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Welcome to Lotheni Nature Reserve

Lotheni is situated in a remote and secluded part of the southern section of the Maloti-Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site. It can be reached from the N3 via Nottingham Road, and is a 3-hour drive from Durban and 6 hours from Johannesburg.
  • About

    Lying as it does, deep in the scenic Drakensberg range, Lotheni and its picturesque resort offers comfortable and attractive self-catering chalets, cottages and campsites. Lotheni Resort is well known for its exquisite scenery and tranquil atmosphere. It overlooks the clear, tumbling waters of the Lotheni River which provides several attractions for visitors. The name “Lotheni” means “in the ashes” and comes from the burnt appearance of the shale found in this river valley. The Settler’s Museum, the original homestead of the Root family that settled in the Lotheni Valley in the late 1800s, provides a fascinating look back in time. Several relics linked to the history of the area are preserved in the museum. Wildlife includes species such as common and mountain reedbuck, grey reedbuck, eland, grey duiker, oribi, Cape clawless otter, mongoose and baboon. There is a diversity of birds, including black stork, verreaux’s eagle, bearded vulture, lanner falcon, Cape vulture and giant kingfisher
  • Activities


    • Many delightful walks and climbs may be undertaken and there are excursions of this nature to suit all ages. It is advisable to carry warm clothing at all times as the weather is often unpredictable.
    • Routes that are graded from easy to difficult. Some of them have gloriously refreshing rock pools, the crisp berg water will leave you feeling completely rejuvenated.
    • The weather can change suddenly and become very cold so hikers are advised to be well equipped.
    • It is strongly recommended to hike in parties of four or more.
    • The Mountain Rescue Register must to be completed before you begin
    • The Emadundwini Trail is highly recommended. Other trails include Eagle, Falls, Canyon and Jacobs Ladder Trails, while the historically interesting Gelib Tree Trail provides an insight into events during World War 2.

    Overnight Hiking

    • Overnight hiking routes extend deep into valleys and forests of the area and up onto the main escarpment, ensuring a pure wilderness experience with breath taking views and scenery.
    • It is strongly recommended to hike in parties of four or more.
    • The Mountain Rescue Register must to be completed before you begin your hike.

    Mountain Biking

    • Mountain biking is allowed in designated areas.

    Trout Fishing

    • The park is a popular rendezvous for trout fishermen
    • Approximately 16 km of the Lotheni River is stocked with brown trout.
    • Trout anglers are required to pay a daily rod fee, which can be paid at the reception office.
    • Please note that only recognised trout fishing tackle and techniques are permitted.
    • The guests staying at Sime cottage have exclusive use of the stocked trout dam situated besides the unit.


    • Although chilly, swimming in the Lotheni River is safe unless it is in flood.
    • There is a very good swimming spot approximately 1 km below the camp at Cool Pools.

    Settlers Museum

    • Visitors should make a point of visiting the Lotheni Settler’s Homestead Museum.
    • An interesting collection of early settler farming implements and home utensils is on display at the old Root homestead, which has been restored and refurnished in the style of the period.
  • Useful Info

    • Gate opening and closing times are 06:00 - 18:00 daily.
    • Due to the poor road conditions, particularly in the rainy season, high clearance vehicles are recommended.
    • Electricity is by generator from 17:00 - 22:00 daily.
    • No petrol is provided within the resort, Nearest town is Himeville (50km) or Nottigham Road (72km)
    • All visitors must check in at the reception office on arrival.
    • No pets are permitted.
    • Camping other than in designated areas is forbidden.
    • The making of fires is strictly prohibited, except in designated areas due to the hazard of veld fires.
    • Hikers are reminded that all refuse must be brought back to the resort for disposal.
    • Cell phone signal is limited.
    • The nearest source of provisions is at the Lotheni store, which is 14 km from the Resort.
    • The curio shop at Lotheni supplies some basic groceries.
    • A deepfreeze is situated in the resort kitchen and is available for use by overnight visitors, as is a single large gas stove.
    • Visitors must provide all their own food supplies and do their own cooking. Crockery, cutlery linen and towels are provided in all units.
    • All units have fireplaces, wood is not provided, but can be purchased at reception.


+27 (0) 33 702 0540


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