Undeniably the most famous of all the Highlands Meander Towns, Dullstroom is a tourist mecca that attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year and is commonly referred to as ‘Scotland’s Only Outpost in Africa’. Around two hours’ drive from both Gauteng and Nelspruit, Dullstroom makes up the perfect long weekend retreat for people wanting to escape either the Lowveld heat or the noise and pollution of Gauteng.
Trout has had a huge part to play in this small town’s success. Proclaimed a town by Paul Kruger in 1892 and referred to as the ‘Place of Eternal Mist’ by the first Dutch settlers. Dullstroom had a volatile first few decades, caught in the cross fire between the Boer and the Brits during the Anglo-Boer war when the town was virtually razed to the ground. It was with the release of trout in 1916 and the further stocking of dams in 1927 that Dullstroom started to make a name for itself in the fishing world and people began to see it as more than just a sleepy village in the mist belt.
Yet it is the mist belt, the high-altitude setting that provides Dullstroom with the cool climate and clean air that make it both a tourist magnet and floral oasis. The town is rich in plant life, with many rare and endemic species being found here including numerous orchids and the exquisite golden Arum lily, as well as the only substantial populations of elm and beech trees. During the spring and summer months the grasslands surrounding the town come alive with an explosion of
floral fireworks that turn the green hills into a rainbow of colour. It is also one of the few regions of South Africa where you will find all three species of endangered crane.
The cooler conditions make it a hiker’s paradise, whether you enjoy gentle strolls along the riverbanks or stretching jaunts up rocky escarpments, you will find the most breath-taking scenery while being immersed in the silence and tranquillity of this beautiful location. Dullstroom is a hiking haven no matter the season, or dare I say it the weather, as even during grey sky days when the mist curls its fingers around the landscape the place has its own special magical appeal.
The micro-climate found here also provide the perfect conditions for trout to thrive, making Dullstroom another corner of the ‘Trout Triangle’ and one of the ‘must-visit’ fishing hotspots in South Africa.
Yet there is so much more to Dullstroom than simply flowers and fish. There are the countless fireplaces that visitors find themselves relaxing in front of after a hard day of enjoying themselves. The incredible range of restaurants that will ensure even the fussiest of foodies is satisfied and huge array of artisan shops set in the town’s wonderful 19th and 20th century architecture, each unique, quirky and truly Dullstroom. With bird of prey shows, clay pigeon shooting, horse riding
adventures, mountain bike and trail running routes, art galleries and health spas, you could stay a year in Dullstroom and still not run out of activities to do!
It is no wonder that this once ‘sleepy town in the mist belt’ which has now become the tourism hub of the Highlands was a finalist for Kwela’s Town of the Year 2016. This is a town that prides itself on being distinctive, original and all inclusive, it manages to cater for the needs of everyone, while not falling into the ‘same-old, same-old’ tourism trap many other towns have succumbed too.
GPS Coordinates: -25.4184, 30.2041
CREDIT: Article as posted by Mpumalanga Tourism And Parks Agency website – http://www.mpumalanga.com/places-to-go/highlands-meander/dullstroom