DULLSTROOM – THE IDEAL CHRISTMAS DESTINATION
A crackling log fire, mulled wine, fresh cut pine trees decorated with tinsel and lights, mince pies, carols, Christmas Dinner, the joy of being with family and close friends in a warm and friendly atmosphere... Sorry, I got a bit carried away there, dreaming of a traditional White Northern Hemisphere Christmas – we don't have Christmases like that. We live in the sunny and hot Southern Hemisphere, don't we? Ok, now I'm getting totally confused, I really was talking about Christmas in Dullstroom.
The traditional and usually rather raucous Christmas Carols at the Dullstroom Inn on Christmas Eve are often accompanied by pouring rain. This does not, however, deter the carolers. Traditional Christmas hymns, such as Silent Night, Jingle Bells and the Sticky Pudding song are belted out, often all at the same time, depending on whether you are part of the inside or outside crowd. The piano player becomes an accessory, not a guide, and Stephen spends most of his time trying to coordinate the hymns between inside and outside. No matter, great fun is had by all.
Once the carols are over, people disperse to family meals at home, or an evening in one of the restaurants, offering traditional and not-so traditional Christmas fare. All the restaurants in Dullstroom stay open for Christmas Eve Dinner, and many offer a special Christmas meal, accompanied by gifts and a general feeling of great Christmas cheer, that has absolutely nothing to do with the copious quantities of sherry, port and other beverages that flow freely during the course of the evening.
Christmas morning – little children awaken their long suffering parents (maybe something to do with the free flowing beverages of the night before?), long before the first chicken has crowed. What has Santa brought them? What is under the Christmas tree? A sense of palpable excitement starts to mount throughout the village as everyone, from the very young to the very old, waits for the tell tale tinkle of Christmas bells, and the Ho Ho Ho of Father Christmas.
And then we see him, coming along the road in a little donkey cart (reindeers tend to strike for higher wages at this time of year) - Father Christmas, Santa Claus, Old Nic, Papa Noel. A traditional figure in red suit and great white beard, bearing gifts for the children of Dullstroom – visitors and residents both. He emerges out of the mist or dust (depending on the weather), a figure of legend, albeit with a rather African twist. He knows all the children by name, and many of them know him by name, and so he makes his way through the village of Dullstroom, until finally he reaches his last destination, Epilepsy South Africa, where he disperses gifts to the residents, thus lighting up what could be a lonely day for many of them, spent away from their families.
Christmas Day in Dullstroom is traditionally a quiet one, to be spent with family and friends, whether you are a visitor to the village, or a resident. Few restaurants are open, and no shops. The frenetic pace of shopping, cooking and planning comes to a quiet halt, and the fruits of labour are enjoyed, with lunch, the opening of presents, and quality time spent together, often followed by a much needed afternoon nap, especially for those parents who were so rudely awakened at the crack of dawn.
Many of the residents of Dullstroom live here away from their friends and families. This is recognised, and no one in this village is left on their own – picnics, lunches, drinks – all are on offer, and no one need be alone at this special time.
Christmas services are held at both the Churches, with an English non-denominational service at the NG Kerk, all welcome. The Catholic Church also usually holds a service, and anyone interested can attend. This has not yet been confirmed for this year, but I'm sure it will go ahead, due to overwhelming popular demand.
Of course, Christmas is not always good cheer and happiness for everyone. The various charitable organisations in Dullstroom will always gladly welcome donations of gifts and food for their various benefactors. If you have clothes, food, gifts, toys, anything that might brighten the day of those less fortunate than yourself, please consider these organisations. Christmas should always be a time for reflection, for goodwill, and for thinking of others, especially those in pain, illness or need. Unfortunately there are so many people who do not have what we have, that we cannot possibly cater for everyone, but if each of us gives to just one person in need, that will certainly go a long way towards making this Christmas so much better for so many more.
For people still wondering where to spend their Christmas holiday, think of Dullstroom. We are close to many major cities, so you will not be sitting in endless streams of traffic to get here. Our weather over Christmas is always interesting. It can be hot, so spending a day by a dam or trout stream is the perfect option; it can be cold, misty and raining – what better way then than to spend your Christmas, as I started, by a roaring fire, with the warmth of family and friends surrounding you.
