A weekend escape from the hustle and bustle of city life always sounds enticing but a long drive to get to the countryside usually isn’t as appealing. While planning our recent adventures in Cullinan, we discovered Bushman's Rock Country Lodge on the outskirts of Pretoria. Its proximity to Johannesburg, as well as Cullinan, was a plus, while the countryside setting was another welcome bonus.
Located on the banks of the Hartbeesspruit stream which flows into the Roodeplat Dam, the African-themed four-star graded lodge is set among gardens dotted with pretty water features, rockeries and wildlife sculptures. A small herd of grazing impalas enhances the bucolic atmosphere.
We arrived on a Saturday afternoon and were shown around the property. I was instantly drawn to the stream. Towering trees lined the banks of the stream, bathing the surroundings in dappled sunlight. The running water provided a soothing soundtrack while the winter afternoon sun cast a warm golden glow over the scene before me, and I felt my stress levels diminish rapidly.
There are 48 bedrooms of varying types and configurations, and many have been recently renovated. The two private junior suites are free-standing and have their own braai facilities, while the family units and the superior luxury rooms are housed in semis. Most of the other rooms are contained in huge double-storey buildings. All the rooms have televisions, limited wi-fi, and either an air-conditioner or a fan.
We stayed in a modern family unit. It consisted of a main bedroom with a double bed, a bathroom, a kitchenette and an open plan lounge area with two single beds for the kids.
The kitchenette was equipped with a microwave, fridge, crockery and cutlery.
Load shedding reared its ugly head during our stay there but fortunately the hotel had a generator so we barely noticed it.
Bushman's Rock Country Lodge is a popular venue for weddings, parties and conferences, and team-building activities can be arranged. A lively birthday party was taking place during our visit there.
The Crazy Bushman Restaurant specializes in international and local cuisine including steaks, pizzas, pastas, seafood and chicken dishes and is open till late on weekends. Non-resident guests are welcomed too. Large groups can be accommodated in the boma river lapa. There are also communal braai and al fresco dining facilities.
On the morning of our departure, we had to leave early so the restaurant provided us with a delicious continental breakfast to eat in our room at our leisure. We enjoyed cheese and tomato croissants, yoghurt and muesli, muffins and fresh fruit.
The Bushman’s Rock Riverside Spa overlooks the river and you can choose to get pampered indoors or outdoors next to the river. They have a wide range of treatments and packages available as well as a jacuzzi. Although I didn’t get an opportunity to go there on this visit, I’d love to spend some time there on my next visit.
For some family fun, there is a new putt-putt course, a play area for the young kids and swimming pools with sun loungers. Or you can just relax with a book overlooking the tranquil river. If you want to venture out, then most of Pretoria’s main attractions, like the Union Buildings, Freedom Park and Dinokeng Game Reserve, are within a 30-minute drive.
A weekend in the countryside is a great way to reset your mind, body, and soul and at Bushman’s Rock Country Lodge, you can relax in the serene setting while still being close enough to civilization if required. And best of all, the rates are easy on the pocket, ensuring that you’ll return for another affordable weekend away.
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