As one of South Africa’s premier trout fishing areas, Dullstroom has become a popular weekend retreat for those living in Gauteng. Founded in 1883 by a group of Dutch settlers, the town was completely destroyed during the second Boer War. Rebuilding the town, however, started once the war was over and by 1920 the area had recovered and featured, among other things, eight shops. Termed by some as the Last Scottish Outpost in Africa, the region has become famous for fly fishing and a number of well-stocked dams surround the town. Situated approximately three hours from Gauteng, the area has become incredibly popular with city dwellers looking to get away from it all. The once sleepy village has been transformed, thanks in part to a Mr J Gurr, who in 1912 caught what looked remarkably like a trout in the Dorp River in the Western Cape. The idea that this type of fish could be found in a stream in SA fuelled the desire among South African fishermen and fingerlings from the Cape were transported and released in various streams in the Dullstroom area in 1916.The trout fishing and tourism industries continue to be the backbone of the town’s survival, although the huge amount of residential development that has been witnessed in the area has brought some welcome money into the local municipality’s coffers. Although a number of areas that are traditional area for second homes have been severely affected by the economic downturn, Dullstroom appears to be holding its head above water. That said, the heydays are over and the number sales have dropped significantly when compared to those enjoyed in first few years of the 21st century. There is, however, still a fair amount of movement – all things considered.Lightstone statistics indicate that a total of 30 properties in Dullstroom have been sold during the past year, of which 16 were freehold and 11 were sectional title. Additionally, three homes were sold in a local estate. Compared to many other areas in the country where sales in new developments remain slow, buyers investing in the town are still showing interest in this sector of the market. Statistics reveal that of the sales concluded, nine were first-time sales, which translates to just under 30% of the total number of sales.As a top tourist destination the town offers visitors a wide choice of amenities. A number of good restaurants offering various choices of cuisine are also available, as well as a collection of interesting shops that specialise in local produce, antiques and curios.Set in some of the most beautiful countryside in SA, the area has a number of famous hiking trials and the region is popular with horse-riding enthusiasts. There is a wealth of accommodation available ranging from self-catering cottages to upmarket five-star boutique hotels.
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