See through to swimming pool

See through to swimming pool

When we were on our family roadtrip, the most wonderful, unexpected surprise was Dawsons Lodge in Mpumalanga near Barberton. The initial plan was to go to Swaziland but because I couldn’t get a passport in time for Rosie, we had to skip that plan.I remembered my friend Sam from Somewhere South had sent me something about Dawsons in the past so I contacted her to find out a bit more. It was perfectly situated between Bucklers Africa and our next stop¬† White Elephant Private Camp so I decided to book it. I’m SO glad I did!

Once the directions take you off the main road (R38) you feel like you’re driving to the end of the world. Surrounded by the beautiful rolling hills of Mpumalanga, the gravel road takes you to the most amazing oasis where Pampering is written with a capital ‘P’.

We were welcomed by the super friendly staff and immediately made to feel at home. We were treated to a wonderful lunch on the patio and anything was done to make us happy. After lunch we relaxed by the pool but towards 4h30 it started to get chilly (March is Autumn in South Africa and days start to be shorter). The boys and my sister-in-law decided they wanted to walk to the waterfall and apparently it was quite an adventure, especially because it gets dark quite early and they didn’t realize this.
Dinner was a wonderful affair of delicious food, the fire was lit and we all cozied up next to it. Before dinner you can relax in the library with many beautiful books about Africa.

Just an impression

Just an impression

Getting back to your room after dinner was another surprise. The bed is massive and was warmed up with hot water bottles, there’s a fireplace in each room so the fire was lit and behind the bed are heating panels. There was no such thing as a cold night. It was fantastic!

Dawsons Lodge offers quite some different activities and the boys decided they wanted to experience all of it. So the next day was quite a busy day for them. After a sumptuous breakfast (I couldn’t resist the Eggs Benedict..), they went fishing, had and archery class and their favorite was quad biking. They would talk about that experience for the rest of the holiday. Meanwhile we relaxed at the beautiful pool area and I overheard the owner of the lodge when he was on the phone saying ‘I’m going to fetch the biltong now’ and then hopped into his helicopter, haha! I thought that was quite hilarious. Yes, biltong is a serious affair in South Africa!

My Mom enjoyed her first ever massage in the afternoon! She fell asleep which is perfect!

Off to fetch some very special biltong...

Off to fetch some very special biltong…

Relaxing by the pool

Relaxing by the pool

Dawsons Lodge

Dawsons Lodge

Rosie's play fortress on the king size bed

Rosie’s play fortress on the king size bed

Archery class @ Dawsons Lodge

Archery class @ Dawsons Lodge

Dawsons Lodge is situated about 320 km from OR Tambo Airport in Johannesburg. Once you’re off the N4, you will drive through beautiful farmland, a wonderful scenic route. Barberton is an historic mining town where you perhaps can make a stop if you’re interested. It has a lovely tea room in the middle of the village.

Dawsons’ rates are INCREDIBLY reasonable. I really couldn’t believe it. The high season weekend rate is R1.330 per person sharing for full board. Yes, this is really insane, especially if you think of all the gourmet meals we enjoyed! For children between 3 – 12 yrs you will only pay 40% of the adult rate as long as they share the room with you. This is really not a problem because the rooms are as big as a ballroom. If you can come midweek, you will only pay R1.080 per person sharing.

I’m already planning my next visit…