Dullstroom dates back to the 1880’s and was name after its Dutch founder, Wolterus Dull, and the many Rivers found in the Area, hence the suffix- ‘stroom’, which is Afrikaans for; 'Stream'. Two Farms were purchased, and settlers began to arrive from Holland. However, discouraged by: the chilly air and ‘eternal mist’: the total lack of civilized Housing, Shops and Markets and the poor Agricultural of the Land. Many settlers therefore, returned to Holland. During the Second Anglo-Boer War, the British razed the Village to the ground, destroying all but a few of the original Buildings. Local resident and descendant of one of the original founder, Mrs. Janson, recalls the dramatic call to arms when her husband, now 99, donned his Bandelier before leaving to fight with the Boers. After the war, TNH Janson (Oom Teun) was one of the first to return to Dullstroom and the family played a prominent role in the reconstruction and rebirth of the Village.
The Town is richly endowed with a multi-cultural Heritage, and many cornerstones on surviving Buildings, date back to 1890's. The gravestones in the Town Cemetery reflect the diverse cultures - with headstones bearing English, Irish and Boer surnames. The influence of the European settlers can be seen throughout the Village, from the picturesque pointed stone Architecture, Historic Monuments such as the Stone Church in the village square, and the old Post office, to the abundance of beautiful trees such as: Lindens; Beeches; Cherry and other Exotics, brought over by the settlers.
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. 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 this mist belt and 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 the endangered Crane.
The cooler conditions make perfect Hiking conditions or whether you just enjoy 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! 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. The incredible range of Restaurants 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. There is also: Birds 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, in the Kwela’s Town of the Year 2016 Awards. This is a Town that prides itself on being distinctive, original and all inclusive, it manages to cater for the needs of everyone!