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Why did we hand pick Dawsons Game & Trout Lodge?

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  • A luxurious colonial lodge nestled in the lush valleys of Mpumalanga
  • Total relaxation on offer in the spa or watching game lazily graze from the verandah
  • Great flyfishing on site

Dawsons Game & Trout Lodge

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Price tier (pps): R200  R1500+

Child policy: All ages

26km from eManzana


-25.8154, 30.7323


Dawsons is a place where the sun dances across the open plains at sunrise and sunset, painting the landscape in vivid tones of fiery red, orange, copper and gold. Herds of antelope roam the 2 000ha farm, and the landscape is dominated by brooding mountains, perennial streams and trout dams.

The lodge offers a great African Experience in eight large, individually styled en-suite rooms with cosy fireplaces and large Victorian-style bathrooms.

 All amenities are of the highest standard and include luxuries such as percale linen, handpicked antique furniture, a walk-in closet and heated towel rails.

The communal area’s rich décor and the wrap around veranda with its stunning views create an ambiance that takes you back to the grandeur and splendour of the colonial era. The original Dawson’s home houses the reception area, 3 lounges, a dining room, a library, a TV room and the bar.

The self-catering cottages are beautifully appointed and allow guests to unwind in an exclusive setting. Romantic brunches or lunches can be prepared by the in-house chef (on request), and enjoyed at one of the well-stocked trout dams or at any one of the numerous secluded spots on the reserve.

For those staying at the Homestead or Creek Cottage, meals at the Main Lodge are sumptuous affairs that will caress your palate and stretch your waistline.

If you wanted to fill up your days with activities ranging from fly fishing to bird watching, spa treatments and quad biking, you couldn't do much better than at Dawsons Game & Trout Lodge.

Rates & Summary

8 Luxury Rooms

Each sleeps 2 in King-size/twin beds
En-suite bath and shower

The Homestead

Sleeps 14 people in 7 double bedrooms
4 en-suite, 1 interleading and 2 sharing a bathroom
Recreational lapa with indoor and outdoor braai
Swimming pool

Creekside Cottage

Sleeps 4 with 2 more on sleeper couch
Open-plan kitchen and lounge


  • For pricing detail, click on CHECK AVAILABILITY & BOOK ONLINE above


The self-catering cottages, with their large communal areas and swimming pool, are highly suitable for kids and families.

Why Stay Here?

A colonial gem hidden in the lush valleys of Mpumalanga, Dawson's Game & Trout Lodge offers a superd countryside getaway where the active can flyfish, quad bike, and explore to their hearts' content while the restful can be pampered in style and seclusion. Relax with a spa treatment, and let the colonial luxury satisfy you while watching the game idly graze around the lodge, with beautiful mountains and streams as backdrop.


  • A luxurious colonial lodge nestled in the lush valleys of Mpumalanga
  • Total relaxation on offer in the spa or watching game lazily graze from the verandah
  • Great flyfishing on site


The Crooked Creekside Cottage is rustic but comfortable, and very secluded.

Things to consider Bringing

Sunblock, hat, walking shoes, swimming costume, binoculars for bird watching and game viewing.

Road Conditions

Good gravel approach roads negotiable by any vehicle.

Activities & Attractions

  • Swimming Pool
  • Spa treatments
  • Fly fishing
  • Quad biking
  • Game viewing
  • Bird watching
  • Archery
  • Hiking and walking trails
  • Mountain biking trails


Accommodation & Hospitality

  • Communal lounge
  • Dining table
  • Covered verandah / patio
  • Fan included
  • Fireplace
  • Firewood provided
  • No under floor heating
  • Bed linen supplied
  • Bathroom towels supplied
  • Swimming towels supplied
  • Hair dryer available
  • Daily housekeeping
  • Laundry service available
  • Ironing service available
  • Self-service tea and coffee available
  • No smoking indoors

Catering & Kitchen

  • Full board
  • Restaurant
  • Licensed
  • Full Kitchen
  • Braai area available
  • Microwave oven
  • Electric stove
  • Hot Plates
  • Fridge or minibar
  • Fully stocked with cleaning materials


  • Water supply good for drinking
  • Electric geysers
  • Eskom electricity

Leisure Amenities

  • Swimming pool
  • Satellite television
  • Library
  • Garden

Business & Connectivity

  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Limited cell phone reception
  • Conference facilities available

Access & Convenience

  • Limited wheelchair friendliness
  • Babysitting available
  • Child friendly
  • No pets allowed
  • Covered parking
  • Nearest shops further than 10km
  • Nearest fuel further than 10km


  • Credit cards accepted
  • EFT accepted
  • Cash accepted


  • Personal safe




Grasslands & Wetlands



The Grasslands & Wetlands region is often referred to as Mpumalanga’s ‘lake district’, and quite rightly so. This mountainous area is fed and watered by rivers, streams and wetlands and is filled with hundreds of silver lakes. It’s set in the south-eastern part of Mpumalanga, bordering Swaziland, KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State.

Grasslands & Wetlands is an important forestry and farming region. It includes the towns of Chrissiesmeer, Badplaas, Carolina, Ermelo, eMkhondo/Piet Retief, Volksrust, Wakkerstroom and Ekulindeni.