DULLSTROOM ACCOMMODATION – Francois Bothma, Bronwen Meurig-Evans, Sue-Marie de Klerk and Evelyn Roach, would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a wonderful festive season, with family and loved ones. We urge you to drive carefully, arrive alive, and think of others, but most of all, to remember the essence of Christmas, the reason for Christmas and the joy of Christmas.
HAVE A BLESSED CHRISTMAS, AND MAY THE NEW YEAR BRING YOU EVERY SUCCESS AND HAPPINESS.
DULLSTROOM – A PLACE TO BE PASSIONATE ABOUT
I am blessed, truly I am. I live in a beautiful place, I have great friends, and I enjoy my work. I love living in Dullstroom - I wake up in the morning, look over the Dullstroom mountain, if the mist allows, and I thank my guardian angels that I live here. I do not have to battle traffic to get my son and myself to school and work on time. I can drive home for my hour's lunch break, and get in a full hour, without wasting time getting there and back. Going to the supermarket or hardware store is never just a quick 5 minute trip – invariably there will be at least 2 or 3 people who I stop and have a chat with, catching up on news, or just generally passing the time of day. I love that I wave at practically every car that I drive past, because I know who is behind the wheel of that car. I am secure in knowing that I can walk into any pub or restaurant, as a single woman, and not be harrassed or feel out of place, but that I will be looked after by my friends and fellow Dullstroom residents. If I need to do extra shopping in Lydenburg, the drive is so beautiful and relaxing, that the whole trip is always a special occasion.
How many places do you know where every shop on the main street has gardens and flowers that, in spring and summer, are constantly being photographed by tourists from all over the world? Take time to look at the magnificent roses that line the Le Bamba Centre car park; travel across the road to Trams and their delicate roses and archways; and continue down the main road of Dullstroom – lilies of all colours, roses in abundance, irises, poppies and tulips – what a beautiful sight! Travel off the main road and look at the gardens – this is a difficult climate to grow plants in – harsh in winter, wet in summer, and prone to extended periods of cold, alternating with heat. Despite this, home owners have excelled in producing and maintaining gorgeous gardens, with lush shade trees, apples, figs and cherries, as well as plum trees that trail their branches on the ground when in full fruit.
I chose to live in Dullstroom and make it my home. I cannot believe that many people live here against their wishes. We have all invested in Dullstroom with our families, our lives, our homes. Now it is up to us to make Dullstroom the haven that we know it truly is. When I drive down my road and see someone littering, I stop and pick up the litter. I don't receive abuse, I am thanked. When I see the same person at a later stage, they wave, and tell me that they don't litter any more. One small step that can make such a huge difference. When people talk about ignorance and illiteracy, and dismiss an action because " well, they don't know any better", why stop there? Why not look at starting adult literacy classes, talking to kids in the schools and just leading by example?
I think that the DDD (Drive Dullstroom's Destiny) dustbin at the much maligned Caravan is a fantastic initiative – I would like to challenge businesses in Dullstroom to put up similar bins at places where people walk, or wait for transport, and especially at the Post Office for Pension Day. Surely we can advertise our businesses at the same time as keeping this town clean? The DDD has proved, by employing one previously unemployed person to pick up litter around town, that others follow good examples. The Town Council is now much more visible in the streets of Dullstroom – the staff wear clearly identifiable and smart overalls, and there is always a team of people working, either brushcutting pavements, picking up litter or doing general clean up work around town. Instead of complaining about how little our Council does, we should thank them for the work that they are doing, and encourage them to continue with this positive trend.
Dullstroom's predominant industry is tourism. It started many decades ago, with a few keen fly fisherman coming down to Dullstroom to escape the rat race and cast a line. Today, fly fishing is still a major incentive for people to come to this area, but, being in the tourism industry myself, I can also see how the profile of our guests is changing. Not all of them are coming here to fish – many visitors to our town come here because of our close proximity to the Gauteng / Middleburg / Nelspruit areas, as well as the fact that we are situated on the scenic drive to the lowveld and Kruger Park. They come because we offer quality accommodation, good food, interesting shops and a variety of things to do, from whisky tasting, clay pigeon shooting and general relaxation. Those of us who live here are all aware of this fact. We know that we live in a town based on tourism, and therefore we must all, no matter what we do here, promote that aspect of the town, and work together to make this town a beautiful and sought after destination. Without tourism, the majority of us would have to leave Dullstroom, a heart breaking thought.
