Chestnut Country Lodge Description
Chestnut Country Lodge is situated in the beautiful Kiepersol district 10 kms from Hazyview and boasts magnificent mountain and valley views. Set on 50-hectares of pristine indigenious bush-land, the Lodge offers 12 tastefully decorated en-suite rooms or Suites, each with their own patio on which to enjoy the spectacular views. In addition, The Chestnut Suite has a privately enclosed patio and outside shower and is ideal for honeymoon couples or for that romantic week-end getaway for 2. Dine by candle-light each evening and enjoy country cuisine using fresh herbs and seasonal produce. Soak up the sun on the wooden deck surrounding the large swimming pool with superb views and brilliant bird life or take a leisurely walk through the canopy of trees to Leopard Rock. The nearby Panorama Route offers the traveller beautiful scenic surroundings, waterfalls and walking trails. The spectacular Blyde River Canyon and the 3 Rondawels are a must to see, along with Bourkes Luck Potholes and God’s Window. Our area has fantastic Adventure Activities to offer. A visit to the nearby Elephant Sanctuary is a must to walk trunk-in-hand with these majestic animals. Enjoy the thrill of the Aerial Cable Trail, the gentle adventure of a scenic balloon flight or enjoy horse-riding, quad-biking, river rafting, or a Dawn, Full Day or Afternoon Safari into the Kruger National Park in an open vehicle. Experience the Shangaan Culture at the nearby Shangana Cultural Village where the Evening Festival will delight the senses with singing, dancing & story-telling. For the golfers, our area offers a number of outstanding golf courses to work on your handi-cap. Whatever you do, we have it all!!! We look forward to welcoming you.
Hazyview is enviably positioned right at the heart of Mpumalanga’s prime tourism attractions. With the Numbi Gate of the Kruger National Park just 15 minutes away and God’s Window at the base of the world’s third largest canyon – the Blyde River Canyon – only 40kms from the town, Hazyview boasts by far the widest range of accommodation establishments and the largest number of tourism beds of any town in the Province. Home to the Shangaan, North Soth and Swazi people, visitors are assured of fine hospitality in whichever of the fine lodges and hotels they may wish to choose. A tempting array of attractive Bed & Breakfasts and Guest Houses/Lodges, a wide variety of restaurants offering different and exciting menus and a number of larger resorts with both catered and self-catering options guarantee that, whatever their particular requirements, Hazyview has the answer. Some of the Lodges around Hazyview boast their own private conservancies. Ornithology and lepidoptery possibilities are excellent (over 200 species of bird and over 800 species of butterfly). The town has 2 world-class 18 hole golf courses. Adventure activities from Abseiling to Zip-lining, micro-lighting, helicopter flips, hot-air ballooning and light aircraft flips can also be arranged. Hazyview as founded by a Canadian trader named Perry in the first decade of the 20th Century. The town has grown nto a major hub for retail, farming and tourism. It’s temperate climate with hot summer days cooled by evening rainfall and warm winter days without a cloud in the sky make Hazyview a genuine all-year-round destination and its unrivalled proximity to the Kruger National Park and the world-renowned private game reserves of Sabi Sands and the Timbavati where visitors can see the magnificent Big 5 as well as the panoramic scenery of the Great Eastern Escarpment, will continue to guarantee ever-improving possibilities for tourists visiting the area. Day and over-night visits to the Kruger National Park may be arranged in open vehicles or closed vehicles with highly-qualified and knowledgeable field guides to provide a detailed insight into the area’s natural and historical attractions. Hazyview is less than 1 hour’s drive from the regions major airports, Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport between Nelspruit & White River and the Eastgate Airport outside Hoedspruit. The Sabie River Valley in which the small town of Hazyview is situated, is bounded on all sides by indigenous bush and these fertile conditions have led to the farming of a huge variety of fruits and trees – macadamias, mangoes, litchis, bananas, citrus and paw-paws, avocados to name but a few. A veritable sub-tropical paradise greets the visitor as you descend the escarpment from the Highveld towards the magnificent game reserves of the East. Further unique attractions offered by the town or within one hour’s drive are: - God’s Window – a stunning view from Highveld to Lowveld - The Pinnacle – a stack on the edge of the escarpment - Bourke’s Luck Potholes – fascinating rock forms at the confluence of the Blyde & Treur Rivers - Blyde River Canyon – endless view points over the third largest and greenest canyon in the world - Lisbon, Berlin & Mac Mac Falls – impressive scenery and deep waterfalls - Pilgrims Rest – restored Gold Rush mining town and home of Jock of the Bushveld - Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre - Shangana Cutural Village – festivals of song and dance - Barberton – Sheba Mines and the first Stock Exchange - Kruger National Park – the best in the world - Fanie Botha Hiking Trail and others – hiking through indigenous forest and plantations - Sudwala and Echo Caves – the oldest in the country - Lowveld Botanical Gardens – on the banks of the Crocodile River - Moholoholo Animal and Bird Rehabilitation Centre - Lone Creek, Horse-shoe and Bridal Veil Falls – outside the town of