Dharmagiri Sacred Mountain Retreat Centre is a Buddhist inspired retreat centre located in the mighty Southern Drakensberg-uKhlahlamba-Maloti mountains near the small town of Underberg.

We are nestled in the sacred presence of Mvuleni-Bamboo Mountain (place of rain and place of openings).

We offer a home for spiritual, contemplative, artistic and embodied practices that are relevant for our times. We honour practises indigenous to Africa, whilst seeking guidance from nature and our ancestors.



Upcoming Retreats

Winter Silent Self-Retreat

9-13 August 2024


I have found Dharmagiri to be a blessing: an authentic place of retreat. The organisation’s heart is in the right place. Simple, straight forward, open, a place of holding for the inner journey. Dharmagiri offers a place where I can be quiet and listen deeply. This support is wonderful. The spirit of the place is peaceful and strong. I look forward to returning many more times 🙂

– Chris H. Cape Town

Sacred Experience

I had one of the most beautiful and profound retreat experiences I’ve ever had at Dharmagiri. The energy of the mountain mixed with the serene and simple retreat center was a powerful combination for inward reflection. The staff were attentive and kind and almost seemed to be on retreat with us even while doing their jobs. There is something incredibly sacred about this center and you can feel it in the private and shared spaces. The accommodations are comfortable and well taken care of and the meals are nourishing and wholesome. I’m planning to come back (from the U.S.) next year for another retreat and would recommend it to anyone.

– Sebene S. NYC

Ancient energies converge

I have been retreating to Dharmagiri for many years and still cannot adequately describe the transcendent, transcultural but above all transformational energies inherent in the Mvuleni (Zulu=Place of Rain) mountain. What Kittisaro and Thanissara have created here as the fruit of their Buddhist monastic practice and quintessential humanity taps into and continues centuries of shamanic activity in this valley. This legacy continues in a lineage of creative residential and visiting teachers offering profound teachings and also on silent, solitary self-retreats. The comfortable accommodation and lacto-vegetarian menu enhance the homecoming to your true self. In the end, you will simply have to come and experience the magic first hand.

– Peter W. Port Elizabeth

Inspiring and rejuvenating second home

I love Dharmagiri. I love the expansive mountain with its fresh air and exhilarating walks at the end of a day of sitting. I love the integrity of the teachers. I love the fact that it feels like home; it settles into my bones the moment I first sit on a cushion after arriving – like a deep out-breath. I love the spaciousness of non-judgment and humility there. I love the laughter and warmth which can so often be missing in retreat settings. I love the conscious awareness of our wounded country and how that is held with tenderness and compassion. I love the many prayers that have honouredKwan Yin, so that her palpable presence now over-lights the entire mountain. I have such gratitude for Dharmagiri in my life. Thank you Kittisaro, Thanissara and all the many wonderful people who have created and maintained her over the years.

– Robyn S. Cape Town & Botswana

Finding a place of belonging

A place for stillness, healing and practice. Dharmagiri is a spiritual home for me and a holding space for deep work. The place it exists in, the majestic natural landscape it coexists with, is part of this experience. The place and the space work in unison to support one’s practice. It is a completely unique experience practicing there. I am grateful to those who have made and do make Dharmagiri what it is.

–  Thenji N. Johannesburg

Profound Experience

I’ve had the opportunity to retreat twice (two month long retreats) at Dharmagiri, and was profoundly changed by my experience at this beautiful retreat center. The land, the mountain, the teachers and teachings, the lovely staff and accommodations all contributed to a truly wonderful and transformative experience. I look forward to returning and would highly recommend it to anyone thinking about practicing here.

– Yong O. Durango U.S.

Deeply Memorable

In the last 25 years I’ve been blessed with being able to join retreats in many wonderful places in different parts of the world, but Dharmagiri’s Sacred Mountain Retreat is the one that occupies the biggest place in my heart – it has slipped inside and even seven years after I stayed there, it still finds me at least once a week – reconnecting me with the wonderful nature that holds and surrounds it, reminding me of the power of the Sacred Mountain that stands over it, of the depth, heart and clarity of the teachings that were offered there, the simplicity and comfort of the rooms, the companionship of the other retreatants, and the way in which we were all so well taken care of in so many ways. It is a place where goodness gathers and truth finds you.

– Mary P. Bangkok & UK

Dharmagiri: A heartful space

It’s difficult to write about my experience of Dharmagiri without sharing what happens deep within my body. A gentle settling, a sense of coming to rest, a breathing out as I am welcomed into a sacred space that is both safe and kind. The mountain, the little shrine room and the meditation room all provide a nurturing container for healing at many levels. Kittisaro and Thanissara’s exquisite teachings touch my heart in a deeply sacred, often challenging and always joyful way. The quiet ongoing support of the staff, the wisdom of other teachers and of course the nourishing food adds a richness to my expereince. Each time I leave Dharmagiri my heart is full, there is a lightness in my step and I feel refreshed. I am so grateful and feel blessed that Dharamgiri is part of my life.

– Barbara G. East London

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