Escape to nature, Rust de Winter, Limpopo
Words & Photos: Chantal Pretorius. Article from the DO IT NOW Online Magazine.
Nature | Travel
We have just returned from a relaxing weekend at Rust de Winter Dam Resort, a fantastic nature resort in Limpopo that is ideal for those who need to get away from town living and back to nature.
Located just 85 km north of Pretoria, in the Waterberg region and close to the town of Bela-Bela, the resort lies within the boundaries of the 1,650-ha Rust de Winter Reserve. Encompassing a wide variety of landscapes and habitats, such as broad-leaved woodland, rocky woodland slopes, mixed woodland, riverine forest and alluvial acacia veld, we were overwhelmed and captured by the undisturbed beauty that surrounded us.
Entrance to the resort is really affordable at just *R160,00 per day for two adults and a child, and included the use of a canoe and fishing rod. There are a number of camping sites available, as well as basic ablution facilities, but no electricity. We selected a camping spot close to the 500-ha dam and marvelled at the water’s clarity and variety of bird life, whose song filled the fragrant air. The reserve is a well-known birding destination with 400 species of birds including numerous varieties of water bird. Waders and uncommon raptors are also reasons why birding fans gather here. In particular, look out for the olive tree-warbler, a rare sighting at any reserve but one that has been spotted here, and the golden pipit.
Before unpacking our camping and tent equipment, my husband Henri, son Güte and I hastily grabbed our picnic basket and made ourselves comfortable, eager to take in and enjoy the sheer beauty that lay before us.
Thereafter, we decided to indulge in some fishing, but didn’t have the right fishing lures to catch any of the fish that the dam stocked, such as yellowfish, blue kurper, carp, largemouth bass and barbel. Next time we will be better prepared.
Güte loved playing with his truck in the shallow waters of the dam.
Along the road of Rust De Winter Dam we saw this old tracker – extraordinary.
The high mountains surrounding the dam make it a safe a wonderful place to spend time just chilling out with the family.
Our campfire was small, but warm and cosy.
In addition to angling, other activities on offer include canoeing, picnicking, bird watching and game viewing. You can expect to see game such as waterbuck, zebra, warthog, aardvark, crocodile, bush pig and kudu. There are also a fair number of farm stalls, coffee shops and villages in the area that invite further exploration.
Later, as the sun began to set, we prepared our campfire with the wood we’d bought from the resort and relaxed around a cosy fire. As we sat there, we spotted a variety of buck and a bush pig contentedly grazing on the opposite side of the dam, while the distinctive sound of a fish eagle occasionally broke the natural sounds around us. This was an experience that calmed and cleansed the soul, and reminded us why we love nature so much.
Around 3 a.m., we heard some strange noises outside our tent. At first, we thought it was crocodiles, but soon realised that it was two hippos. Adding to nature’s symphony was the noisy sounds of crickets and grasshoppers singing in the bush.
Later that morning, Henri, Güte and I canoed down the tranquil river, while trying our luck once again at catching some fish. This was followed by a refreshing swim in the shallow water, some bird watching and just simply enjoying all that the Rust De Winter Dam has to offer.
The dam at Rust De Winter is simply beautiful.
The weekend had been food for the soul and we left feeling refreshed, recharged and ready to tackle the rat race once more. So, the next time you feel the need to return to nature, Rust de Winter Dam Resort makes for a great weekend getaway.
For more information about the resort, visit their website.
*Rate correct at time of publication
Rust de Winter Dam Resort
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