Our History

Early History

This is an insight into our history as well as an overview on the uKhahlamba Drakensberg World Heritage Site.

On 21 September 1849 David Grey of Cathkin in Scotland left with his wife and four children on the barque Aliwal for Port Natal (Durban).

In 1855 David moved to The Nest on the Voortrekker Farm bought from Opperman. The farm stretched well into the Drakensberg and he named Cathkin Peak after Cathkin Braes in his native Glasgow.

During the Langalibalele Rebellion in April 1874 rebels rushed into the house. The rebels stabbed their sons, David (29) and Walter (15), before David Grey Senior fired a shot through the verandah post.

The rebels bolted and luckily David and Walter recovered. The homestead on The Nest was burnt down the same night.

Recent History

On 24 January 1900, close to The Nest in the area known as Spioenkop, a major battle erupted during the Anglo-Boer war. This is known as The Battle of Spioenkop.

Leslie Forbes Gray opened a guest house in the farmstead in 1933. Then, in 1943 the present hotel was built by Italian prisoners of war.

In 1963 Thoedore Haug took over The Nest Hotel and ran it for 16 years. Thereafter, the Malherbe family operated the establishment for nine years.

The German family took over and ran the hotel for 28 years before selling to Stuart and Shelley Longmore. The Longmore’s are delighted to be your hosts in this beautiful and historic part of KwaZulu- Natal in the Drakensberg.

World Heritage Site


November 2000 saw the formation of the uKhahlamba Drakensberg World Heritage Site.

This Park is unique because it is listed as a World Heritage Site based on its universal values to mankind. What makes it so special is that it met the World Heritage criteria for both cultural and natural World Heritage properties. There are only some 20 sites of this nature in the world.

International recognition is given to its unique richness of biological diversity. To its endemic and endangered species, its superlative natural beauty as well as its masterpieces. These masterpieces of human creative genius in the form of 35 000 San rock art images found at the uKhahlamba Drakensberg World Heritage Site.

In addition, the Drakensberg is regarded as one of the world’s most important examples of an ‘erosional mountain’. It is actually an escarpment and has the second highest waterfall in the world, ‘The Thukela Falls’.