Monday, November 27, 2017

A right Royal Road trip. Following in the footsteps of the 1947 Royal visit. Kaapsehoop, River Lodge @ Thornybush Game Reserve, Tented Adventures, Pretoriuskop and Walkersons Hotel & Spa in Dullstroom.

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It has been a while since my wife and I embarked on a road trip together.
Our accommodation in Kaapsehoop at the beginning of our trip.
It transpired that two of the destinations that we visited had a connection
 to the British Royal family visit in 1947!
The carriage was part of the train used during that visit and
 was used by the  Queen Mother and her staff. 
Elizabeth was still a Princess during that visit,
she became Queen in 1953 when her father died.
The carriage has been sold to a restorer who has yet to collect it.
So, should you wish to spent some time here, 
I suggest that you book a visit sooner rather than later.

Both the mist and the horses rolled through town on the afternoon that we arrived.
There are many stories about how the horses came to be here.
The most popular being that they were left behind after the Boer war.
But as with all urban legends, there are as many stories are there are story tellers.

This is the rather eclectic Salvador Bistro.
It is the hang out for most of the locals as well as visitors to the village.
The food here is tasty and the staff are friendly.
They do a REALLY good pizza...
and I discovered that they have a wood burning pizza oven in their kitchen. 

One of the horses in the early morning light.
They have free reign of not only the town, but the surrounding area as well.
Many of the houses have signs asking that gates be kept closed,
in order to keep the horses out of well maintained gardens.

There are several properties for sale currently, 
most of them on the market in excess of  R1m.
This is one such property...we only saw the signboard, 
but were not able to ascertain a selling price. 

Our second port of call and our original destination for the road trip.
And the Royal theme continues...
The River Lodge @Thornybush Game Reserve.
This waiting drink when we arrived was most welcome after a rather hot and dusty drive

The Royal Suite
This was PART of our accommodation...
We had access to a lounge/dining room/kitchen area that formed a link between
two identical bedroom and en suite bathroom units. 

Lunch is served as a taster meal for two.
There were vegetarian options as a standard as well as fresh salad and dessert.

The d├ęcor was superb and the designers eye for detail was reflected in the smallest of items. 

But THIS is why people come to a game reserve...to see game.
We did not have to go looking for these buffalo 
as they spent an entire morning lying in the waterhole
 in front of the main lodge building. 

Something completely different.
Our penultimate stop was at Tented Adventures
 in the Pretoriuskop camp in Kruger National Park.
And yet again a connection to the Royal visit in 1947...
The Royal family stayed here Pretoriuskop during that trip.
But these tents are certainly not your usual camping tents.
More like a canvas lodge room...and just as comfortable.

What better way to interact with the other guests than around the dinner table?

The breakfasts were simple but delicious.
This was the starter, which was then followed by a full English.

The camp by night.
Tented Adventures shares a corner of the caravan/camping area,
but is situated away from where the majority of visitors set up their sites.

Little and Large...
Once again, this was a wild life destination and we saw a plethora of 
both bird species as well as almost all of the Big 5.
This White Rhino being one of those.

And finally...a return visit to Walkersons Hotel & Spa near Dullstroom.
This time we had a suite that had this seating and kitchen area.

And this was the view from our verandah.
There are several trout ponds that can be accessed by guests who wish to fish.
Day visitors are not allowed, and all the fish caught have to be returned to the water.

I spent some time chatting to this fisherman and admiring his array of flies.
I though he wore them like war medals...
he said he kept them attached to his shirt pocket 
so he did not have to keep walking back to his tackle box!

Even though it is meant to be the beginning of summer here in South Africa,
a warming glass of sherry is always welcome.

On our final morning we awoke to a mist that covered the entire property.
It stretched for about 40kms all the way to Belfast, where is literally vanished.
It did mean that the first part of our return journey took us longer than expected.

During our road trip my wife and I 
were hosted at the following properties...

Look for Kaapsehoop on Facebook. 
For accommodation, I utilized: 



To find out more about what we offer,
visit our website:
To find out more about both their camps,
visit this website:

To find out more about what they offer,
visit their website:




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