Bergville – Gateway to the Northern Drakensberg

Bergville is the Gateway to the Northern Drakensberg


Bergville allows easy access to the AmphitheaterBergville is situated some 40km from Royal Natal in the Northern Drakenserg. The town of Bergville is an ideally-situated agricultural and trading centre and today has become a centre relying on tourism. British forces built a blockhouse in the settlement two years later at the onset of the Anglo-Boer War – that building is now a Monument and Museum within the grounds of the Bergville  Court House.

Bergville Tourist Attractions

Spionkop battlefield near to Bergville

  • Amphitheatre in Royal Natal National Park is the main reason most tourists pass through Bergville.
  • The blockhouse built by the British stands in the grounds of the Courthouse and is the only surviving blockhouse in KwaZulu-Natal.
  • Bergville – Cannibal Cavern, Northern Drakensberg offers an unusual culteral attraction. When Shaka’s impis raged through natal in the 1820s, smaller clans were forced to flee. Some took refuge in overhangs in the Drakensberg and had to resort to cannibalism to survive. Sidinane was the chief here.
  • Kaalvoet Vrou (Barefoot woman), At Retiefs Pass there is a monument of a woman walking away from Natal. This is in memory of Susanna Smit, sister of Gert Maritz, who declared that she would rather trek barefoot back over the Berg than live in Natal under British rule.
  • Retief’s Pass, Drakensberg. In 1837 Piet Retief’s party of voortrekkers braved the Drakensberg in their quest for freedom and a land (Natal) of their own. The original trail carved by their ox wagons is known as Retief’s pass.The pass was declared a national monument in February 1977.
  • Retiefklip (Retief’s Rock)  Upon arriving in the Free State, there was a dispute amongst the Boers as to the final, proposed destination of the great trek. Piet Retief chose Natal. Here at the foot of the Kerkenberg, he left his laager on 7 October, 1837 with 14 men to reconnoitre Natal in advance. His daughter Deborah painted her fathers name on a rock to commemorate his birthday.