1. The name Dullstroom is derived from a Dutch Merchant called Wolterus Dull and the Crocodile River which flows nearby. “Stroom” is the Afrikaan word for stream. The town was originally named Dull’s-stroom, but this was later simplified to Dullstroom. It was also referred to as the ‘Place of Eternal Mist’ by the first Dutch settlers.
2. As many know, Dullstroom is regarded as the fly fishing capital of South Africa. The trout industry dates back to 1912 when Mr. HJ Gurr, the Postmaster of nearby town Lydenburg, unexpedtedly caught a fish that looked like a trout in the Dorps River. In 1916, the first trout fingerlings were then released into a number of local streams from hatcheries in the mountains of the Cape Winelands. From 1927, the local jeweller and watchmaker, F.C. Braun, then took over the job of stocking the streams with trout, after Gurr’s departure from town.
3. Situated at 2100m above sea level, Dullstroom is one of the highest towns in South Africa. In fact, it has the highest train station in the country – sitting at 2076m above sea level. The train station is pristinely maintained and managed by a local woman fondly known as Aunt Nelmarie.
4. Dullstroom was granted official town status on 9 October 1893 by then President Paul Kruger.
5. Dullstroom Inn, a favourite hangout for locals, has a log fire which has been burning non-stop for over 38 years. The charming country hotel also it’s very own resident ghost – Sergeant Larley. The story goes as follows: When Sergeant Larley (a young British soldier) was injured during the Anglo-Boer War and During the Anglo-Boer War, he was looked after by an Afrikaans girl named Magda. The two fell in love, but when Magda’s family found out, they accused her of treachery and locked her away. Heartbroken and still injured from the war, the sergeant died soon after. Unaware of his fate, Magda sat at the log fire in the Dullstroom Inn for many years to come, waiting for her true love to return. Today, if you stand on the corner outside the Dullstroom Inn, just after sunset, you will hear the sound of thundering hooves as the sergeant rides to rescue Magda. Those who are lucky enough to spot the love-sick soldier are said to be forever lucky in love.
6. Due to its relatively cool and temperate climate, Dullstroom is the only place in South Africa where elm and beech trees grow. These were originally planted by Dutch colonists.
7. Wild About Whisky in Dullstroom boasts the largest whisky collection in the Southern Hemisphere and the second largest in the world. There are 45 set tastings on the menu, taken from their stock of over 1400 different whiskies.
8. With over 7000 different designs to choose from, The Clock Shop in Dullstroom has the largest selection of clocks in the Southern Hemisphere in one shop. A must-do when visiting Dullstroom.
9. Dullstroom was virtually razed to the ground by occupying British Forces on two separate occasions – November 1900 and April 1902 – during the second Anglo-Boer War. Only two buildings were left untouched when the war was over, the present day Rose Cottage, and a house now known as “Little Foxes” near the Dullstroom Inn which was used as barracks for the occupying British Officers. During this occupation, the women and children of Dullstroom were removed to a British concentration camp in Belfast.
10. A real treat for ‘twitchers’, it is one of the few places in South Africa where you can find all three species of endangered crane – the grey crowned crane, the blue crane and the wattled crane.
If you’d like to find out more about Dullstroom, or if you’d like to book a trip to this quaint highlands hamlet, simply get in touch with the team at Walkersons Hotel & Spa on firstname.lastname@example.org or 013 253 7000.