Marta reports back from Dawsons Game and Trout Lodge - a true honeymooners paradise

Mpumalanga, SA
September 2008

I have just returned from a trip to Dawsons, which nestles at the foot of the Nelshoogte pass in the Mpumalanga Province and is just a three hour comfortable drive from Johannesburg. This property offers guests magnificent accommodation, superb cuisine and truly impeccable service. There are eight exclusive suites all individually decorated to create an African Colonial ambiance with the emphasis on sheer luxury.

Upon arrival we were greeted by the manager of the retreat and welcomed with a glass of delicious hot chocolate and then shown to our room which overlooks the plains with forests in the distance. The spacious and comfortable room had a fireplace which was lit each evening. There is complimentary sherry in the room. The bathroom well appointed with a divine slipper bath for two.

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The central area of the lodge has a wonderful welcoming feel where you can enjoy high tea around the fire place. The high tea was stunning with a refreshing selection of tea, freshly percolated coffee, cream scones, freshly baked cheese cake and cucumber sandwiches. Pre dinner drinks are served in the bar by Sipho who is an expert at making any drink of your choice. Dinner that evening was taken in the dining room which has an intimate setting. There is a choice of three starters, mains and desserts. I chose the grilled haloumi cheese, followed by lamb knuckles with sauteed potatoes and fresh garden vegetables. Dessert was malva pudding and cream - rather decadent.
We walked back to our room which had a glowing fire prepared for us. After a wonderful rest we awoke to the sounds of the abundant bird life in the area and wandered down to breakfast whilst enjoying the fresh crisp morning air. Breakfast was divine with homemade muesli, the highlight being the Eggs a la Dawsons - scrambled eggs in a cradle on smoked salmon and garnished with fresh herbs.

Today was activities day. Shortly after breakfast we tried our hands at fly fishing and after that we hired Bombadier quad bikes with a guide and went exploring the 2000 hectare property. On the way we encountered herds of eland and zebras, together with sightings of black buffalo. After an exhilarating one and a half hours we headed back to the lodge. We had arranged for a picnic lunch on the jetty overlooking on of the trout dams. We walked to the dam whilst enjoying the abundant bird life in the area. What a surprise when we saw the set up. Blankets with hot water bottles and cushions beautifully laid out with our picnic basket open. There was a huge platter of caraway and smoked cheese, freshly baked mini homemade breads, biscuits, fresh salmon, freshly caught trout, figs, ginger and a bottle of Bukketraube, this was a very romantic way to enjoy a lazy afternoon.

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Dinner that evening was a private set up in the study and perfect for a honeymoon couple We had our own waiter in attendance and enjoyed what was a truly spectacular dinner. We had spent two nights at this magical and truly special 5* retreat and felt completely relaxed after a weekend of total relaxation and tranquility .

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Overall I would highly recommend the property for a honeymoon couple looking for something special and truly magical and in our own beautiful country. Those looking for a romantic getaway and pampering this is perfect and also for those wanting to be close to nature. There are a number of activities available. These include horse riding, trout and bass fishing, quad biking, game drives, clay pigeon shooting, bird watching as well as scenic forest and waterfall walks.