Birches Cottage Accommodation, uKhahlamba, Drakensberg World Heritage Park, Umzimkulu River, Underberg, Drakensberg, self catering Description In a quiet corner of the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg World Heritage Park, with the cascading Umzimkulu river bounding one side and blue mountain sky the other, lies Birches Cottage. This luxury Bed & Breakfast and Self Catering establishment, consisting of a luxury suite for three persons and a bed-sitter sleeping two persons, offers complete privacy in a delightful country setting. Meandering footpaths connect the corners of the surrounding six hectare estate and provide access to spectacular trout pools and cascades. Wild geese, guinea fowl and peacocks roam about and the grassy hillsides shelter buff-streaked chats, pin-tailed whydas, waxbills and buntings. Patience and a cautious approach often reveal otters, rhebuck and caracal. Birches cottage is situated five kilometres from Underberg and is close to amenities: scenic routes for 4x4; mountain bike and off-road bikes; spectacular mountain surroundings; three golf courses; trout fishing; hiking; canoeing; tubing; winter ice climbing; swimming and bird-watching. Underberg has a variety of restaurants, sports facilities and associations. Several historical mission stations can be visited and the surrounding countryside provides an interesting perspective on Zulu culture and the history of rock art. Birches Cottage will make your country visit truly memorable. It is a luxury suite with a cosy lounge / open plan kitchen in which all the requirements for the competent chef is provided. A cosy fire warms the chilly winter evenings. The spacious bedroom offers an extra-length king size bed dressed in embroidered percale linen and a double heated blanket is installed for the winter evenings. The cottage is decorated with original water colours and collectable hand-coloured photographs. His and her basins, a shower and bath are features of the spacious heated bathroom. The fridge has a mini bar and essential snacks are provided. A DStv decoder offering the SABC, e-TV, and an audio bouquet is installed and longer term visitors are encouraged to bring their own DStv Smart Card to obtain the full bouquet. Smoking is not allowed in the cottage. Willows Cottage is a luxury bed-sitter perfectly suited for the overnight visitor. The two single, adjoining beds are dressed in luxurious percale linen and ambient lighting infuses the cottage with a feeling of warmth and comfort. Under floor heating is provided throughout and an antique electric fire ensures a cosy ambience. The interior is decorated with original black and white photographs of the region. A butler's tray provides coffee, tea, and light refreshments. The fridge contains cold drinks, snacks and a mini bat while the heated bathroom has a bath, a shower and a vanity. The Willows has a DStv decoder offering SABC and e-TV and an audio bouquet. Smoking is not allowed in the cottage. Guests are encouraged to use the decks overlooking the spectacular Umzimkulu gorge and the estate's other facilities including mountain biking, hiking, tubing, bird-watching, trout fishing in our renowned rainbow gorge, French boulles and swimming in the crystal pools. Special two and three-day packages are arranged for visitors to Birches and Willow Cottages and include the following features: Two-day package - Day 1: a full-day visit to the highest pub in Africa at the top of Sani pass ( for which passports are required). A five star dinner at Moorcroft restaurant. Day 2: a two-hour moderate hike to N'thaben followed by a tube ride down the Umzimkulu river. The day's excursion is concluded with drinks and a barbeque on Moonrise deck. Three-day package - Day 1: a self-drive visit to the historic Reichenau and Centacow Catholic missions traversing some of the most spectacular rural Zululand mountain landscape (an approximately 150 kilometres, 5 hours excursion). A trout dinner at the Polo Restaurant and Trout Bar. Day 2: an early morning visit to a working dairy farm followed by a hearty breakfast at the Lemon Tree Bistro. Golfing at the spectacular Drakensberg Gardens resort (nine holes) or horse riding at Khotso Horse trails for the male members and a half-day make-over at the Total Body Clinic for the female members of the party. Dinner at the Himeville Arms Hotel. Day 3: a full-day visit to the highest pub in Africa at the top of Sani Pass (for which passports are required). A five star dinner at Moorcroft restaurant. Packages of various dimensions and catering for a variety of interests are arranged for visitors to the estate. Trout fishing clinics and venues with proven stock are arranged. Outings to exclusive trout waters in Lesotho can be scheduled with local guides. Mountain guides will lead the accomplished and aspirant mountaineer to several spectacular mountain peaks (one of which is the highest south of the Capricorn median). For the naturalist, other guides offer insight into the spectacular Drakensberg montane biome, its geomorphology, animal life and rich bushman art heritage. Contact Details Huck & Elsabé Orban +27 (0)33 701 1589 +27 (0)82 441 8214 Enquire now View Rates View Directions Attractions There are a host of outdoor facilities available in Underberg and its surround. If a visit the highest pub in Africa (situated in Lesotho, at the top of the famous Sani pass) is on your schedule, you will require a valid passport. Besides a visit to the pub, local tour operators offer day excursions to San painting sites, horse trails, biking, quad bike excursions, 4X4 excursions, hiking, bird-watching, trout fishing, white water rafting, tubing, rock climbing, abseiling, golf and lots more. The town has a Spar and a well-stocked Supertrade country store, a chemist which opens normal business hours, a hospital with a 24-hour trauma facility, several liquor outlets, gift/curio, outdoor and leisure shops. However, if caviar is your preference, we suggest you bring that and other unusual personal items with you. Underberg hosts three excellent golf courses, has an active trout angling association, tennis and bowling club, country club, several social clubs and associations and offers paid access to beautiful swimming pools and sports facilities at local hotels. There is a very interesting Museum in Himeville depicting the history of the region plus there are several short to longer duration self-drive excursions to rural Zululand, indigenous forests, scenic routes, beautifully preserved Roman Catholic mission stations and churches, the nearby Midlands Meander and the beautiful Hibiscus Coast of southern KwaZulu Natal is less than two hours' drive away. There are several restaurants offering a variety of fare from bistro breakfast to five star dining. Generally, Underberg days are fine and summer temperatures range between five and thirty degrees Celsius. Winter temperatures are severe and often reach well below zero Celsius. It is always advisable to bring warm clothes, a hat and a raincoat as the Underberg weather changes rapidly and several "seasons" can be experienced in a single day. A good sunscreen for your skin should be brought and applied during the summer months when the UV-B factor can be dangerous.