So next time you have a problem with something in Dullstroom, be it service delivery, crime, the police, or unavailability of something that you need, stop and think about where you live and why you live here. Stop complaining, and instead turn the problem into a proactive solution. Take the negative and make it positive. Remember why you moved here in the first place – if we have bad service delivery, others have it worse; if we have a "crime wave", compare it to elsewhere and realise how low our crime rate, and especially violent crime rate, actually is. If our water is dirty, be thankful that most of the time these days it is clean – so clean that we can drink it from the taps, and not be suffocated by the stringent smell of chlorine.
Dullstroom, our small "drinking town with a fishing problem" is a wonderful place. We have wonderful people, beautiful homes and idyllic scenery. We do not battle with traffic, crime, violence, queues, crowds and incessant noise. Those of us who were not born here, came here for a reason. We are now raising a new generation of children born and brought up in this town – children who are free to walk or ride their bikes to school, play soccer or cricket together in the afternoons without parental supervision, and not spend their times indoors in shopping malls, entertainment centres and cinemas. We must take pride in Dullstroom, promote Dullstroom, and continue to upgrade our little village, not only for our visitors, but predominantly for ourselves. A town that is cared for will necesssarily attract others – to live, to visit, to invest.
Brought to you by Bronwen Meurig-Evans
013 254 0020 / email@example.com
DULLSTROOM - A SMALL VILLAGE WITH A BIG HEART
Dullstroom is a popular, pretty little village, situated in the picturesque highlands of Mpumulanga. To our visitors, the village offers fly fishing, shopping, fine dining, and other tourist attractions. However, as the village has grown over the years, fed by the tourism industry, more people have chosen to make it their permanent home, and today you will find many of these people helping worthy and charitable causes in the Dullstroom area, asking no remuneration and expecting no recognition for themselves.
EPILEPSY SA (MPUMLANGA) has for many years now had a large residential operation based in Dullstroom, after the previous Department of Education deeded the old school and its grounds to the erstwhile SANEL. Today, there are approximately 70 live-in residents, as well as 20 out- patients, who come in daily from Sakhelwe.
Epilepsy SA receives minimal funding from Lotto and the Goverment, and is often in dire need of food and other resources to continue. It's full time management staff of, inter alia, Beryl, Marianne, Elsie, Maria and Riette, all work extremely hard to keep the centre running, but many members of the Dullstroom community are also involved. Tuesday night dance classes run by Rina and Elize provide a diversion from a night of watching TV; make up and other personal hygiene and appearance consultations by Anita keep the lady residents feeling beautiful, while the Bingo evening at the residence, run by Stephen, is popular with all the residents. All these activities are run on a pro bono basis, by caring members of the Dullstroom Community. The monthly Bingo evening at Mrs Simpsons has donated money twice to Epilepsy SA this year.
In addition to these regular occasions, the yearly Christmas lunch has been hosted by various restaurants in Dullstroom, most particularly the Duck and Trout, and now Canimambo. This highly enjoyable luncheon is made possible by Dullstroom residents and visitors who want to make a difference. Christmas Day at Epilepsy SA is made special by the visit of Father Christmas, with presents for all the residents, donated by the community. The voluntary group, Helping Hands, also hosts a braai for the residents around Christmas time.
There are several residents who are employed in Dullstroom, such as Robert at Le Bamba, Eric and Harry, both certificated welders, who work for Frank Gaweda, and others employed at the workshops at Epilepy SA, that are rented out to private businesses, such as Jez Prettejohn, master pewter worker, and recycler of glass.
The Board met last week and re-elected new board members, one of whom is well known Remember, who lost a leg after a shooting incident whilst assisting the police in a crime investigation. This is good news, as we must always bear in mind that the centre is actually for people living with Epilepsy and other Disabilities.
