I have always wanted to visit Dulstroom for three reasons:
– The scenery
– To eat trout – one of my favourite dishes
– General FOMO.
We arrived bang on lunch time – I would call that perfect planning. According to the art gallery owner, one of the best places to eat trout in Dullstroom is Pickles and Things. I had the trout stuffed with mushrooms which was delicious. We then set off to find our accommodation which was a slight challenge. An hour or so later we drove up a drive through a canopy of trees. We were given a room overlooking the trout lakes and the beautiful garden.
We went to meet the other guests downstairs for pre-dinner drinks and I rudely had one eye on poor Venus Williams getting beaten at Wimbledon. We sat down to a five course meal washed down with a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon. The next morning, just after sunrise, we went to explore the footpath through the trees and around the lakes. After breakfast we set off again to the Kruger National Park.
After entering the Paul Kruger Gate, the cars started piling up. There were two leopards in a tree. The leopard siting was great but the traffic jam not so great. More and more cars trying to enter the park started piling up behind us, which caused a lot of aggression in some drivers. An hour later a ranger came to direct the traffic and pacify a few drivers.
Luckily the lodge was so kind to keep lunch for us and we dined on more trout which was perfect.
The next morning we were the only guests on our game drive and our field ranger agreed to take us on a bush walk. He taught us the names of the trees, the flowers – the Impala lily is now my favourite plant and showed us a few interesting tricks like how to make a toothbrush etc. We bumped into two large male giraffes who kept a cautious watch over us under long lashes.
Dinner was beautifully set up in the boma with lanterns hanging from the trees dotting the sky. We were served Blesbok loin, Dorado, chicken and a huge variety of salads. For dessert we had deconstructed apple pie. At the fire there were long sticks available to “braai” a few marshmallows with bowls of chocolate to dip it in (just in case the marshmallows were not sweet enough).
After two nights of indulgence we set off to Sabi Sands. As we entered our suite I was blown away with the style, luxury and elegance of our accommodation for the next two nights. We had the most amazing view of the Sabi River with a large herd of elephants grazing on the opposite bank. There was beautiful soft African music playing in our lounge, a well stocked mini bar complete with bottles of champagne, Amarula etc. There were binoculars and a bird book at the desk with fast Wi-Fi.
We were contemplating spending the next two days in our suite, enjoying the view, lying by our private infinity swimming pool and reading all the great quality coffee table books on offer.
Well no rest for the wicked, at 6am we had our coffee and biscotti delivered through a hatch in our lounge and at 6:30 we were out on a game drive. I will not bore you with our sitings but during our four days in the bush we saw the Big 5, a serval, mongoose, giraffe, loads of antelope, squirrels, a chameleon, a few interesting bird species like an African Grass Owl etc.
As always we were so sad to leave the bush but felt happy, inspired and motivated to go back to work.