After 6 months of hard work this year, my husband and I finally had a long awaited break. We had a well deserving week of holiday at Verlorenkloof, situated in Mpumalanga, Gauteng, South Africa.
The trip there was very long (some 4 hours driving from Johannesburg) and at Machadodorp the roads surface was full of potholes – very dangerous! but we finally made it to our destination.
What a beautiful area, surrounded by mountains. Verlorenkloof is situated in the Highveld escarpment area on the Welgedacht Farm, in the district just outside Lydenburg.
As you enter the Estate, there is a welcome committee – cows herding in the fields.
Our Croft was luxurious and the staff very friendly and helpful. All the units are self-catering. At the main reception is a very relaxing, well catered restaurant overlooking the mountainous area. Sunrise every morning was spectacular, as were the sunsets!
When one looks at these awesome scenes one knows that God exists. He gave us all this magic to enjoy. What a picture to wake up to every morning and enjoy for the rest of the day. It is so peaceful, tranquil and quiet. No loud noises, no traffic, just nature that feeds your soul every minute of the day. The whole experience was one of bliss and joy. This is one place that one can truly RELAX and wind down from all the stress of daily life.
There are six trout dams on the Estate. As we are not very enthusiastic fishermen, we did not catch any trout (we did try a few times without success) but still had a good, relaxing time just sitting next to the dam, admiring the mountains, breathing in some good fresh farm air, listening to the birds, watching the dragon fly’s (there are the most amazing ones, with the most beautiful colours).
While exploring the Estate one day, we came across a very interesting looking bridge that takes you across to the other side of the Estate up the mountains. We have been to Verlorenkloof before, but had never seen this bridge before. We tried to cross it but it was quite dodgy looking. We parked our car and tried to walk across the bridge when we realized it was not very safe as there was one wooden sleeper that was completely loose! Luckily we decided to rather stay on our side of the “fence” and not wander to the other side!
We discovered some pretty daisies while walking along one of the many trails on the Estate. As it was the end of winter, and there were no rains yet, it was still very dry.
Every day since our arrival we had some interesting, very tame animal friends that came for a visit – they came right up to our Croft’s front veranda (stoep) to look for some scraps of food and human attention.
There are several bird species on the Estate, too many to mention, which also visited during the mornings and late afternoons looking for something to eat.
We went on a scenic tour around the Mpumalanga area. Our first stop was Pilgrims Rest. This used to be a small mining town. I was surprised at how neglected the town was. Most of the shops and houses have closed down and today it is almost a “ghost” town. This is such a shame as it used to be one of South Africa’s main attractions a few years ago. It was heartbreaking to see one of the jewels of Mpumalanga in such a state of neglect! These are just a few of the “nice” buildings that are left of this historic town.
Our next stop was Graskop, which is still a beautiful town. It is the gateway to all the great scenic attractions such as God’s Window, Bridal Veil Falls, Mac Mac Falls and Blyde River Canyon. We visited God’s Window, about 6-7 km outside Graskop. There were lots of overseas tourist visiting the site. Here are some of the amazing pictures. Now I know why it is called God’s Window and one can appreciate the true beauty of Mphumalanga and South Africa!
On our way back home, we had a last stop over at Dullstroom, a small town, about 100 km outside Verlorenkloof. It was established in 1883 by Dutchman, Wolterus Dull, to settle Dutch immigrants. During the Second Boer War, the town was destroyed and most of the settlers returned to the Netherlands.
It was not very busy on the morning we arrived there, as it was the middle of the week. However, during holidays and on weekends this town is booming with tourists and locals, stopping off at all the interesting restaurants and gift shops, but the main attraction is all the trout dams.
This was truly an amazing experience that we will remember for quite some time to come. I am glad I can share this with everyone visiting my website. This is just a small part of the beautiful country I live in.