Our History

History

David Gray

David Gray

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 he moved to The Nest on the Voortrekker Farm bought from Opperman, which stretched well into the Drakensberg. It was he who named Cathkin Peak after Cathkin Braes in his native Glasgow.

During the Langalibalele Rebellion in April 1874 rebels rushed into the house and 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, however, burnt down that night.

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

In 1933 Leslie Forbes Gray opened a guest house in the  farmstead, and 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 then took over and ran the hotel for 28 years before selling to Stuart and Shelley Longmore, who are delighted to be your hosts in this scenic, beautiful and historic part of KwaZulu- Natal in the heart of the Drakensberg.

World Heritage Site

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

This Park is unique because it has been listed as a World Heritage Site based on its universal values to mankind. What makes it so special is that it has 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!

The Gat Berg, Amplet, Sterkhorn and Cathkin Peak Photo: James Seymour)

The Gatberg, Amplet, Sterkhorn and Cathkin Peak (Photo: James Seymour)

International recognition was given to its unique richness of biological diversity, its endemic and endangered species, its superlative natural beauty as well as the masterpieces of human creative genius in the form of 35 000 San rock art images to be found at the 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’.