Stonecutters Blog

Escape to Dullstroom for the Easter week-end!

Posted by Margi Butler on Sep 10, 2016 5:13:47 PM

Dullstroom is the hub of the Mpumalanga Trout Triangle and as such is well-known and beloved by many, while to some it is an undiscovered gem. But for all, there is no better time to visit Dullstroom than at the Easter week-end when the village will be buzzing!

An additional highlight is the Tonteldoos Country Fair .   h food and deli-stalls, beer garden, donkey-cart rides and all manner of country goods for sale, this will be a fun-filled family excursion. Tonteldoos festival, near Dullstroom

The cooler weather has brought sunny days and chilly nights, so bring a jacket! The restaurants will pull out all the stops with their best cuisine and fine wine and in some restaurants live entertainment will be offered. Cheese tasting, chocolate cups from the fountain in the chocolate shop and beer from the micro brewery will all be on offer. Fine art, mosaic, sculpture, pottery, glasswork, and beadwork will be well represented by talented local artists. At some centres, artists will be showing-off their creative talents and interacting with visitors.    

Not to be missed is The Bird of Prey Centre has a wonderful display of birds in action and a great petting farmyard for the kiddies. There are also a number of excellent day spa’s in the area to pamper those in need of ultimate relaxation!

 River fishing Dullstroom, Stonecutters

For those interested in trout-fishing, the waters are now cooling down and the fish are actively feeding, so this is an excellent opportunity to throw in a line. The many fly-fishing lodges in the Dullstroom area offer dam and river fishing for both novices to the sport and to fly-fishing enthusiasts.

Accommodation is booking up fast, so don’t delay in sourcing the right destination for your budget and family needs. Whether you require budget accommodation or five star luxury, Dullstroom is the place to be this Easter!

 

 30% Discount 3-night Stay

 

Tags: Dullstroom, Stonecutters Lodge, Eater in Dullstroom, Tonteldoos Festival

Visit the 2012 family- fun Festival in Tonteldoos (near Dullstroom)

Posted by Margi Butler on Sep 9, 2016 8:03:24 PM

Tonteldoos is a small peach farming area near Dullstroom that organises an annual fun-filled festival.  Originally this peach harvest celebration was held in February (and it was often rained out!) and that has morphed into a country fair held over the Easter week-end. 

 Tonteldoos Festival DonkeyThe festival creates an opportunity for more people who are unfamiliar with the Dullstroom & Tonteldoos areas to visit and fall in love with the picturesque and peaceful environment. The many trout lodges offering fishing from dams and rivers will be finding the cooler weather resulting in better catches, making this an ideal breakaway opportunity for fly-fishing enthusiasts, with the festival rounding off an unforgettable family Easter experience.

About 2000 visitors and 80 stalls are expected at the  festival. The programme includes birds of prey in action, food stalls, delicatessen stalls, beer garden, Mampoer tasting, all day musical entertainment and 'boere sport' to name only a few. The donkey cart rides have become renowned, with the donkeys vying for first prize for Donkey and Cart in Best Condition! In short: a fun filled day for young and old.

The festival venue is easy to find on Rocky Road Farm, a farm adjacent to the provincial road running through Tonteldoos and will be well marked. From Dullstroom: On the R540, the main road in Dullstroom (Hugenote Str), look out for signs directing you to Dunkeld. Go past Dunkeld and follow the road for some 25km to Tonteldoos. Directions will be set up in Dullstroom. Gates open at 9h00. For further information cantact  013 254 0254

ACCOMMODATION Stay over in one of many guest houses / lodges in the area for the duration of Easter weekend and also enjoy excellent fly fishing, the beauty of nature and the peaceful country atmosphere. 

Styonecutters Lodge, Dullstroom

Stonecutters Lodge: 4-star accommodation 25 minutes from Dullstroom

 

Tags: Dullstroom, Stonecutters Lodge, Tonteldoos, Mampoer, Family fun festival

Flyfishing in the Mpumalanga Highlands is very rewarding in Winter

Posted by Margi Butler on May 24, 2012 9:22:00 PM

River fishing stonecutters lodge dullstroomAs temperatures drop in the Highlands area of Dullstroom and Lydenburg, so the excitement levels of anglers rise! As mentioned in the Fosaf Guide to Flyfishing there are five rivers in this area that have traditionally been earmarked for trout, - the Klip, Waterval, Spekboom, Sterkspruit and the Dorps. There are numerous trout lodges in the area that offer both dam and river fishing, ranging from rustic to luxurious and now is the time for the fly-fisherman from Gauteng to head for the Mpumalanga Highlands to hone his skills in ideal conditions.

