Feel free to explore outside the boundaries of Lammergeier Highlands Reserve. As J.R.R. Tolkien so eloquently put it: “Not all who wander are lost.”
We put together a short list of some of the attractions in the area.
Drive Joubert’s Pass. Joubert’s Pass has a gradient of 1:6 and is the third highest pass in South Africa.
Opened in 1914, the pass was built by seven farmers of whom five shared the surname “Joubert”. The other two were Stephenson and Cloete. They undertook this massive venture to gain easier access to their farms on the other side of the mountain.
It’s interesting to note the M.P. inscription at the bottom of the stone. It stands for Moos Pieterse, who carved many of the headstones that can be seen at the Old Cemetery in Lady Grey.
A picturesque, winding road leads from the center of Lady Grey to the Kloof, and over Jouberts Pass where it meets up with the tarred road from Lady Grey to Barkly East. You’ll be treated to an ever-changing view of river gorges and mountains from where you can see into Lesotho. The pass is a gravel road pass. You’ll need a suitable vehicle.
Visit the Sandstone Church. Lady Grey is tucked away in a valley below the Witteberg Mountain Range. It was established on the farm Waaihoek, which was purchased by the Dutch Reformed Church of Aliwal North on 30 April 1857 for the purposes of founding a new congregation. It was named in honour of Eliza Lucy Grey (née Spencer), daughter of Sir Richard Spencer and wife of Sir George Grey, the Cape governor. Rev. Wolhuter took over from Rev. David Ross in 1908. The Church was built under his leadership in 1913. Today this beautiful church is a National Monument.
Visit the the Lady Grey Dam. The dam was built in 1925 by a Mr. Stromsoe, a Norwegian engineer. The wall is 25m high and you are able to reach the top of the dam wall via a natural staircase. This is a great spot for picnics.
Play a round of gholf. You’ll enjoy fitting in a round at the Lady Grey Country Club with it’s rustic sand greens and its breathtaking views of the Witteberg Mountains.
Just in case you need it, here is a Lady Grey Map you can download and bring along.
Take a snow skiing day trip. Tiffindell Ski Resort is South Africa’s only ski and snowboarding resort. It is situated in the Southern Drakensberg at 2 720m above sea level and is a short 1.5 hour drive from the Reserve.
The resort offers ski- and snowboard instruction, and you will be able to rent ski- and snowboard equipment from them. It is advisable to book the equipment you’ll need in advance.
Look out for the tunnel. Completed in 1911, the tunnel allowed trains to cross the spectacular gorge between Lady Grey and Barkley East . It was however never used due to the steel bridge, needed to link the tunnel to the opposite cliffs, never being erected. Two bridges were sent from England to complete the project. Neither reached their destination: one was returned to be used for ammunition during World War I and the other sank with the ship that was transporting it. The tunnel is a stunning work of craftsmanship and can be seen from the bridge crossing the Karringmelkspruit on the R58.
Visit one of only three reverse railway tracks in the world. The Karringmel Reverse Railway Track was used to replace the tunnel on the line between Lady Grey and Barkley East. Its six reverses enabled steam trains to negotiate the 1:36 gradient ascent. The line is no longer operational.