At Wits End we have our own 3-hectare dam which is stocked with indigenous Natal Yellowfish (Barbus natalensis) and Large Mouth Bass.
In conjunction with Unzimvelo wildlife authorities, our dam was stocked 10 years ago with a breeding stock of the indigenous Natal Yellowfish. These fish offer excellent Fly fishing and recent catches indicate that they are breeding well both juvenile and adult fish having been caught. In the summer months, they migrate upstream to spawn and lay their eggs in the gravel beds at the entrance to our dam.
A mixed blessing for our dam is that somehow Large Mouth Bass have arrived, either migrating down from a dam higher up the river or maybe the eggs were introduced by waterfowl, but in any event, they offer new angling opportunities, and so far have been successfully co-habituating with the Yellowfish.
The fishing this December has been very good and catches include some large specimens, the largest bass weighing 3.5 kilograms, and numerous smaller specimens and some smaller Yellowfish were also caught.
Fishing at Wits End is for our guests only and is free of charge but we encourage “responsible fishing” and request that all Yellowfish be returned to the water unharmed. Bass, however, regardless of size, may be kept. Activities
The unspoiled property on which Wits End is situated is a nature lover’s paradise with indigenous forests and mountain grasslands and a wealth of flora and fauna. Guests can take a leisurely stroll along one of our nature trails which wind through the forests, grasslands and along the dam and river.
Bird watching enthusiasts will find an abundance of species along the trails as well as among the chalets where the indigenous gardens are in keeping with our ecologically friendly policy. Other wildlife to thrive on the property includes various species of buck,( frequent sightings of Grey Duiker, Reed Buck, and Bush Buck), Natal otter, water mongoose, civet cat, serval cat, porcupine and jackal, troops of monkeys and Baboons. We have also introduced Wildebeest which although very shy and allusive offer an exciting experience when viewed on foot. We recently had an unpleasant experience with a serval cat taking several of our chickens, and it was quite brash visiting our yard in full view during the day.
Our 10-acre dam is among the largest in the area. It is stocked with Natal yellow fish and bass so guests can enjoy fly fishing as well as canoeing. Fly fishing at Wits End is only for our guests and is free of charge but operates on a strict “catch and release” policy. As the dam is not heavily fished some good catches have been recorded.
In conjunction with Unzimvelo wildlife authorities, our dam was stocked 10 years ago with a breeding stock of the indigenous Natal Yellowfish. These fish offer excellent Fly fishing and recent catches indicate that they are breeding well both juvenile and adult fish having been caught. In the summer months, they migrate upstream to spawn and lay their eggs in the gravel beds at the entrance to our dam. Our resident population of Yellowfish are definitely becoming a strong population and offer Fly fisherman the option of fly fishing for this species in our dam. Bass also occur in the dam, which was not introduced by ourselves as they are not indigenous, but are offering a lot of fun, particularly by our younger anglers. We think that they arrived as eggs carried from nearby dams on the legs of waterfowl.
Comments from guests-
Jeff Badenhorst- 21/04/17- 2 Yellowfish
Renaldo de Buys- 05/04/2017- 1 by 2 Kg Bass.
Dudley Mitchell 25/01/17- 2 yellowfish ( 25- 30 cm) on a walker killer and 1 small Bass.
Frans Krause. 24/01/17- 2 small Yellowfish on a lure
Warren Bates 20/12/2016-2 small Largemouth Bass on a Daloog diver and 1 Yellowfish
caught with a Dragonfly nymph ( 35 cm)
Anthony Craig. A young angler ( 10 years) 1 small bass
Marco Burelli Dec 2016. Over the weekend we caught 11 largemouth bass and 1 yellowfish caught with a golden boobic, orange hot spot nymph, and olive nymph.
October 2016. Leslie Boyd of Reding UK caught one Yellow his first yellow and first fish in SA.
Richard & Chris Van Vliet- Feb 2016-Guernsey UK. Caught lots of little ones all over the dam.
