Vergelegen Nature Reserve

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vergelegenVergelegen is situated in the Southern Drakensberg and is 180 km north west of Pietermaritzburg. This section of the Maloti-Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site is 21 000 ha in extent and lies in the upper Mkhomazi water catchment area. It is an important water production area.

Hiking in Vergelegen is both scenic and very rugged. The majority of the Park is made up of the Mkhomazi Wilderness area. The escarpment can be accessed via a number of different passes, all of varying degrees of difficulty. Thaba Ntlenyana, the highest point in Southern Africa, is accessible from the Park using the Mkhomazi Pass. Hikers will traverse open grassland, protea open woodland and numerous forest patches along the various rivers.

Vergelegen offers excellent brown trout fishing in the Mkhomazi and Mhlahlangubo Rivers. Fishermen are advised to phone in advance and enquire about the river conditions. Fishermen are required to pay a daily rod fee at the office before fishing the river. Please note that only recognised fly fishing tackle is permitted.

Location (Degrees)
29°31'40.3"S 29°27'09.3"E
Location (Decimal)
-29.527860, 29.452580
Type of Hike
PO Box 53, Himeville, 3256, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
+27 (0)33 702 0712
+27 (0)82 762 9884
+27 (0)33 702 0171
Accommodation (Ezemvelo)
Vergelegen features basic overnight camping facilities and good river trout fishing. Here you can find the closest hiking route to Thabana Ntlenyana, the highest mountain peak south of Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
Vergelegen has many caves, the most popular cave being Birds Nest Cave which is situated along the Nhlangeni River and provides an ideal overnight spot. Caves must be booked in advance through the Conservation Manager as only hikers with a permit may sleep over in the caves.
From Pietermaritzburg take the Southern Berg offramp (R617 to Bulwer/Underberg). From Underberg go through Himeville and straight on towards Lotheni. After about 20 km take the Vergelegen turnoff. Once you reach the entrance (18 km), the office is a further 7 km into the Park. The road after Himeville is a dirt road till the Park, but the route is well signposted. 
Operating Hours
Office hours: 07:00 - 12:00 and 13:00 - 16:30. Sunday hours: 08:00 - 12:00. 
There are no gates at Vergelegen, but all late arrivals must be arranged with the Conservation Manager in advance.