a fountain, near the present day Retief Rock, where they stopped for a short period. Erasmus Smit named this area Kerkenberg because it reminded him of a church or a place where religious gatherings could be held. During this time Piet Retief was visiting King Dingane in order to negotiate the possibility of acquiring some land for the Voortrekkers. On his 57th birthday (12 November 1837) his daughter, Debora Retief, wrote her father's name and the date on an overhanging rock with green paint. The other names that appear on the rock are those of the Bethlehem commando that occupied the Oliviershoek Pass on 10 October 1899 with the outbreak of the Anglo-Boer War.

This rock can still be seen today. It is situated 30 km south of Harrismith, over the steep Oliviershoek Pass at Kerkenberg. The green painted writing is protected against natural elements such as the wind and rain by a glass case, which was placed over the writing much later. With the 1937-Centenary Celebrations a commemorative plaque was unveiled by Mrs. J.C. Preller and in 1986 the English version of the plaque was donated by students of the Pretoria Technicon.

The Oliviershoek Pass straddles the border between the Free State and KwaZulu-Natal just a few kilometres to the south of the starkly beautiful Sterkfontein Dam Nature Reserve. The area is a mass of deep dark pine forest that overlooks the northern reaches of the Royal Natal National Park, which boasts some of the most spectacular scenery in Africa.

This is an excellent spot for day trips into the majestic Drakensberg Mountains just a few kilometres away, being close to Mont-aux-Sources, the Inner Mnweni Needle and Cathedral Peak and the Amphitheatre. There are plenty of short hikes in the area for the not-so-experienced hiker, and plenty of climbs for the experienced rock and mountain climber. Horses may be hired for those wishing to trek in the area. At the southern end of the pass is the area known as Little Switzerland, and the surrounding area has ample accommodation.

The Border of the Free State and KwaZulu-Natal provinces is as the top of the Oliviershoek Pass here, lies the large and beautiful Sterkfontein Dam which forms part of the Tugela Vaal Water Scheme that supplies water to Johannesburg. The clear water of this large dam is suitable for watersports such as sailing, windsurfing and waterskiing. Overlooking the dam is a spot where the conservation authorities leave carcasses for the Cape Vultures - a vulture "restaurant".

From the Oliviershoek Pass the escarpment changes to Karoo sandstone in Kwazulu-Natal, to granites in Swaziland, and finally to quarzites along the Mpumalanga and Northern Province Drakensberg.