HORSE RIDING AND SUMMER FISHING ADVENTURE

by Akhona Mongameli

Gooderson Kloppenheim Country Estate hotel boasts 14 beautiful twin lakeside suites, 20 gorgeous twin estate rooms and 10 elegant 2 bedroomed, 6 sleeper self-contained lodges, each with its own magnificent view of the rolling hills.

This is a country retreat in the heart of the Highlands Meander near Machadodorp and Dullstroom that comes with all the olde worlde charm that often falls by the wayside in our fast paced and often mundane world.

This is the perfect retreat for those who simply want to take in the beautiful views, read a good book or share the quietness with a host of fascinating neighbours – 59 black wildebeest, 35 blesbok, 14 red hartebeest, a group of nosy zebras that have just been joined by four newcomers and four springbok to be precise.

Alternatively, for the slightly more adventurous who still wish to revel in the peacefulness of the countryside, Kloppenheim has six dams stocked with plenty of brown and rainbow trout. These dams are considered to be amongst the best in the area and, hence, the resort is developing quite a reputation with avid trout fly fishermen.

It’s hard to explain just why keen anglers find trout fishing so fascinating. Many will tell you that casting from the banks of these beautiful lakes is something of a spiritual experience. The more pragmatic will admit that they’re probably addicted to the thrill of luring the wily trout who pop up every now and then to snatch a bug from the lake surface and then quickly disappear beneath the silvery surface.

Make no mistake, catching a trout on the fly is far from easy and choosing the right fly, the right spot from which to fish and even the right time of day means knowing more than a little about nature.

Ordinarily, all but skilled fly fisher folk might be put off trying to snaffle a trout from the peaceful lakes at Kloppenheim. But the beauty of staying at the resort means that you can try your hand at this somewhat elusive sport without too much effort.

Kloppenheim has even introduced a Float Boat for fly-fishing.

At Kloppenheim, you’ll be looking for one of two types of trout – the brown trout which has a streamlined, spindle-shaped body which is silver to olive-brown or even yellow, with small scales and covered with large reddish-brown spots or its more colourful cousin which is dark olive in colour, shading to silvery-white on the underside with a heavily speckled body and a pink-red stripe along its sides.

What many don’t realise is that even though this country is regarded as a superb trout fishing destination, trout are not actually indigenous to South Africa.

Their arrival dates back to the eighteen hundreds when a group of fly fishers decided that the mountain streams of the Drakensberg would be the perfect place to introduce the wild trout of Western Europe and Asia. Eggs were brought over from Loch Lagan in Scotland and, after a number of failed attempts, these cold water loving fish made themselves at home in the Bushman’s and Mooi Rivers.

In 1887, the same techniques were used to stock the Eastern and Western Cape streams – only this time, they took the eggs from the Drakensberg Brown Trout and tried artificially hatching them in the Cape streams. Eventually, by 1890, there were thriving populations of Brown Trout all around South Africa.

After the success of the Brown Trout, the fly fishermen of South Africa decided to introduce the somewhat hardier rainbow trout which made itself quite at home in local waters in 1897.

Since then, both species have happily bred in this country, delighting fisher folk for centuries to come.

The good news for those who aren’t always at home in the shallows rod in hand, is that there’s plenty to keep them occupied.

Recent upgrades to the resort include a new interactive petting zoo complete with sheep, ducks, a chicken pen, goats, rabbits and geese as well as new putt putt and archery courses and a new outdoor Jacuzzi. Two new horses have been added and kiddies can also enjoy pony rides.

For more information call 013-2569148 or go to www.goodersonleisure.co.za

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