In still water the warmer summer months have seen sluggish feeding as trout head for the comfort of the cooler depths but lower Autumn water temperatures cause a resurgence of feeding activity as trout endeavour to pack on weight for the coming winter months.

 Trout fishing DullstroomWhereas in summer, fishing at first light produces the best chance of a catch, in the cooler Autumn weather trout will feed throughout the day, especially in overcast conditions. Even the enthusiastic angler may take advantage of the opportunity of rising a little later while still enjoying a productive day’s fishing! Aquatic plants will be dying back and insects will be less plentiful, but there are enough bugs around to stimulate activity and the muddy river conditions of summer are now giving way to gin-clear water.

In many dams in this area trout go through an abortive spawning ritual just at the onset of winter. The fish are in magnificent breeding colour but for a period of about three weeks are more interested in the mating game than in feeding, but may take egg-pattern flies or take flies with a flash of red simply out of aggression.

During the colder winter months the water temperature is still mild enough for some insect activity and particularly on sunny winter days fish may be enticed into feeding. Floating and intermediate lines are the order of the day.

Read a recent fishing report by Louis Munnick on fishing the Dorps River.

Suggested reading: Fosaf Guide to Flyfishing Destinations in Southern Africa.

This beautifully illustrated book is a ‘must have’ for the South African flyfisherman and is much more than a venue guide, with comprehensive chapters on types of fish, techniques and tackle.

Tags: Fly fishing in Dullstroom, trout fishing, Stonecutters Lodge, River fishing near Dullstroom, Accommodation with fishing, Dullstoom, Dullstroom Trout Fishing, Mpumalanga flyfishing, accommodation in Dullstroom

Job creation in Mpumalanga- is everyones responsibility.

Posted by Margi Butler on Nov 23, 2011 8:41:00 PM

stonecutters lodge dullstroom, lydenburg

Stonecutters Lodge between Dullstroom & Lydenburg in Mpumalanga supports the  entrepreneurial projects of the local rural community 

The plight of the rural community close to Stonecutters Lodge is a story that is played out in communities throughout South Africa. A large percentage of the community is jobless and many will never be employed. The lodge plays an active part in uplifting the local disadvantaged community in the rural village of Emshinini on Coromandel Estate. Most of our staff are drawn from this village and we take an active interest in the welfare of our staff both past and present: food hampers are delivered monthly to the homes of our staff and we also contribute to other households whom we know to be in need.

Coromandel primary school, LydenburgWe have a close involvement with the primary school and every year we attend the year-end prize-giving and donate prizes for the children who receive dictionaries, calculators and stationery. Through our efforts Massmart has donated school backpacks filled with stationery, we have sourced a donation of a load of Bibles for the church and we have collected clothes to be handed out to the needy. But jobs, rather than hand-outs remain the priority and the encouragement of entrepreneurial skills is paramount. When sourcing new uniforms for our female staff last month, we were thrilled to learn of a competent seamstress in Emshinini.

Stonecutters Lodge staff Dullstroom, Lydenburg   use local south african suppliers   buy local south african products

Using last year’s caftan blouse as a pattern, Flora made 10 beautiful tops out of the African themed local print we had bought. She has a good sewing machine and an overlocker and produced a most professional product at the same rate that we would have paid locally in Lydenburg.

In the same vein, some time ago we realized that Mathayi Mgiba who lives on the hillside opposite Stonecutters has some wood-carving skills. We nurtured his talent , buying him materials and books on bead work and wirework.

We regularly supply him with our recycled beverage cans and bottle tops which he transforms into geckos, job creation in Mpumalanga, South Africawire pictures and other items!He has been producing and selling for some years now and we are hoping that the new Workshop Gallery we are launching at Stonecutters will give Mathayi an additional outlet. This gallery had its birth in an artgroup which we have formed with like-minded amateur artists in our area. We meet on a weekly basis and this new creative space is a studio and gallery: we will be participating in the Art Meander which forms part of the Dullstroom Art Festival which takes place from the 16-18 December.

