The Best Places to Stay on the Highlands Meander ~ Three of South Africa’s top self-drive routes – the Highlands Meander, the Panorama Route and the lesser-known Waterfalls Route – take in some of the most incredible mountain scenery the country has to offer.
All of them are in Mpumalanga where you can also access the Kruger National Park with ease.
Scroll down for the best places to stay on the Highlands Meander
Mpumalanga straddles the Drakensberg Mountains, combining both Lowveld and Highveld in a mix of humid grasslands and cool, quiet forests. Trout fishing, hiking and misty forest hikes are high on the agenda.
Dullstroom is, without doubt, the highlight town of the Highlands Meander South Africa (we’ve plenty of places to stay in Dullstroom on our list below) but it gets busy, particularly over weekends.
We’ve plenty of other out of the way places, beautiful spaces, on the Highlands Meander – anything from boutique hotels to farm stays and trout lodges.
Wherever you stay, the Highlands Meander South Africa will get under your skin – the views, the dams, the trout fishing, the hideaways – we know you’ll be back for more.
10kms from Dullstroom, cute outdoes itself at Lake Heron in the form of three farm cottages in the Elandskloof Valley with a play on stone, wooden beds, simplicity and country living. But the best is the views over the dams and the surrounding hills. Did we mention the wildlife?
Choose from four Karoo-huisie reminiscent self-catering chalets with great views from their wooden verandahs, and characterful furnishings. But really, you’re here for the rainbow trout fly fishing, the views, game drives, hiking and escape from it all.
You’re going to love this selection of four stone cottages (self-catering) in amongst the blue gum trees on a large property in Dullstroom. Think misty mornings, wood fires, fly fishing, mountain biking, walks and access to snow in winter.
One of the best places to stay on the Highlands Meander, choose from two contemporary-cottage-style houses with spacious rooms, fireplaces and fully equipped kitchens so that you can self-cater. They even have underfloor heating for those chilly winters.
De Ark is romance with a capital ‘R’ – from the wallpaper to the heavy velvet drapes, you’ll love the Baroque, Edwardian, Tudor, Gothic and Italian Renaissance rooms. There’s a garden gazebo, the dining room is hung with period art pieces, and there’s an English pub. What more could you want from your accommodation?
Think farmstay, activities out in nature and views to match. Verlorenkloof has three crofts that sleep six and 10 each, fully equipped for self-catering stays. Careful, though, you might not want to leave … making this one of our best places to stay on the Highlands Meander.
Riverside accommodation in only seven spacious suites where glass and stone feature prominently to blend with the natural peacefulness of the area. Think your own fireplace, mosaic sunken bath and luxurious deck, and if you’re tired of relaxing then there is lunch on the terrace or a stroll along the river.
Think of Stonecutters as your halfway stopover en route to Kruger, to experience trout fishing in the midst of the mountains, your views unspoilt by anything man made. Stay in family houses, Stone Cottage or the Trout House (Cobbles studios are perfect for couples).
Just outside Lydenburg, get lost in amongst the shady willow trees, rolling lawns and the opportunity to sip your coffee enjoying the sunrise over the Long Tom Pass. Quirky, beautiful and comfortable in equal measure gets this guest house included in our list of the best places to stay on the Highlands Meander.]
Just outside Lydenburg, the view from the balcony of the self-catering house on this trout estate alone is worth a booking. One could sit here all day and pay little heed to anything pressing other than the odd fly fishing or hiking.
Tucked into the foothills of the Drakensberg, on the banks of the Elands River, with beautiful views from the windows, this hotel has gorgeous gardens and colourful and tastefully furnished rooms and lounge areas.
Set in an historical stone building with a green tin roof, a front stoep on which to enjoy breakfast and the garden, this accommodation option gives you country village at its best, with just a hint of Irish pub thrown into the mix. You’ll be happy and comfortable here.
Other no less beautiful places
Bush luxury surrounded by archaeological ruins, incredible scenery and rivers you’re going to enjoy these rustic luxury tents with en-suite bathrooms and outdoor ‘bush’ bathrooms (and that library!). If you’re even vaguely leopard-aware then their Leopard Research Programme will interest you.
Between Dullstroom & Belfast, you’re going to love these contemporary dam-side cottages on Blue Crane Farm (named for the breeding pair that took to nesting on one of the big dam’s islands recently). Not only are the dams over which you look well stocked with trout for fly fishing, but the scenery is pretty gorgeous and there are springbuck, belsbuck, zebra and Vaal rhebuck to catch a glimpse of too.