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Had renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci ever visited Otto’s Bluff before painting his masterpiece Annunciation, there’s no doubt he would have used the area as inspiration for the painting’s background! Otto’s Bluff is a lush, emerald green rural area north of Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, the greenery only sporadically riven by a gravel road or farm dam.
The area comprises mountains, deep valleys, dams, glittering waterfalls, rivers, dense forests, and arable farmland. This is a picture out of any photographic book depicting a spectacular countryside.
Otto’s Bluff is a well-to-do area where game farms exist alongside polo fields and where those with large amounts of disposable income stable their horses or own a piece of country heaven.
A visit to Otto’s Bluff touches every sense and will quickly eliminate that feeling of overworked jadedness.
Top 6 reasons to visit Otto’s Bluff
1. The area surrounding Otto’s Bluff has a number of established mountain bike routes enjoyed by riders who arrive from all parts of the country. Hire a bike and revel in the fresh country air.
2. Visit the Albert Falls Dam and Nature Reserve for the numerous buck species on view and a possible glimpse of the shy blue duiker. Popular activities include hiking and birding, and the dam is a legendary spot for bass fishing. Water sports are permitted on the waters.
3. Pack a picnic basket and head for the manicured gardens in the Queen Elizabeth Park Nature Reserve. The reserve has interesting and ancient cycads, a bird garden, various trails and non-threatening wildlife.
4. Missing the crowds? Head to Liberty Midlands Mall to shop at their 165 stores, take in a movie at the Cine Centre and enjoy a meal at one of 23 restaurants. The mall has loads of parking and is situated alongside the main highway.
5. The exclusive Karkloof Safari Spa offers day spa packages to visitors that feature half day treatments, a 5-star lunch followed by a game safari through veld inhabited by rhino, buffalo, giraffe and several small cat species.
6. Travel into Pietermaritzburg to appreciate the old colonial buildings, the monuments and to walk through the peaceful National Botanical Gardens. Stop in at the Tatham Art Gallery to view the various art forms collected over a period of a century.
The closest international airport to Otto’s Bluff is King Shaka International Airport 115km away. The smaller national airport, Oribi Airport in Pietermaritzburg, is located 23km from Otto’s Bluff. Shuttle service and tour companies operate at the airport and in Durban and Pietermaritzburg, however, to best enjoy Otto’s Bluff and surrounds, hiring a car is the practical choice. To hire a vehicle, simply order one online.
Did you know?
The polo school at Otto’s Bluff teaches the sport of polo to anyone interested in this sport, regarded by insurance companies as the toughest and even ranked above ice hockey. Polo players that are unfit and lack horsemanship skills face a high likelihood of injury.
The 1937 film, King Solomon’s Mines, based on H Rider Haggard’s novel published in 1885, was shot at Otto’s Bluff. A large temporary homestead was built in the shadow of the Otto’s Bluff Mountain for the film.
One of the original residents in the area, Otto Solomon, named his farm Otto’s Bluff. The farm has since been subdivided.