Stonecutters Lodge is a Proudly South African Company and as such is only too pleased to support the local rural community as we are among the few who have taken an interest in the plight of these villagers and we have a close connection with their daily struggles. It is so easy to purchase from a cheaper, overseas source but next time your business needs something -look around for the local option which impacts job creation in South Africa positively!

Tags: Stonecutters Lodge, proudly South African, support local initiatives in south africa

Plant a tree in September (Arbour month) for a greener South Africa.

Posted by Margi Butler on Sep 1, 2011 7:42:00 AM

 

Arbour Week was started in South Africa in 1983 and proved so popular that it was extended to Arbour week in 1997 and to Arbour Month in 2009. The aim of this special time is to motivate all South Africans – schools, businesses and communities – to plant, sponsor and look after our wonderful and diverse natural tree heritage.

Over the past 19 years, Food and Trees for Africa (FTFA) has been planting trees to offset carbon emissions, restore eco-systems, , improve the environment and create a healthier and more beautiful planet now and into the future.

Trees supply the most basic elements of life.- oxygen, water-vapour, food, shelter and fuel and are an efficient way to offset the carbon emissions that contribute to global warming. Trees are the longest living and the largest living organisms on earth. In fact, without trees man could not survive.

On a more esoteric level, studies have shown that greener environments help combat mental fatigue, contribute to general feelings of well-being and combat violent behaviour.

FTFA responds to the many corporate and community requests for trees: communities and individuals who wish to participate in the focus on tree planting in the month of September and need information, advice or assistance are urged to contact FTFA. Individuals and companies who wish to contribute to a greener, healthier and more beautiful South Africa are requested to sponsor plantings for their employees, or for disadvantaged schools or communities.

The Trees of the Year for 2011 are the following species:Tree of the year 2011

Pappea Capensis, Jacket Plum, Doppruim – common tree 

Genus Pavetta, Brides Bushes, Bruidsbome – uncommon or rare tree

Tree of the year 2011

Nuxia Congesta, Common Wild Elder, Gewone-Wildevlier –uncommon or Tree of the year 2011rare tree

 

But if your garden nursery does not stock the tree of the year don't despair-plant any indigenous tree that will survive in your area- like the white stinkwood (Celtis Africana) read more about this wonderful tree.

 

At Stonecutters Lodge in Mpumalanga we will be donating trees to the rural community pre-school in Emshinini Village as part of the effort to educate the children as to the benefits of greening our planet. 

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Tags: arbour month, south african trees of the year, Stonecutters Lodge

What’s happening at Stonecutters Lodge and Dullstoom this July!

Posted by Margi Butler on Jul 8, 2011 2:26:00 PM

Winter has set in here in the Eastern Highlands. The biting cold of a Dullstroom winter heralds the donning of fleecy jackets, wooly beanies and thick socks. Log fires are burning and the port decanter is being passed around as the shortest day of the year rolled past.

Stonecutters lodge, dullstroom

This is high season for fly-fishing. The water temperature ensures avid feeding by trout keen to put on winter weight and a well-presented fly is sure to attract a bite both in the dams and the river. The gin-clear waters of winter make it essential that a fisherman employs all the wiles he possesses to lure a wary fish, the very essence of the sport. Round about now spawning season occurs for about three weeks and sexually mature fish are more interested in the timeless courtship dance than in taking a fly, but flies imitating egg patterns may have success. Also a flash of red in a fly may result in a strike purely out of aggression rather than any notion of feeding. Here at Stonecutters we have supplemented our stocking with some sexually immature fish and these are providing good sport at present, both in the dams and the river.  While fly selection is an important element of trout fishing it is not the only criteria – this is the theme of an article we have inserted at the end of the newsletter; written with humour, this excellent article by Tim Robson-

Its Not About the Fly- which is well worth reading.

Click meJoin the Chef’s Hat Club for Free Lodge Recipes- For those of you that love cooking you can now get our best recipes mailed to you on a regular basis

We are proud to announce that Dullstroom has won “Town of the Year” in Mpumalanga and will now go forward to South Africa town of the year finals. We are holding thumbs!

The Dullstroom Game Fair is an annual event hosting many stalls of interest to lovers of the outdoors and a country way of life. This will be held on the last weekend of July (30th and 31st ) and promises to be a very successful event.

There is also a long week-end in August (Check-in on the 5th check out the 9th) 4 nights if you take Monday off. There is still some accommodation available at Stonecutters but it is going fast-so book soon and you won’t be disappointed.

