Snow Seeking in Underberg, KZN
“Snow’s coming to KwaZulu Natal” they said! So we went snow hunting in Underberg and it found us!
We don’t usually need an excuse for a spontaneous weekend away, but this time we had a good one. Whisperings amongst weather watchers hinted that snow might just make its debut appearance for the winter around the pretty surrounds of Undeberg in KZN. That’s just 2.5hrs drive away from our home in Durban. It was all the reason we needed and with a day’s notice and hope in our hearts that the snow we were ordering for the weekend would be delivered, we headed out for a quick getaway to Underberg.
Snow was calling!
We bundled all our worldly warm belongings and Moose, our travel buddy pooch, into the car on Saturday morning and went snow searching. With no guarantees that the white fluffy stuff would grace us with its tangible coldness, we checked for updates on “Snow Report SA” constantly. Its Facebook page keeps its community of snow chasers informed about all details of snowfall around the country and shares the proof in pictures when South African’s share snaps of snow in their areas.
We checked Snow Report every few minutes, in case Underberg made their list of recent notifications. Ok, fine. We checked every minute.
A Cabin on a farm
We soon were introduced to Underberg a few hours later and she wasn’t snowy. But we were still pleased to meet her. The Southern Drakensberg Mountains guard the skyline view in this part of South Africa and we’d never been through it before. It’s quite close to Sani Pass too making it popular in its own right but is mainly a farming region. It’s very pretty.
Our home for our stay was a little wooden cabin on a working farm just outside of town. It was simple, self-catering with eco-friendly elements and a friendly feel to it. It came complete with fireplace which we came to adore later. It was perfection! Sue and John Little are the warm and bubbly owners and welcomed us like family. They have horses, a pack of rescue dogs and chickens on their lovely land. Moose insisted on visiting all of them in turn on our wanderings on the farm.
A little exploring time in the farmlands of Underberg
The weather was cool, but didn’t look too threatening. Sue warned us that the clouds were building up for something big though so we bolted out for a walk down the farmland lanes towards the Umzimkulu River. We had seen its waters when driving into the farm area and wanted to get down to explore around it before we lost our chance to be outdoors.
We followed Sue’s directions down to the end of the road, taking in the farmland views as we went until we got to River Glen Cheese Farm. It’s a character filled place with views for days and dotted with comical signs warning visitors to watch out for their cows and other animals, which clearly run the show there. The cheese I peeked at before we strolled on looked amazing too.
The path down towards the river took us over more farmland and we took in the personality of the area and breathed it in. We found ourselves on a mountain biking trail along the river and Moose revelled in being carefree as only a frolic in the great outdoors allows.
We enjoyed every step as we kept an eye on the blackening, bruised clouds and spotted a pair of Crowned Cranes in a field next door too. The temperature dropped quite suddenly and the drizzle began. We took the hint and power walked back towards the farm. Obviously we had left it a little too late and we were caught in a little hailstorm followed by buckets of rain. We ran and laughed our way back to our cabin and there we stayed for the rest of the afternoon, drying off, warming up and settling down into lazy comfort. That fireplace became the centre of our world as we cuddled around it while the freezing rain set in. Life in a fire lit cabin is a good life when it’s cold outside.
That rain went on relentlessly all through the night and our hopes for snow diminished but we made peace with that. Sometime during the night, the temperature plummeted and we all cursed winter’s cruel streak as we tried to warm up again. But this cold had a purpose.
Waking up to the Snow
When Moose woke me in the morning to be let outside, I sleepily obliged and as I opened the cabin door I gasped and smiled! The weather had cleared to blue skies and in front of me was a snow dipped mountain- stark and white and dramatic against its blue background.
It had found us. The snow had found us!
I called out Graham to come see and we beamed excitedly. Moose didn’t seem to know what the fuss was about as we hastily dressed and packed up to go and get that snow.
We drove in the general direction of the snowy giants, the mountain pass road bending around and spoiling us to incredible views of different mountains as we went, each seemingly snowier than the others. It was surreal. Snow. Right there in front of us. Real, proper snow, in KZN.
We pulled over on the route often, along with other grinning folks as we got out to take photos of the unbelievable sights and a few mandatory selfies of course. Those snowy mountains surrounded us and we were in awe.
Whiter than white. That’s what that snow was. Bright white that was sometimes hard to look at with its reflecting nature. It was wonderful!
Our snow searching path ended at the gates of Drakensberg Gardens where a queue of day visitor cars was already building up to get into the grounds and even closer to the snowy mountains beyond. The cars leaving the resort which had stayed over during the night before were still carrying evidence of the snowfall they were in a few hours before. It’s not every day we see snow covered cars on our roads. It was brilliant.
We chose to play in the dapplings of white left over which lay on some slopes beside the road and in the caravan park’s grounds. It was invigorating and completely bizarre to us that we had snow in our hands and under our feet. Moose wasn’t too sure about all this but got in a little playtime in the whiteness. He was more than happy to get his chilly paws back into the warm car before too long though. I think his highlight was the fireplace time. As for us, we loved every bit of our snow order and hideaway time in the Underberg. Signed sealed, delivered. Our order came in.
We stayed at Montague Farm Cottages.
Find them here.