Sabie - History Tours and Museums of Anglo-Boer and Voortrekker History - Farm Tours of banana, citrus, mango, coffee, macadamias and avocado NB: Terms and conditions, minimum numbers apply to some of the above attractions. _________________________________________________________________________________________ The Panorama Region is known for its incessant desire to leave visitors enthralled and mesmerized by its unparalleled natural beauty and splendour. The soothing and serene ambience, the abundance of history, cultural heritage and imposing landscapes make this region the unequivocal draw card into Mpumalanga Province. Comprising of the historical towns of Ohrigstad, Pilgrims Rest, Sabie, Graskop and Hazyview (with Lydenburg, Nelspruit and White River as gateways into the region), the Panorama Region is indeed for both the adventurous at heart and those who just want to marvel at its scenic beauty. From white water rafting, quad biking, bungee jumping, gold panning, hot-air ballooning, trout fishing, hiking, para-gliding, mountain biking, horse-riding,micro-lighting, bird watching and game viewing – this region has it all. Trails left behind by the pioneering Voortrekkers in Ohrigstad, Lydenburg and other areas feature prominently in the form of buildings such as schools, churches and monuments. Rock paintings in caves and artifacts like the Lydenburg Heads are ‘footprints’ left by indigenous people eons ago as testimony to their existence. The Echo Caves indeed reverberate the existence of tribes like the Pedi, Mapulane and Swazi who once reigned supreme in this area. At present, the region is still a cradle of a rich cultural heritage where one can immerse in the kaleidoscope of existing cultures. Indelible marks left bhind by early prospectors of the glittering and illusive sone (gold) in the museum town of Pilgrim’s Rest is also a manifestation to the plethora of attractions in this divinely crafted area. Majestic waterfalls in Graskop and Sabie add more colour and splendour to the enthralling landscapes of the region. The Blyde River Canyon nature sanctuary is a haven to various plant and bird species and the spectacular scenic beauty and viewpoints make this canyon one of the most sought after. In this region, wild-life can be seen in close proximity roaming in its natural habitat in game reserves dotted throughout the region or in the Kruger National Park. The Panorama Region truly offers a journey of discovery that will leave one over-whelmed by the unfamiliarity of the familiar. _________________________________________________________________________________________ Mpumalanga – the place where the sun rises – epitomizes every traveller’s dream of Africa in the true sense. The province is situated in the north-eastern part of the country and borders both Swaziland and Mozambique. It is an area of immense natural beauty and diversity – a land of mountain splendour and wide horizons of forests and plains, rock formations and caves, waterfalls and majestic mountain scenery – an African landscape where wildlife still roams on the Bushveld plains and where the visitor can experience the true mystery of Africa in near pristine surroundings. Here you can witness the often savage interaction of animal species in the famous wildlife sanctuaries of the Lowveld. The night-time duet of lion and hyens, often leads to greater appreciation for the crackler of a fire at your cosy camp after a hard day on safari in the sun. Mpumalanga offers attractions ranging from game viewing and bird watching, to scenic drives across valleys and peaks of the vast Drakensburg escarpment. Historical sites and villages, old wagon routes and monuments mark events and characters who passed before in search of adventure and wealth. The cultural heritage of the province is both varied and exciting. From the Ndebele beadwork and house painting to the Swazi traditional dances of battle and celebration. Sample the cultures of the Afrikaner, English and Indian cultures. Those who seek the mystique and diversity of the African bushveld, the natural drama of both the scenery and the wildlife, or simply to relax in the variety of environments offered by the province, will be welcomed by all the people of Mpumalanga. The province is also an adventurer and thrill seeker’s paradise. White Water rafting on the Sabie and Blyde Rivers turbulent waters will ensure the adventurer in you a ride of a life-time. The Aerial Cable Trail, micro-lighting and helicopter and light-aircraft flips show-case the areas magnificent scenic and natural beauty. Don’t leave without taking a gentle adventure on the breeze over the Sabie Valley at sun-rise in a hot-air balloon. Mpumalanga hosts one of the world’s most ambitious and successful attempts to conserve wildlife – the Kruger National Park. The park is located in an area the size of Wales and two-thirds the size of Belgium, where lion, elephant, rhino, leopard and buffalo – the famous Big 5 – move freely through landscapes where little has changed over the last hundred years. Mpumalanga is also renowned as one of the foremost bird watching destinations in Africa. To visit Mpumalanga is to experience the difference. Search for fortune in real gold, green gold, in arts and crafts and in spectacular natural wonders and friendly people. Experience the gold of each new dawn in Mpumalanga – place where the sun rises! _________________________________________________________________________________________ The History of the Blyde River Canyon and Escarpment The history of man on the Blyde River can be traced back a long way, as is confirmed by discoveries of a whole spectrum