We run weekly empty bed SPECIALS with massive discounts off our normal accommodation rates- (Check the last minute deals every Thursday on our homepage) For those of you who have a sudden desire to escape the rat race for this week-end, remember that Stonecutters should be your first port of call! At present we are in the icy clutches of winter, the very best time to visit Dullstroom. 

So call Lesley at Reservations for a well-deserved break at the best 4-Star destination in the Dullstroom area, Stonecutters Lodge!

Office: 013 235 4225 or 013 235 8921; Cellular: 083 375 0132

Email: cobbles@mweb.co.za    Website: www.stonecutters.co.za

    

 

 

Tags: Stonecutters Lodge, Dullstroom Specials, Stonecutters News

Proudly South African members contribute to nation- building

Posted by Margi Butler on Jul 4, 2011 5:15:00 PM

Proudly South African is the “buy local” campaign launched in 2001 by government, organised business, organised labour and community organisations (the constituencies represented in the National Economic Development and Labour Council – Nedlac) to boost job creation and pride in “local” by promoting South African companies and their ‘homegrown’ products and services.

Buying South African stimulates an increased demand for locally-produced products and services. This translates into the safeguarding of existing employment opportunities, economic growth, and the creation of more quality employment opportunities in our country.

Stonecutters Lodge is proudly South African

By buying Proudly South African, both consumers and businesses are making a personal contribution to nation-building. Consumers get an assurance of quality because only quality products carry the Proudly South African mark, while members of the Campaign are furthermore committed to an uplifting ethos and socially responsible business practices which are reflected in the membership criteria. In this manner the Campaign represents and stimulates the creation of a virtuous circle which benefits all.

 Stonecutters Lodge is pleased to announce that we are part of the Proudly South African “community”. There are strict criteria governing membership to the body, and all members share a commitment to an uplifting ethos that promotes social and economic change and progress. We strive to make a meaningful contribution to building South Africa's economy, alleviating unemployment and retaining existing employment opportunities.

Members are acknowledged for their quality products and services, identified through the Proudly South African logo – an internationally recognized signifier of a proud and dignified country-of-origin brand. We at Stonecutters Lodge are proud to bear the logo and wave the flag! For more information please click on the following link: http://www.proudlysa.co.za

Support Proudly South African Companies- Buy LOCAL

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Tags: Stonecutters Lodge, proudly South African

Stories on the wild side at Stonecutters Lodge, Dullstroom

Posted by Margi Butler on Jun 18, 2011 12:29:00 PM

The owners and staff of Stonecutters Lodge near Dullstroom have come across a number of exciting ‘wildlife sightings’ recently. Leaving the property a few weeks ago at noon, Christi Moller, the operations manager disturbed a crowned eagle who had just landed to consume a – a puff adder snake– “ I watched in awe of the enormous wing span as the raptor took flight, leaving his twitching half-eaten prey behind in the dust. As I drove off I was pleased to see the bird return to his meal.

Stonecutters Dam, Dullstroom      stonecutters Lodge, Dam fishing

There is a pair of resident African fish eagles that nest in the trees close to the dams and while they too consume their fair share of our trout, they are such majestic birds with their wonderful signature call, that one can only be pleased at their presence. Seeing a fish eagle swoop down and score a direct hit is something most of us only see on TV, but this month I was thrilled to see the live event as a magnificent fish eagle plucked a large trout (about one kilogram) from the dam in his huge claws and landed in a nearby tree, where he tore into his meal with beak and claw, quite unperturbed by my presence. . Made my day!”

In the past week the farm work force have been involved with a project of clearing grass and reeds from sections of one of the dams to create easy fishing access for our trout angling guests and a few days ago they called us, with great excitement, to come and see a White breasted Cormorant. These birds are the bane of owners’ of trout dams as they consume a good percentage of fish, so we approached with little enthusiasm. Imagine our surprise when we were confronted by a white–breasted cormorant lying stone dead with a large trout weighing about one kilogram stuck half-way down his gullet. He definitely bit off more than he could chew - the staff were very pleased to have both a big fish and a big bird for the pot! Clifford Nkuna caught this on camera.

wilflife stories, DullstroomWildlife stories Stonecutters Lodge

And then a sad event last week: The dams are filled with water from the Dorps River which is fed by 700 meters of parallel pipes. Last week the water had reduced to a trickle and on investigating we found that both pipes were blocked at the inlet by not one, but two water mongooses. The poor creatures were stuck nose first into the pipes and had been unable to extricate themselves. If we had noticed the blockage sooner maybe we could have rescued the poor animals….. From one day to the next we don’t know what we may be privy to in this piece of Paradise. It is not the ‘Big Five’ but in its own way it brings excitement to our every day here.