There is great beauty and history out here. The Grasslands & Wetlands region has fascinating Bushman paintings, haunting battle sites, ancient African ruins and mysterious giant footprints. But the birdlife is the star of the show. The centre of the Grasslands & Wetlands region is Chrissiesmeer. It has the largest freshwater lake in South Africa, with some 270 lakes and pans making up the whole system.

This habitat attracts hundreds of aquatic birds, including 20 000 flamingos that put on amazing annual displays. The wetlands around Wakkerstroom are also internationally-renowned amongst birders for its extraordinary diversity of wetland species.

Badplaas is a pretty and pleasant resort town in the foothills of the Ndlumudlumu mountains between Enthokozweni/Machadodorp and Carolina. The hot springs are one of the great attractions here are. They pump out some 30 000 litres of warm sulphurous water every hour. These waters have long been known for their restorative and healing properties.

Although nearby Carolina was destroyed during the Anglo-Boer War, it still has some beautiful sandstone buildings. It’s an easy drive to the majestic Komati Gorge and Komati River. These are great for hiking, birding, fishing, swimming and picnicking.

The village of Wakkerstroom is growing rapidly on the back of its popularity as a weekend birding destination. Emkhondo/Piet Retief is a stopover for travellers en route to Pongola and the north coast beaches of KwaZulu-Natal.

Volksrust is a quaint town with many historical battle sites. Lothair, close to Chrissiesmeer and Amsterdam, on the border of Swaziland, is a small town based on forestry and logging.

Another amazing part of the Grasslands & Wetlands region is the Somgimvelo Nature Reserve which is earmarked for World Heritage Site status. It is a 50 000ha mountain reserve with ancient rock formations. Songimvelo lies deep in the Barberton mountainlands. This area contains some of the world’s oldest geological records, dubbed the ‘Genesis of Life’.

Apart from attracting excited scientists, the mountains have also long attracted hikers, walkers and adventurers. They provide a mixture of forest and bush, with waterfalls and streams, underground caves and panoramic views. You can go on foot, on horseback, by mountain bike, quad bike or in a 4x4. There are excellent birding routes. Lone Tree Hill, has long been revered by paragliders and microlighters as one of the best jump spots in the country.

Look out for

Lake Chrissie and the lake district - The heart of the region, this area is steeped in history and beauty. Near to Chrissiesmeer you can also find a giant footprint embedded in rock, matching a similar footprint to be found in Canada. This quirky town wakes up once a year for the re-enactment of the bloody Battle of Chrissiesmeer fought during the Anglo-Boer War. Hundreds of enthusiastic participants dress up in the uniform of either the British army or the Boer Republic. It’s a fascinating spectacle as they fight mock battles. Other significant sites here are Dumbarton Oaks Hotel dating back to the late 1800s, and Billiard Cottage. This cottage was transported in pieces by ox-wagon all the way from Bloemfontein. It was a recreation mess for British soldiers during the war.

Birding at Wakkerstroom - One of the most popular birding spots in Mpumalanga’s wetlands region, the Wakkerstroom Nature Reserve is on the outskirts of a small town on the KwaZulu-Natal border. This is home to the best of South Africa’s grassland endemic species and other grass-loving birds. There is also a good cross section of waterbirds and interesting forest birds make this an exhilarating birding spot.

Frogging - Frogging is another attraction in Chrissiesmeer. The area of Siswati is also known as Matotoland, meaning ‘frog land’. There is a lively annual Frog Hunt event, in which thousands of visitors put on their raincoats and boots and head out to count the frogs.

The Great Outdoors - With so much water and so many mountains, there’s plenty of action to be had. The Grasslands & Wetlands region is known for its scenic hiking trails, horse riding adventures and 4x4 expeditions. There is also a range of water sports to be enjoyed.

Nooitgedacht Nature Reserve - The beautiful Nooitgedacht Nature Reserve is north-west of Carolina and has over 200 recorded bird species. This makes it a popular birding spot. There are wonderful day and overnight trails as well as horse riding.

Somgimvelo - One of Mpumalanga’s most exciting reserves, Somgimvelo is home to the Makonjwa mountains, which date back some 3,6 billion years. This is one of the most well-preserved sequences of sedimentary rocks on earth. The reserve is host to wonderful grasslands, and cave paintings left by the intrepid San people who once roamed here, leaving behind a virtual gallery of the masters of the Stone Age.

Barberton - Born of a gold rush and home to the country’s first stock exchange, Barberton today is charming town with well-preserved buildings, interesting restaurants and hotels. It has a wonderful heritage walk that takes you through the most historic part of the town.

The Anglo Boer War Battlefields - The region is steeped in the poignant history of the Anglo-Boer War. Throughout it there are battlefields and museums, grave sites and historic buildings.

Badplaas - Another great spot to spend a weekend away, Badplaas is known to offer a fairly unbeatable combination of good golfing and spa treatments, especially at Badplaas Hydro Spa. The healing waters of Badplaas are known to the locals as ‘Emanzana’. The beautiful rolling hills that form the backdrop to this resort town are called the Ndumudlumu hills – ‘the place of thunder’.

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