The Dharmagiri Hermitage is located on 50 acres of pristine land, nestled in the Mvuleni Mountain in the Southern Drakensberg range near the winding Sani Pass and Lesotho boarder. This area is rich in San history and even today the local Zulu community use Mvuleni (mVuleni means “place of rain in Zulu”) as a place to gather to pray for rain.

Dharmagiri can be translated as Sacred Mountain; its name honours the importance of this land in the mythology and stories of the people gone before, while continuing to engage a practice that which integrates spirit and earth. It is within this context that the primary purpose of Dharmagiri is the encouragement of mindfulness and meditation practice as the optimum means of Awakening.

An abundance of inspiration is provided by the majestic mountains and dramatic weather patterns; it is in this setting that the small center hosts meditation retreats and educational courses. For information, schedules and rates of all upcoming retreats please click here. Please note that the retreat rates are inclusive of accommodation, beverages and 3 lacto-vegetarian meals; exclusive of Dana (free will offering) for the teachers and manager.

Dharmagiri is a non-profit organisation that supports, celebrates and promotes the study, practice and teaching of the core principles of Buddhism in South Africa, and to support interfaith, educational programs and eco-awareness. Dharmagiri has also initiated and provides ongoing support to non-denominational Outreach Programmes specifically focused on health and education within the underprivileged communities in its local area. If you would like to make a donation to Dharmagiri, please click here for more information.

At Dharmagiri we also seek to support organizations that challenge Ecocide while offering new pathways, such as Bill McKibben’s 350.org. We encourage and host courses, activities, fund raisers, eco-activism and educational programs that support the new paradigm of conscious caring of the Planet and her species.

“The evolutionary imperative of our times invites us to journey from seeing the world “out there“, separate and alien from us, to directly knowing our intimacy with all things. This is the shift from a dualistic consciousness to an awakened awareness that recognizes nothing is apart from anything else and ultimately nothing is apart from our deeper nature. If we harm someone, we harm ourselves. If we destroy and pollute we do likewise to ourselves. If we drop bombs on other countries, we rip out a piece of our own soul. And unlike any other time in human history, if we only look out for ourselves or our tribe at the expense of everyone else, we will further precipitate the catastrophe of our collective demise. To understand this is to enter the ethics of interconnectedness.” Extract from The Buddhist Declaration on Climate Change.


Dharmagiri is approximately 3 hours drive from Durban, 2 hours from Pietermartizburg and 7 or 8 hours drive from Johannesburg.

  • Take the R617 exit off the N3 in the direction of Underberg.
  • Drive through Underberg, keep going past the Spar shop on the Kokstad road, 5k’s past the town is the Drakensberg Garden Resort Road. Take this road which is the first turning on the right after Underberg town.
  • Go for 13k’s and Dharmagiri is on the right under the head of Bamboo Mountain there is a white farm gate and thatched gate house at the entrance.
  • Click here for more information and to book transport.


Our Address:

Underberg, KwaZulu-Natal, 3257