The village, situated at 2100m above sea level in the Steenkampsberg range, dates back to the early 1880's, when Dutch settlers came to the area. The town derives its name from one Wolterus Dull, chairman of the Dutch immigrants. The "stroom" (stream) refers to the abundance of water in the area: The Crocodile River, which runs through the Kruger National Park, has its origin in Dullstroom. Other major tributaries, like the Lunsklip, Klip River, Steelpoort and Elands River, do not only feed important rivers and marshlands, but have also become synonymous with some of the best trout fishing in the country.
The area is known for its cool, sub-alpine climate and its misty atmosphere, reminiscent of the Scottish Highlands. It is also known as habitat for the three endangered cranes, a vast variety of wild flowers and rare species of mammals - a true paradise for the nature lover.
But Dullstroom and surrounds is primarily a haven for family fun, fly-fishing and country fresh air. The wide selection of elegant hotels and a variety of country accommodation, eateries, shops and activities, have made this an appealing tourist destination and an ideal stop-over on the way to the Lowveld and Kruger Park.
At 2097m above sea level, the crisp mountain air has a fresh bite to it - a healthy recommendation for a break-away from city life.
Sipping red wine while enjoying the warmth of a log fire, is an accredited Dullstroom activity - ask the Red Wine Poet Society? All establishments have fireplaces - and Dullstroom's weather ensures that they are used all year round.
Dullstroom's village and farm environment offers the ideal opportunity for families to bond in beautiful natural surroundings - be it at trout waters, on horseback, bird watching or engaging in the vast variety of nature related activities.Children of all ages are welcomed into establishments - even the pubs are family (and dog) friendly. (Granted - the odd hotel or two offers protection against under 12's.)
Airventures: Dave: 082 600 5388. Groups of 4 or combined bookings. Explore the Dullstroom highlands from a bird's-eye view of majestic mountains and plunging waterfalls. Half hour flights from Sweetwaters farm R175pp: gunns@dullstroom net
Valleispruit Trap shoot: 013 254-0228 or 082 922-1877; Archery & clay-pigeon shooting: 7km from Dullstroom on Kruisfontein rd (Belfast side of town). Fully equipped range with instructor; individuals or team building groups.
Dunkeld Country Estate: 013 2540814; 3km from town on Tonteldoos road, offers a range of outdoor activities: Clay-pigeon shooting, archery, game viewing by horseback and hiking trails.
Elandskloof Horse Trails: 082 442 9766; 013 2540301 Take Machado dirt road, 9km from town; after 5km, turn left to Elandskloof. Horse & pony rides for novice or experienced rider. Game rides (2hrs+), weekend trails under supervision of Dave & Rhoda.
Dullstroom Ranch: By appointment with Michael:083 2707 606. 1200ha farm land;15 min drive from town. Enjoy outrides on horseback to splendid views. No children under 12.
Two hour guided wetland walks to Ndebele ruins, field orchids and waterfall.
4 x 4 Driver's course (15 challenge) and 8km trail (R100) to Ndebele ruins and panoramic view of Elands River valley. R300/course
Klipbankspruit Horse Trails (in Tonteldoos area, 33km) 082 4011 854: Day trips and weekend tours - a special pub crawling experience on horseback.
Ratelspruit: 013 2540831 - 32 km from town Horse-riding: 1-3 hrs to waterfall Easy day hikes (12km) along 5 waterfalls - 32km from Dullstroom. R25/pp/day. Easy 13km 4x4 drive alongside magnificent waterfalls. R120/vehicle.
Drives from Dullstroom:
Kruisfontein road: 42km self-drive loop around town 2km either side of town; 4x4 recommended.
The Lowveld and "Big five towns" Pilgrim's Rest, Sabie, Hazyview, Graskop are an hour and a half's drive from Dullstroom.
Visit Tonteldoos' attractions: 24km dirt road - high clearance vehicle in rainy season: By appointment only: local products on purchase
Kristalwater Mampoer Distillery 013 2540722 See and taste the fruit of the kettle?
Pendlehill Dairy: Pascale 013 254-0073 Taking the dairy industry back a 100yrs - makers of natural organic cheeses, no colourants or preservatives.