EpilepsySA is not the only good cause in Dullstroom. A group of ladies living and working in Dullstroom have formed the Helping Hands group, and its subsidiary, the Friends of Helping Hands, for people who are unable to help directly, but help in other ways. Elsa Vermeulen has recently been voted as Chair of this group, and I spoke to her about a few of the projects that they have been involved in. Briefly, these ladies run on funds raised from a monthly morning market at Broekielace Barn, and a monthly donation from Dunkeld Estate. They use these funds to "adopt a resident" at Epilepsy SA for a month, as well as giving assistance to the Belfast Children's Home. A concert organised by them raised funds for the Hambanyati school to send its kids on an exursion to Durban. Other good deeds performed by them include Christmas food packets for the underpriviledged in Belfast, presents to the kids in the Home in Belfast, and birthday cards to each of the residents in Epilepsy SA. The ladies also help when needed at the monthly pension day, and try, when funds permit, to provide food for the pensioners as well.
Their project for 2011 is to start a new initiative involving locals care wise, not financially. The idea is to get locals involved in assisting those who are sick or in need, by visiting, reading to them, keeping them company, and possibly doing their shopping for them whilst they are unable to do so themselves. If you are interested in joining this initiative, you can email Else on firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you can phone me at my office, and I will give you Elsa's number.
The soup kitchen in Sakhelwe is made possible by the tireless efforts of Ingrid Plant and others, who personally collect ingredients weekly from restaurants and other donors in Dullstroom. At the moment, this is an informal initiative, providing a good meal to pensioners and indigent families in Sakhelwe. The soup kitchen operates from the post office in Sakhelwe every Thursday. At the moment, it funded by various fund raising events, in order to have money to supplement ingredients if donations fall short.
This upcoming weekend, the Church is holding a lunch in order to raise further funds for the Riekert children, whose mother was so sadly gunned down by her husband. After this tragic incident, the people of Dullstroom got together, and have provided funding for the children's further education, amongst other things.
When the tornado ripped through Sakhelwe and Dullstroom a couple of years ago, the flood of donations of blankets, building materials, temporary accommodation, and other items, made it possible for those who had lost homes to rebuild within an extremely short time. Money was raised from as far away as Hong Kong, where Lyndsay Walker, a farm owner in the area, organised a substantial amount from friends, in Hong Kong, the UK and South Africa. The Dullstroom Muslim Community is also actively involved in many projects aimed at helping those in need, and provided great assistance during the aftermath of the tornado.
PSILUVU was formed by Claire Taylor and Val Evans to raise funds for pet sterilization and immunisation in Sakhelwe, and for the sterilization of feral cats in Dullstroom. Unfortunately, after our vet Eda left, the sterilization programme has had to end, but the dipping in Sakhelwe continues to be well attended. There is also an active branch of Border Collie Rescue in Dullstroom, run by the same two ladies. They raise funds for the rescue and fostering of Border Collies around the country, by selling second hand books and other items Saturday mornings at the De Waal Centre, next door to Canimambo.
I could go on for pages about good deeds performed in Dullstroom. What I want to achieve in this page is the realisation that Dullstroom is a wonderful village, with a real sense of community and charity, no matter where it might be needed. This is what makes this little village so special – the real heart of a community.
DULLSTROOM – STRAIGHT FROM OUR VISITORS' MOUTHS
Dullstroom is a town that relies on tourism – tourism is our main industry, and it is what has put Dullstroom on the map. Every visitor to this town is special and important to us – whether you visit for a day, stay for a weekend, or own a holiday home here, you are what makes this town what it is. This article is going to poke just a little bit of fun at our visitors, with statements made by various people over the years, that have been talked and chuckled over by the locals.
"Do you really live here?" When I first came to Dullstroom, I would answer with pride that, yes, I lived here and I worked here. Then we would start talking about what it is like to live here, what we do here, etc. But after a while, and numerous times of hearing this question, I started to think about it. Here I am, working in Dullstroom, and a visitor asks me if I live here. Surely the answer is obvious – of course I live here – I certainly don't commute from anywhere else to work here. My highlight regarding this question was a visitor who asked the question, and in his second breath, said "OK, just press that replay taperecorder button and But this question is also an opportunity to market Dullstroom, as it is inevitably followed up by: "But what do you do here?" I often redirect that question back to the person who asked it, and they tell me what they do back where they live. And they are generally very surprised when I tell them that I do much the same thing – I visit friends, I eat out, I go shopping, I work, I take my son to school, to soccer practise, etc. Sure, if I want to do a large shopping, I go to Lydenburg, Nelspruit or Witbank. I prefer Lydenburg, it has basically everything that I need, and is a lovely ½ hour drive, through beautiful scenery, no traffic, no traffic lights. It took me half an hour to drive from Parkhurst to Randburg to visit my Gran – now I walk around the block for tea.
In addition to normal, every day activities, however, I can go fishing at beautiful venues any time I want to; there is clay pigeon shooting for locals on Wednesdays; I can walk down at the dam, 2 minutes from my house, climb the mountain and see game grazing 20 metres away from me. I can walk my dogs down the railway line to the river under the railway bridge, without keeping them on a lead, and let them splash in the water.
"What do we do for a social life?", we are asked. Apart from the social life at the pubs, with a happy hour every weekday night, there is a bridge club, 2 well attended book clubs, a tennis club for the "oldies", the gentleman's fishing club on Thurday mornings (not sure what the ratio of fishing vs whisky consumption is), a wildflower club, a garden club, regular art classes for aspirant local artists, cheese making courses, a gym with personal instruction if needed, mountain biking trails and training camps, horse riding, and of course, fly fishing. For a quiet evening at home, we can get takeaways, and chill in front of a DVD from the DVD shop. There is also the Bingo evening at Mrs Simpsons on the first Monday of each month, with a donation given to a worthy cause decided by those present on the night. Quiz night at the Duck and Trout tests brains, and pits worthy opponents against each other in a bitter battle to be the best. I believe darts night and poker night are also very popular at the Dullstroom Inn with various locals.
Being in the front line of the tourism industry by doing accommodation for many of our visitors, I get asked a lot of questions, and some of them just stick as classics. I had an enquiry from a lady who'd heard that Dullstroom was in the mist belt. What dates must she book, so that she will be staying during a misty period? Dullstroom is reminiscent of the Scottish Highlands, all the more so when it is misty. However, our weather patterns are pretty irregular, and to be able to predict the dates that our famous mist will come rolling in – not even I have The Power.
On the other side of the coin are the guests who insist that they will be needing a swimming pool – the fact that they are booking in the middle of winter seems not to be a problem. Temperatures in winter in Dullstroom plummet regularly to sub zero, with the wind chill bringing them down many more degrees. Water pipes and hoses burst, any water surfaces have to have the ice broken off them, and the grass is pure white with frost most mornings. And yet a swimming pool remains an adament requirement.
Another recent phenomenon is the reliance placed on GPS's. A recent guest, after asking for our GPS coords, which I gave him, then ignored our directions to Dullstroom that we send with a confirmation, ignored the Dullstroom 33 kms sign in Belfast and drove to Roossenekal, because that was where his GPS said he should go. He then informed me that I obviously had no idea as to where I lived. Another guest has turned off at the Kruisfontein Road, next to the Bird of Prey, and done the entire Kruisfontein loop, in a Mercedes, because his GPS told him to go that way, even though he could see the entrance to Dullstroom directly in front of him.
I also have the priviledge of working weekend nights at a busy restaurant, and this really is where the gems crop up: "So, is the duck actually chicken?"; "I see the fillet is served on horseradish mash – I don't eat horse, I want beef"; or the stunned silence from guests when the manageress, under a lot of pressure, unthinkingly asked them "just how many hands do you think I have?".
Whatever the comments, we treasure them, we talk about them, and we laugh about them. There are so many more that I have not remembered here, or have not even heard mentioned by locals, that we could probably write a book about them. But in the meantime, remember what people say to you, pass it on, and it will go down in the anals of Dullstroom's memories of its visitors, to be rehashed, discussed and chuckled over.
DULLSTROOM: SELF CATERING ACCOMMODATION IN THE VILLAGE
I came to Dullstroom almost 15 years ago. A lot has changed in those 15 odd (sometimes extremely odd) years, especially with regard to the trend of people renting out houses in the Village to visitors, for weekend or other short term rentals.
