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Misty getaway in Dullstroom leaves you chilled



According to the writer there is nothing dulll in this stroom after spending time in Dullstroom.

As we edged along the overgrown track using the Ford Everest’s four-wheel-drive, we couldn’t beat the bank of icy cloud racing us to the top of the Mpumlanga escarpment.

There had been plenty of moaning from the others in the group about the weather for the whole of our three-day, two-night stay in Dullstroom… and the “grey-out” in the Verloren Valei reserve didn’t help change their minds much.

But I loved it. What’s the point of coming to a mountainous place like Dullstroom and not feeling like you’re in the mountains? You want to feel cold, so you can get indoors to a fire (and a sherry).

Feeling it

You want to be enveloped by those icy fingers of fog so you appreciate the indoors. Of course, the birders among us were not too thrilled that the poor visibility in the reserve – about 20km outside the town – limited what they could see in this special place, which was proclaimed an international protected wetland site by the United Nations in 2001 under the Ramsar Convention.

The wetland is (allegedly) home to a huge variety of bird species, including ones that get the “twitchers” steaming up their binoculars… but we saw little more than a few cranes from afar.

None of them the blue crane, our national bird, which is a common resident in these Highveld regions.

ALSO READ: Four things you can do to help you deal with your pollen allergy

The drive

The reserve itself is as nature intended: unspoilt by human intervention, especially when it comes to basic maintenance by the Mpumalanga Parks Board.

Signing in at reception (and paying R48 a person for the privilege), we saw five people standing around or tending to the lawn and garden around the office.

That was as far as maintenance went, as we discovered, heading off on a self-guided tour. To call the route a track would be making that word do some heavy lifting.

So high was the grass that the bonnet of the Everest – no small vehicle – was peppered with grass seeds, testament to the fact that no cutting had been done for at least a few seasons.

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