Froggy Pond Lavender Farm: 013 254-0207 Share author Patricia Wade's love of lavender.
Tonteldoos Barn: 013 254-0702; tea garden with home-made eats and light lunches; local products on sale
Sport, Fitness & Beauty
Altitude Training Centre: next to Dullstroom Inn 072 263 7463 Mon-Fri 06:00-10:00; 14:00-19:00; Sat 14:00-19:00; Sun 16:00-19:00 Free weights, circuit, aerobics, kickboxing
Tennis courts next to Critchley Corner - key at Milly's
Golf: Lydenburg (65km) 013 235-2537
Belfast (36km) 9 hole 013 253-0701
Bicycle hire: Dullstroom Reservations: 013 254-0254
Style Africa Hair & Beauty Salon 072 5141120 Cindy. Tonsanby Wells. Mon - Sat 09:00-17:00; Hair, nails, sun bed; call-outs for brides by appointment.
Art & Entertainment
Dullstroom Art Gallery 082 332 0567 (next to Dullstroom Inn) Daily 09:00-17:00; prominent SA artists, original works
Stonehouse Gallery 083 260 7960 (Main rd next to DieTonteldoos Bistro) Daily 10:00-17:00 closed Wed; leading local artists, esp Edmund Barton; stained glass
Glass Creations - stained glass work by appointment Yvette 082 957 3600
Ross van Reenen - local sculptor 083 267-9757
Dullstroom Video Shop @ gym next to Dullstroom Inn (see gym hrs) 072 263-7463
Magic Lantern Books 072 341-7080; Tina @ 188 Oranje Nassau St; wide range of 2nd hand books - fishing, Africa, cookery, gardening, hobbies & crafts, novels
Fauna & Flora
The area offers a wealth of wild flowers, ground orchids, small antelope and predators. Verloren Valei nature reserve was granted Ramsar status with the turn of the century - as Wetland of International Importance. On the 5900ha reserve, 14km from Dullstroom, wattled crane chicks are reared in isolation for captive breeding.Verloren Valei Nature Reserve 013 2540799 Guided tours strictly by prior appointment. The reserve is open for special interest groups such as birders, orchid societies, butterfly, Field Trail clubs and wing shooting for sustainable utilisation.
Flowering peak: Nov to Jan.Our neighbouring village Tonteldoos, is home to the beautiful yellow arum lily Zantedeschia pentlandii, the Reitzii aloe and rare orchid species like the Disa zuluensis.
Bird of Prey Centre at Owl & Oak 013 2540777 9km on Lydenburg rd; open 9:00 - 16:30.
Daily live displays at 10:30 & 14:30 - see the hunting and survival techniques of raptors.
Adults R25; R10 for u/16's, u/3 free.
Highlands Crane Group - crane outings 013 254-0191
Escarpment Bird Club - 013 254-0051
Dullstroom's eateries number more than 13, excluding dining facilities at the numerous hotels in the area. Some epicureans travel from Gauteng for lunch - no effort too great for a fine meal and warm ambience.
Dullstroom's high altitude (the nearby De Berg is 2300m above sea level) makes it a popular training ground for athletes from all over the world. The celebrity list includes cyclists, long distance runners, ice skaters, race walkers and orienteering athletes - from Comrades winners to Olympic gold medallists.
Hiking@dullstroom: enquire at info offices
Dullstroom Dams: From the main road, turn left at Total garage, pass Dullstroom Inn, follow signs to dams.
To Anglo-Boer War graves: Pass Dullstroom Inn, turn right into Slachtersnek Street, pass founder's house; enter gate to Dam. Cross the dam wall, climb Groot Suikerboschkop (easy climb) and contour over the hill to the grave site at the fort. Look out for canon emplacement, several ruins of forts and wild flowers.
Tour of the town: Visit historical buildings and trees: Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk ; Dutch Reformed Church; Old Post Office; Dullstroom Station (highest station in SA: 1910); cemetery; century old houses and magnificent trees.
Garden Tour: Visit Dullstroom's most beautiful gardens during summer months. Phone Anita on 013 254 0153.