15 years ago, Gerda Whitehorn was starting Dullstroom Accommodation, from her front verandah of the historic house Van de Pol, where she lived.
Van de Pol is now a 10 sleeper holiday house, with regular sightings of a “lady” being reported by diverse guests. Sally Lunns Coffee Shop and Accommodation was operated from Critchley Corner, where Country Corner Café now operates. Between the two businesses, there were no more than approximately 15 houses in the village itself that were available for weekend rental.
Since those early years, the discovery of Dullstroom by people from the major centres desperate to just get away for a weekend, but in need of self catering facilities, with a garden, braai area, and easy access to the town itself, has led to rather dramatic changes in the traditional visitors to Dullstroom. Many of the houses now available for holiday rental have been newly built in the last 10 – 12 years, almost purely as income earners. These houses range in occupancy capacity from 2 to 4 sleepers, such as at the Ambers and the Artist Cottages at le Quartier, to very large houses, including the new Barn House, sleeping 10, Hacklefree, also a 10 sleeper, and many 6 to 8 sleepers. Prices range from approximately R165/head/night to R450/R500, depending on the type of accommodation and the time of year.
The new developments in town, Oak Lane, Fairstreams, and Stonefields, have also
proved to be exceptionally popular, along with the older development of Critchley Common.
proved to be exceptionally popular, along with the older development of Critchley Common.
Looking at the demographics of visitors to Dullstroom who want to stay in the town, we are experiencing a rise in younger, more affluent couples, not always with children, who want to relax, feel safe, unwind, and let off a bit of steam. They are accustomed to upmarket homes, and expect the same in their holiday accommodation. The new houses at Oak Lane, particularly, fulfil these requirements, along with the added advantage of access to the members’ dam below the development. This is open to all guests of houses that have valid permits for the dam. Even if they don’t fish, they have the opportunity to walk down to the dam, go up the mountain, or just let their children run in an open, safe and rural environment. They are also not required to come in a 4x4, or high clearance vehicle, as they don’t leave the village to get to their destination. Critchley Common also offers safe accommodation, easy walking distance to the bottom centre of town, and a pretty area below the houses for families to unwind in
With the proliferation of crime in major urban centres, many of our Dullstroom visitors are justifiably concerned with security. Gone are the days of an open garden, or a fence and unlocked gate. More and more Dullstroom property owners are investing in such things as palisades, walls and electric gates. This is not because these are particularly necessary in Dullstroom, but because our visitors are not comfortable without security. This is another aspect that enhances the developments, as they are all securely walled or fenced, and there is close proximity of other people, adding to the feeling of security.
However, for those visitors who don’t feel the need for security of this type, there are many houses still in the village, such as the charming country feel Polystickle,
Shady Oak, Skye High and Sneezewood Cottages, that retain country charm, without being enclosed by high walls, etc. They also have larger gardens, which enable children to run and let off steam, and parents to have leisurely braais outside.
Dullstroom is a beautiful place to live in, and a lovely place to visit. We have accommodation to suit all types, of which I have only talked about self catering venues in the village itself. There is a multitude of other types of accommodation available, from basic overnight rooms, to more upmarket B&B’s and hotels. Out of town, there are many farms that have either built new cottages, or renovated old farm houses, for weekend visitors. Whatever your taste in accommodation, it can be matched in Dullstroom. Once here, Dullstroom village will welcome you, and make you feel like a long lost friend.
For any enquiries about accommodation, please call DULLSTROOM ACCOMMODATION, 013 254 0020, or email us on email@example.com.
DULLSTROOM: REASONS TO VISIT US
Dullstroom, traditionally known for its icy climes, fly fishing, and whisky in front of a roaring fire, summer and winter, has evolved over the past couple of decades into a town that attracts anglers, birders, honeymooners, families, outdoor enthusiasts and people looking to just relax.
The Dullstroom of today is a vibrant little town, boasting two churches, a monthly Catholic meeting and a mosque, junior schools in Sakhelwe and Dullstroom, a senior school in Sakhelwe, and three crèches. We have a chemist, hardware store, a bottle store, 2 supermarkets, a butchery, a fresh veg shop, building suppliers and 3 fishing shops. Boutique shops along the main road of Dullstroom abound, together with décor and gift shops, beauticians, a kitchen design shop and the famous Christmas shop, selling Christmas supplies year round. Internationally renowned artist Dimitrov has chosen Dullstroom as his home and has a gallery here. Quality second hand books, as well as the antique shop, make for interesting browsing, for that book you’ve been looking for, or that “thingamajig” that reminds you of your granny’s lounge.
Previously based in Paris, hairdresser and makeup artist Trevor Conn can be found at Broekielace Barn, giving makeovers and advising ladies (and some men) on how to look their very best. The Vygenhoek Spa on the Kruisfontein Road is part of the Camelot organic group, and is an experience not to be missed in the pampering line. For a facial, mani- or pedi, there are 2 beauticians in town, while 2 spas in the village, and one at Dunkeld, ensure that you have no excuse to have your city cares gently massaged away.
Of course, shopping isn’t for everybody. However, we all must eat, and Dullstroom is a culinary delight. You can choose from pub meals, takeaways and light lunches, great coffees and interesting tea times. The hotels offer set menus or a la carte, while various restaurants around town offer dining experiences comparable to your favourite Gauteng restaurant in quality, service and ambience. Remember, it is always best to book for any of the restaurants, as they tend to be busy, and it’s always best to avoid disappointment by making that one little call.
Sport, of course, is very important, and all the pubs are showing cricket, soccer and rugby, with great vibes, football pools, and excellent company. Enjoy draft beer, good whisky or wine, in the warm, lively atmosphere of the pubs, to the accompaniment of a crackling fire, a good meal, and likewise minded sporting fans. All pubs are dog and children friendly, provided the children are well behaved, of course.
Should you wish to be a little more active, you can go clay pigeon shooting, quad bike and/or horse riding, hiking at the Dullstroom Mountain or taking in an entertaining and highly informative show at the Bird of Prey Centre, just out of Dullstroom. The Highland Gate Ernie Else 9 hole golf course is available to play on, by appointment only, and nature walks conducted by a local expert take in the local, indigenous fauna and flora, including the vast amount of indigenous orchids, that are endemic to this area only. Cheese making courses are available in Tonteldoos, where you can also enjoy a great cup of coffee and do a cheese tasting lunch, before loading up on superb locally made cheeses.
Regular cricket and touch rugby matches are a tradition in Dullstroom, held on the Joint Sports Ground. If you would like to play against Dulllstroom in one of these sports, I’m sure Jonathon at Mavungana will be only too happy to arrange a meeting. This area is fantastic for mountain biking, and Greg Horn has set out various courses, ranging in length and difficulty, for mountain biking enthusiasts. High altitude training is partaken here by sportsmen from around the world, and Olympic and other athletes can frequently be seen training in and around Dullstroom, and making use of the High Altitude gym, that is also available for day or weekend passes.
I have not mentioned fly fishing yet. Well, this is what Dullstroom was known for long before the Finders Keepers clock in the wall, know to be seen at the Dullstroom Inn, where it was originally hidden. The 3 fly fishing shops in the town are all staffed by highly experienced and knowledge staff, who can advise you on conditions, flies that work, good waters, types of line, etc. They will also give casting lessons, and generally set you on your way to the unique experience of fly fishing. There are various waters available to the public for fly fishing, should you not be fortunate enough to be staying on a farm with its own waters. Of course, there’s always the one that got away – then you can stop in at Millies or one of the deli’s and buy ready prepared trout and trout products, to take home with you.
If you lose your heart to this little town of ours, there are several Estate Agents in the village, all with your dream farm or home, or an investment in Dullstroom. Accommodation can be booked through 2 accommodation agents in the village, both offering high quality venues, matched by their own professional service.
If you have anything that you would like me to include in this column pertaining to Dullstroom – specials, events, sales, promotions, etc, please either phone me at DULLSTROOM ACCOMMODATION, 013 254 0020, fax me 013 254 0234 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. I would like to use this column as a forum for promoting business in Dullstroom, and assisting visitors to the area. It is not for complaints – there are other forums for those.
Till next month, stay warm
013 254 0020 / firstname.lastname@example.org