• Bitten by the whale watching bug Bitten by the whale watching bug We don’t realise how lucky we are in South Africa, and in particular the Western Cape, to have the mightiest of the marine mammals visit our coastline between every year ...
  • The Whale Trail The Whale Trail The Whale Trail is not a new trail, having been around since about 2002, but it has become extremely popular. It is truly a unique experience, perhaps comparable with ...
  • 10 Pamper-Perfect Spas in South Africa 10 Pamper-Perfect Spas in South Africa Combine your trip to South Africa with a relaxing, revitalising visit to a health spa and experience Africa at it's finest. Our favourite 10 Pamper-Perfect Spas in South Africa are ...
  • Locals share their favourite getaways Locals share their favourite getaways We ask 30 local South Africans to share their favourite holiday destinations and getaways with us. From the more popular destinations like Knysna and the Kruger Park to ...
  • The Oude Skip hike The Oude Skip hike The Oude Skip walk shares portions of its hike with the larger Karbonkelberg Traverse, which is roughly seven hours of hard walk from Hout Bay harbour to Llandudno ...
  • 10 Amazing Game Lodges 10 Amazing Game Lodges South Africa is world renowned for her game reserves and wildlife. The lodges which allow us to experience these in luxury are no less awe inspiring. Our favourites are ...
  • 101 Things to Do with Kids in Cape Town 101 Things to Do with Kids in Cape Town As much as your kids will tell you they can’t wait for the school holidays, the words "I’m bored" inevitably cross their lips. Our "101 things to do with kids in Cape Town" will ...
  • "World's most beautiful Cities" "World's most beautiful Cities" Open space makes Cape Town special. Renowned English sea navigator Sir Francis Drake once referred to Cape Town as the fairest cape in the world. The city houses the ...

Find Accommodation in South Africa
Subscribe to our Feed
Posted on: Wednesday, 4 September 2013

A Winter weekend getaway to the Highlands Meander

Send to Kindle

For Gauteng residents, it will only take a 2-3 hour drive from the bustle of the city to reach the tranquility of the Mpumalanga Highlands Meander.  This area calls to all lovers of nature, rock climbers, fly fishing enthusiasts and bird watchers.  For those who wouldn’t mind taking a walk through the history books of South Africa, you’ll find many reminders and monuments of a time gone by.

The town of Belfast welcomes visitors as the gateway to the Meander.  This is a mining town and quality coal, iron, granite and black granite form a big part of this town’s economy.  Fly fishers will find joy here and whilst the flowers are known to be spectacular in Spring, Winter time yields the most beautiful orange colour in Aloes which are dotted around the bushveld. The Anglo Boer Monument called Berg-en-dal is only a short drive away.


Rainbow Lodge
Photograph: At Rainbow Lodge in Belfast, Moumalanga

Stay on a small farm at Rainbow Lodge where you can really kick back and find peace on the farm.  Sleep in one of four Swiss style cottages all situated near to the fishing dam.  Couples can enjoy quality time in a log cabin with an open plan living area which allows you to blissfully watch the fire from bed. The family cottages also have fireplaces so everyone can snug on a weekend away. Fishermen bring your gear, as there are three dams on the farm and all are stocked with Black Bass and Rainbow Trout. To stretch your legs, take a brisk walk in the forest and enjoy the outdoors.

It was between 1884 and 1887 when Dutch immigrants began settling on farms of Elandslaagte and Grootsuikerboskop.  Dullstroom gets its name from the group’s chairman, Wolterus Dull. Here bird lovers can visit Velorenvallei Nature Reserve and try spot the Blue Crane, Crowned Crane and Wattled Crane.

Stay in the countryside of Dullstroom at Schaefers’ Halt historic cottages.  With delightful names such as The Snug, The Cosy, Cloud Cottage and Wind Song, you’ll be bound to find a bit of magic in each one- Magic being scenic mountain views, open fire-places, Persian rugs and a private veranda with a kettle barbeque. One has 1930’s furnishings, another a natural spring and the Cloud cottage is the best starting point for hikes and walks.


Stonecutters Lodge
Photograph: Stonecutters Lodge is situated between Dullstroom and Lydenburg

A lodge which lies between Dullstroom and Lynderburg is the Stonecutter’s Lodge. If you’re keen to visit the Kruger National Park or other private game reserves nearby this is the perfect place to overnight or stopover. Keep warm in the Stone Manor, a gathering area for guests to visit the pub, sit in front of the fire or watch TV. The actual self-catering suites have under floor heating and offer mountain views from covered, wooden decks and a Jet-master gas braai. The Trout house is a double story overlooking the dams with a fireplace and a lapa bonfire. Guests can enjoy ‘catch and release’ fly fishing in the two dams on the property and river.

Lynderburg was founded in 1849 by a group of Voortrekkers and positioned at the bottom of the Long Tom Pass on the Highland Escarpment. Whilst here, visit the Klingbiel Nature Reserve, Lydenburg Musuem, Mashishing Township and view pristine examples of Transvaal architecture from early years (see more here).

Within Waterval Boven, you will find the Rocky Drift Nature Reserve which will thrill rock climbers and hikers. You may spot wild life such as Steenbok, velvet monkeys, leopards and bush bucks amongst many. The important position of this this town along the railway line to Mozambique meant it was a well-used route between the Anglo-Boer War.


Dullstroom, Highlands Meander
Photograph: Dullstroom, Highlands Meander, Mpumalanga

Stay at Bergwaters Eco Lodge and Spa in the valley between Waterval Boven and Waterval Onder. Forests, mountain streams and fireplaces await. There are other places to keep warm such as the sauna, pub and playing tennis or squash.

Other Useful Links

The Highlands Meander
Highlands Meander Accommodation
Mpumalanga Accommodation

Lauren Manuel McShane


Six continents later, Lauren Manuel McShane still has itchy feet and wanderlust for adventure in all corners of the earth. She recently married the love of her life and together they are traveling the world pausing only to find work, take photos and write. She is currently in Asia and sharing everything about her expat life on The Travel Manuel.

Related Posts: