Rocky Drift Private Nature Reserve is a peaceful retreat secluded in an enclosed valley, just 39 km from Dullstroom, along the Waterval Boven – Nelspruit Road. The 257 hectare reserve encompasses some of the most beautiful mountain landscapes in the area, and a picnic amongst these beautiful scenes is one of the most rewarding things to do while in Dullstroom. Although the quiet road approaching the reserve may fill you with initial apprehension, it soon leads to a tranquil haven of manicured lawns and thatch umbrellas, alongside a sparkling river overlooked by pristine natural hillsides.
Take your hiking boots or mountain bike along as the Reserve begs exploration, with well-worn paths winding along the Joubertspruit River. This tributary of the Elands River is a guaranteed attraction at the reserve, having retained a constant flow for the last sixty years. The stream is fountain-fed from the surrounding mountains, and the water is of the purest quality, with opportunities to fly-fish along its banks or take a dip in its cool depths. The typical Lowveld climate, ensures that the reserve is a year-round paradise of mild weather, and the mercury rarely dips below 6°c, even in winter.
Rock climbing is another popular activity in the Rocky Drift Nature Reserve and the entire Waterval Boven area. Rocky Drift is the perfect place to practice your skills on gentle natural climbs before venturing on the more hazardous bolted climbs in the area – which are ranked among the best in the country.
Some of the indigenous species you may come across in your explorations include baboons, bushbuck, duiker, genet, klipspringer, vervet monkeys, steenbok, reedbuck and even leopard and caracal. Birdlife is prolific in the reserve and you can keep a lookout for raptors such as steppe buzzard, black eagle, falcons and kites soaring overhead too.
Rocky Drift Nature Reserve has a rich historical tradition, being on the course that Paul Kruger and his followers took en-route to exile in Lourenco Marques (Maputo). Over the years, a number of rock encampments, old Martini Henry rifle shells, and enamel mugs have been discovered on the property as mementos of their trek.
Whether you choose to climb, hike, bike or simply sit in solitude, Rocky Drift Private Nature Reserve is a quaint and peaceful retreat and well-worth the trip from your Dullstroom accommodation for a day’s diversion.