Santa Fishing Activities

In addition to its superb fishing waters, the property offers wonderful opportunities for walking, mountain biking, trail running, bird watching, and swimming. For those who want to just take it easy, curl up with a book and a glass of wine next to a wood-burning fireplace, or roll out a picnic blanket for a lazy time.

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Fly Fishing

Known as the fly-fishing capital of South Africa, Dullstroom features an array of fully-stocked fishing waters, ideal for a range of anglers, from novices to experienced professionals.

Santa Fishing Estate is renowned for its superb and diverse waters, which offer a selection of easy-to-challenging conditions. Fish along the Estate’s 6km stretch of the Lunsklip River, or in one of the 14 stocked weirs and 13 dams. While some of the fishing waters are quite remote, others are located within easy walking distance from the various cottages.

Fishing on Santa Fishing Estate is operated through the Santa Fly Fishing Syndicate. Please refer to the relevant section for information.

For guests who are not syndicate members, but who are still interested in fishing, a daily rod rate applies. Please inform us of your intention to fish when you make your booking.

Santa encourages a catch and release policy, and a fishing book is provided in each cottage to record fish kept or released. This record-keeping assists us to optimise regular stocking. Tubes can be used in the larger dams.

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Walking, Trail Running & Mountain Biking

Although we don’t have any marked routes on the farm, guests are more than welcome to explore the property on foot or bike. Choose from a wide range of both gentle and more strenuous routes, all offering fabulous vistas across the mountains, dams, and the Lunsklip River valley. Walk in any direction from the front door of all the cottages or drive to a specific spot and walk from there. There are several dirt roads and cattle trails to follow, or just follow your nose, using the cattle gates to move from one field to another. The river, and various mountain streams and lakes, also allow for lovely walks.

The Dullstroom area is a well-known high-altitude training ground for hikers, runners, and mountain bikers. For mountain bikers there are various challenging rides in the area, as well as on the Santa property. There is also a dirt track that follows the railway line that intersects the farm.

Please be careful to close any gates between the cattle camps. Look out for the abundant wildflowers, with over 200 species in the area including orchids, pelargoniums, wahlenbergias, and tree ferns. Copses of protea bushes can also be found. Look out for the Gurney’s Sugarbirds and Malachite Sunbirds that are found on the proteas.

Santa Fishing Estate hiking activities
Santa Fishing Estate Trail running activities
Santa Fishing Estate Mountain biking activities
Santa Fishing Estate Birding
Bird Watching

Santa Fishing Estate, with its mix of habitats (including montane grasslands, wetlands, rocky outcrops, rivers and dams, and remnant pine forests), is a “Birders’ Paradise”.

The greater Dullstroom-Belfast area falls within the Steenkampsberg. The Steenkampsberg Important Bird Area (IBA) is home to over 300 bird species, a large number of which are endemic or near-endemic. Over 30 of these endemic/near-endemic species, approximately one third of all of southern Africa’s endemics, having been recorded on Santa.

The Santa property borders on the Verloren Valei Nature Reserve. This internationally recognized wetland reserve provides pristine breeding shelter for all three of southern Africa’s endangered cranes – the Blue, Grey Crowned and Wattled Cranes. All three crane species have been seen on Santa. The wetlands of Verloren Valei and Santa form the headwaters of the Lunsklip River. Field trips to Verloren Valei can be organised through “Friends of Verloren Valei”

Verloren Valei Website

Birdlists are available in all the cottages. Birding in the greater Dullstroom area is supported by the Escarpment Bird Club (

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Flowers & Wildlife

Verloren Valei Nature Reserve is also renowned for its wonderful floral diversity. Many of these rare and special wildflowers, including the indigenous ground orchids, can be found on Santa.

Duiker, oribi, Vaal (Grey) Rhebok, jackal, caracal, serval, baboons, Vervet Monkeys, dassies, otters, and porcupines can all be spotted on the Santa property.

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Guests are welcome to take a plunge in any of the dams or mountain streams, as long as they don’t disturb the anglers. Swimming in the weirs is not permitted due to the dangers associated with the outflow pipes. Swimming is done at guests’ own risk.

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Santa Fishing Weir
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Dullstroom Village

The village is just 12km from the Santa Fishing Estate turn-off, making it easily accessible for a visit to stroll around the many shops, to enjoy a meal in one of the excellent restaurants, or to watch an exciting rugby match in one of the village’s friendly pubs.

For those who want to grab a meal, or watch a game, slightly closer to Santa, bookings can be made at the neighbouring Walkersons Hotel and Spa.

Santa Fishing Estate Whisky-tasting
Whisky Tasting

Wild about Whisky is located in Dullstroom. This whisky bar and retail outlet is reputed to have the largest whisky menu in the Southern Hemisphere. Wild about Whisky offers tutored tastings that cover a wide variety of whiskies and other spirits.

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Highland Gate Golf Course

Highland Gate Golf Course is 31km from Santa. Set among some of the most scenic mountain terrain in Mpumalanga, the course is considered one of the best in the country. The 18-hole, Ernie Els Signature course offers an equal challenge to both club players and professionals.

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Horse Riding

Horse rides can be arranged through the neighbouring Walkersons Hotel and Spa

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