- Okhahlamba Platteland
Between Somewhere & Nowhere
Geluksburg is a tiny village approximately 24 km from Bergville, accessed by a loop road off the R616 which links Bergville and Ladysmith. Its location, to be precise, lies between the Oliviershoek and Van Reenen’s Passes.
According to the Dictionary of South African Place Names, the name is Afrikaans for ‘happiness town’ or ‘fortune city’, presumably taking its name from the farm Geluk, Afrikaans for happiness and good fortune. The generic term burg is Afrikaans for castle, stronghold or keep, but is frequently used for town and cities. However, directly translated from Afrikaans, this is the town to be happy, but it actually means “Luck Mountain” due to the landscape.
Geluksburg is an isolated mountain getaway or can also be a convenient stopover en-route to the Royal Natal National Park and Amphitheatre, Cathedral Peak area, Champagne Valley, The Historic Boer War Battlefields and the Spioenkop Nature Reserve. This remarkably isolated area houses waterfalls, lakes, dams, Zulu cultural villages, game reserves and historical battle sites.
Geluksburg is a true hamlet, home to only about 60 families, 2 general shops and villagers who keep the local community alive with their delicious baked goodies, coffee shop meeting place, a hairdresser, a real estate agent, school and a few self-catering and guest house accommodation options.
There are no petrol stations or ATM’s in the village.
Things to do and see
- Hiking, Biking & Nature Walks
- Llandaff Oratory (Little Church Van Reenan), 15 km
- Bezuidenhout’s Pass
- Tintwa Pass
- Middledale Pass
- Van Reenans Pass
- Ukhahlamba Drakensburg Park, 68 km
Swinburne receives approximately 884 mm of rain annually with most rainfall occurring during the Summer months.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 13˚C and 28˚C.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 0˚C and 23˚C.
There are daily domestic and international flights into Johannesburg’s, O R Tambo International Airport approximately 332 Km away via the N3 and into Durban’s King Shaka International Airport, approximately 282 km away via the N3. Car rental companies are available for easy access around the area.
The history of Geluksburg in the Drakensberg was first recorded in 1908 but before it could be proclaimed and developed, the war forced its abandonment. The second attempt at establishing a village was resurrected in the 1930's but the outbreak of the 1939 war again saw its abandonment. Eventually in the 1980's the battle was won to establish Geluksburg as a village.
The region has played an interesting and important role in the history of the Bushmen, Zulu, Boer and British. The Bushmen were the original inhabitants of the region and were forcibly displaced by African tribes, and more so, the early European settlers. Shaka’s “Mfecane” or war on his neighbours during the early 1800s took its toll on the people of this area.