Jem Davidson- Nov 2015- Caught 4 small ones.
Jose Durban- Sept 2015- 7 Yellows on the first day and 2 on second day- fishing deep & slow.
Christopher Laurence- a Wonderful nursery for Yellow’s
We also have a rock swimming pool with a kids paddling pool, a playground with a trampoline, jungle gym, table tennis and darts and a “chip and putt” green. The LAPA at the swimming pool has recently been upgraded and now also has an attached kitchen so is ideal for groups who can self-cater.
Wits End is a stone’s throw from the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park, one of only 7 sites worldwide to be awarded World Heritage status in 3 categories: Archaeology, Vegetation, and Geology.
This a wonderful area for hiking, swimming in the crystal clear water of mountain streams and discovering unique wildflowers and san rock art.
The internationally acclaimed Drakensberg Boys Choir School is across the road from Wits End so guests may attend the weekly term-time concerts. The school’s bi-annual music festivals are another attraction not to be missed.
Another famous local attraction is Champagne Sports Resort’s 18 hole Championship golf course. This is approximately 5 minutes drive from Wits End. For the more laid back golfer, there is Monks Cowl Country club’s course which is also within 5 minutes of the resort.
One can hardly visit the Drakensberg without enjoying the views from horseback. There are numerous places to horse ride within 2 to 10 minutes of Wits End where the horses are properly looked after and the rides well organized.
Other nearby adventure activities include:
• mountain biking
• river rafting
• quad biking
• even archery.
For the less adventurous there is still plenty to keep one occupied in The Valley. There are numerous local art studios, ceramic studios, weaving factories and a candle-making factory. One can view bees in a glass hive or enjoy a leisurely afternoon tea at one of the many tea gardens.
There are various opportunities to indulge in retail therapy so don’t forget the credit card. The Champagne Valley also boasts a number of health and beauty salons where one can enjoy treatments including massage, manicures, pedicures and facials to name but a few.
Central Drakensberg Team Building Venue
Wits End is an ideal team building venue for corporate activities be it a personalized seminar, team building or just an informal get together. Enjoy our relaxed and informal atmosphere where one can really unwind. We are in the heart of the Central Drakensberg’s Champagne Valley. and conveniently situated close to several main centers, Durban, Pietermaritzburg, Gauteng, and Bloemfontein, so offer easy access from the main centers. We can accommodate up to 60 people sharing in 9 chalets a total of 28 rooms, and our functions center has space for up to 150 people. The facilities now include a further building alongside our functions center providing a private area which is also used as a wedding chapel. The accommodation is available on a self-catering or B & B arrangement.
Our LAPA by the pool has an attached kitchen ideal for an informal Braai or Pizza evening which can be self-catered or by arrangement we can cater for the group. A spit braai is also an option.
Chalet accommodation situated in the Central Drakensberg’s Champagne Valley in close proximity to a World Heritage site and offering the best of what the Drakensberg has to offer.
Our family run resort is in the Okhahlamba World Heritage site buffer zone ( within 2 kilometers of the world heritage site).
We have 9 chalets all with magnificent mountain views. Chalets comprise 2 by 4 sleeper 2 suite chalets (chalets with 2 en-suite bedrooms) , 2 by 6 sleeper 3 suite chalets ( chalets with 3 en-suite bedrooms), 2 by 6 sleeper family chalets (chalets with 3 bedrooms 1 bathroom) and 3 by and 8 sleeper group chalets ( chalets with 4 bedrooms & 2 bathrooms).
These are available on a self-catering basis but we do offer B & B provided pre-arranged and will fully cater for groups if required. The chalets can accommodate up to 60 people.
On-site we have purpose-built weddings & functions venue, and adjacent chapel, built in old farmhouse style with stone pillars, soaring ceilings, and wide front verandas. The functions venue and chapel can each comfortably seat 150 people.