of stone tools, from an early stone age hand axe to later stone age flakes and cores (1 500 000 to 30 000 years ago). The very famous middle stone Age Bushman Rock shelter is located near the Nature Reserve on the road to the Echo caves and was inhabited from 31 900 years ago to the Iron Age. The Stone Age people lived entirely off the land and as nomads, followed the game movement over a wide area. Monochromatic rock paintings (only one colour) indicate tht the earliest Bushman lived in the canyon. Paintings should not be touched and should never be wet as this increase the rate of weathering. The Bushman were later forced by the early black immigrants from the North to leave the area. The black immigrants were caused by two factors: the flight from the slave traffic and the existence of virtually uninhabited land to the south. The almost inaccessible valleys and gorges of the Drakensburg Escarpment provided a “hide out” for Stone & Iron Age people during periods of unrest. Ecological factors, ie; the Tsetse fly, could also have caused short term migrations into the mountains. Iron Age occupations of the Blyde River Canyon area were relatively short lived because the population would migrate back to the Lowveld as soon as conditions were favourable again to their domesticated animals. Iron Age people were farmers and they tended to live in villages. The pottery article found at the sides is the most important artifacts for identifying Iron Age groups. (Early Iron Age: 250 – 1000 AD second to tehnth century). Late Iron Age sites can be identified by stone walled and terraced complexes, pots with different shapes and decoration and iron works. The late Iron Age probably lasted to the early mid-nineteenth century and was almost immediately succeeded by European occupation. Several stone walls were found on the Reserve. Archaeology is the source of information abut the unwritten past of nations and people may not disturb or destroy sites. One of the ideas of the Voorteskkes, when they left the Cape Colony in 1836, was to establish trade contact with the Portuguese at Delagoa Bay (known as Maputo today). Although the Voortrekker party of Louis Trichardt managed to reach Delagoa Bay in April 1838, most of them died there. In 1844, a group of Voortrekkers under Andries Hendrik Potgieter also tried to find a trade route. Potgieter decided to leave their wagons and families in the vicinity of the town known today as Graskop, while continuing on horseback. When the explorers did not return on the agreed date, the Voortrekkers named the river where they out-spanned, the Treur River (River of Sorrow), they turned back to the Western Transvaal but had not gone far when Potgieter and his men caught up with them. They had found the route to Delagoa Bay and had signed a tade agreement with the Portuguese. They named the river there, Blyde River (River of Joy). These Voortrekkers settled in the Ohrighstad Valley in 1845. In 1864, the last tribal war in the area took place by Maripe Mashile, the Mapulana chief. He lead his men to climb to the top of the mountain peak and from there bombarded the Swazis with large boulders. During the battle, the mist settled on the mountain and helped to defeat the attacking Swazis below. This war became known as the battle of Moholoholo, the “great, great battle” and Maripe was hoored by naming the mountain after him – today known as Mariepskop. In 1873, gold was discovered to the Lydenburg on the farm Geelhoutboom and soon hundreds of diggers from all over the world streamed into the Eastern Transvaal, as gold was also found at Mac Mac and Pilgrims Rest. When the Selati goldfields were proclaimed at Leydsdorp, a road was constructed from Lydenburg via Ohrighstad down the mountain, under the supervision of Abel Erasmus. The modern road through the Strijdom tunnel still in some sections follows this old route and is known as the Abel Erasmus Pass. By 1850, the alluvial gold has been almost exhausted and many diggers began leaving the area. Different companies then continued with organized deep level mining of which Transvaal Gold Mining Estate (TGME) was the largest. Thomas Bourke, a director of TGME bought two farms in the area of potholes where he established a mine. The name “Bourke’s Luck Potholes” stuck and the place is still known under this name today. As the settlers arrived in the Eastern Transvaal and especially after the mines opened, the demand for wood increased. To relieve the demand on indigenous supplies, wattles, pine and eucalyptus trees were imported. Since 1904, the foresty industry has flourished in this area as a result. Conservationists are worried about the effect that these plantations have on water resources. There has been an alarming drop in the volume of water in the main rivers and many perennial rivers are now dry in winter. With an increase in population growth and other developments, competition for water is keen. A sufficient power source for the mines was then seriously needed and a hydro-electric plant was built at Belvedere in the Blyde River Canyon. It was the largest hydro-electric power station in the Southern hemisphere at the time and was opened by General JC Smuts, Minister of Mines in 1911. In ust 150 years of exposure to civilization, the eastern escarpment has changed from wilderness to a region faced with serious environmental challenges and problems. Soon however, the importance of conservation was realized. On 24 November 1965, the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve was proclaimed which today, covers an area of almost 30 000 hectares and is visited by thousands of tourists each year.