Next time you travel to Dullstroom try Stonecutters Lodge now offering a Special Discount deal. Click the icon for details. Special Deals Dullstroom

Tags: Dullstroom, Stonecutters Lodge, Wildlife sightings

"Going Beyond" Earth Hour at Stonecutters Lodge, Dullstroom

Posted by Margi Butler on Mar 26, 2011 9:00:00 PM

Earth hour, Dullstroom 

There is no denying that our planet needs our nurturing. Now more than ever we are aware of the effects of global warming and the strain that man has placed on our dwindling resources.

Earth Hour  is an exciting way of creating awareness of these problems and also an awareness that every little effort helps. There is something remarkable about sharing the commonality of our human experience across the globe, the figurative taking of hands in a quest for conservation of our environment. So may you enjoy a candle-lit dinner tonight!

And when we have blown out the candles and switched on the lights, the call is to ‘go beyond the hour’.

Bishop Desmond Tutu has called on citizens of the world to use the moment to commit to one on-going environmental act beyond the hour, something as simple as wearing a jersey instead of switching on the heater.

In this age of instant gratification we are not accustomed to austerity, much less self-imposed measures of denial but this would doubtless be good for the soul as well as the planet!

In the hospitality industry where guest comfort is all important it is doubly hard to initiate a policy of ‘going beyond the hour’ but nevertheless there are measures that can be taken – recycling, switching of geezers when not in use, avoiding the tumble dryer on sunny days, requesting guests to use water conservatively and many other little actions that can all add up to a positive response to the global call by the people for the planet. So switch off your lights and switch on to the meaning of Earth Hour

yes, you!

Stonecutters Lodge near Dullstroom is implementing a          "Go Beyond" action plan to lower our carbon footprint and heed the call to save our planet. 

Earth hour and Stonecutters Lodge

Tags: Mpumalanga, Dullstroom, Stonecutters Lodge, Earth Hour

Education is suffering in rural Mpumalanga schools

Posted by Margi Butler on Feb 1, 2011 7:58:00 PM

Coromandel Farm School in the Lydenburg District of Mpumalanga is one of many rural schools that is battling to survive.

Coromandel School, Lydenburg

Coromandel is a rural community situated near Stonecutters Lodge and from which most of the lodge staff is drawn. The lodge has been involved with the village and the Coromandel Farm School for the past 15 years.

The once proud school has for years been neglected through the lack of budget and has functioned with little maintenance of buildings or grounds. There are currently around 300 pupils from grade 1 to grade 7. There are 9 teachers (plus the principal) who are paid by the government. There is no vehicle to ferry children to sports and cultural events as the school struggles to maintain a tenuous foothold in local school activities. The teachers have very little in the way of teaching aids. Where pictures are not available they draw their own: there are few charts on the walls and books, paper and writing materials are in scant supply.

Coromandel is an isolated community. They have no contacts in the commercial environment and no idea of how to raise funds for the school. They need money to pay for electricity, additional school rooms and building maintenance. They need teaching aids, schoolbooks and stationary and of course sport’s equipment.

Stonecutters Lodge has assisted the school in various ways over the years: Massmart very kindly donated school packs one year and CNA and Game Stores have assisted with discounts when Stonecutters have shopped annually for prizes for the school’s annual prize-giving, but our contributions are just a drop in the ocean. Rural school Mpumalanga

The plight of rural schools in South Africa is alarming. Government is well aware of the importance of early education and aims to improve the quality of education at primary school level, but the private sector and the public can also be of enormous assistance. A good grounding at primary school level is the foundation for a successful high school career and is the cornerstone of education at any level, be it tertiary education, entrepreneurial endeavour or trade skills.  

Anyone who would like to assist is asked to call the principal

Mr Richard Raphahlelo on 082 670 6693

Or call Lesley from Stonecutters Lodge  on 083 375 0132.


Tags: Stonecutters Lodge, Education, South Africa, Rural Schools Mpumalanga, Funds for rural schools, Lydenburg