Harding is a town situated in the Mzimkulwana River valley, Harding was established as a military outpost following the British annexation of East Griqualand in 1874. Named after Sir Walter Harding (c 1812-1874) who in 1858 became the first Chief Justice in Natal. This little farming town lies between Kokstad (57 km away) and Port Shepstone (84 km away), is an administrative centre with its focus on agriculture, dairy and timber.

Harding is nestled at the foot of the Ingeli Mountain Range and surrounded by exquisite indigenous forests. There are a number of mountain biking and hiking trails through the forests, which are perfect for a family outing or a challenge amongst friends. For the avid bird watcher, Oribi Gorge is renowned for its wide variety of bird species with over 350 recorded to date. A trip to Oribi Gorge is a definite for the eco-adventurer.


Take a walk across the 80m suspension bridge at Lake Eland Game Reserve where the views are breath taking and you will be inspired by the magnificence and grandeur of the Oribi Gorge. For those seeking more thrills, you can zip line across the gorge, go abseiling or water-water rafting. Or add a new dimension to your experience by flying like a bird in the highest gorge swing in the world. The stunning scenery with a variety of exciting adventure trails is what will lure you to Harding.

How to get there

Follow the R56 from Middelburg through to Kokstad, take the N2 to Harding (Odometer 639km).
Follow the R56 from Pietermaritzburg straight through to Umzimkhulu. Before Kokstad take the N2 for Harding (Odometer 150 km).

Getting Around

Self-drive would be best.

Where to Stay

There are various accommodation establishments in and around Harding. Try out Green Acres, Phendula B&B, B’s Guest House, Executive Guest House, Ingeli Forest Resort, Oribi Gorge Guest Farm, Lake Eland Game Reserve, Oribi Gorge Hotel and The Gorge Private Game Lodge & Spa.

Where to Eat

Various accommodation establishments provide meals for their guests. You can try the Ingeli Forest Resort Restaurant (25 km away) or the fast food outlets in town.


Eastern Cape: Middelburg Karoo, Cradock, Schoombee, Hofmeyr, Venterstad, Steynsburg, Burgersdorp, Molteno, Aliwal North, Queenstown, Lady Grey, Dordrecht, Indwe, Elliot, Barkly East, Rhodes, Ugie, Maclear, Mount Fletcher, Matatiele, Cedarville.
KwaZulu-Natal: Swartberg, Kokstad, Harding, Umzimkulu, Ixopo, Bulwer, Richmond, Baynesfield, Camperdown, Pietermaritzburg.