Travel & Outdoor
Take the dogs for a walk
Nobody enjoys the cacophony of a late-afternoon stroll through our suburban neighbourhoods. Having every dog you pass by jump up against a fence to vocally pick a fight with (or say hello to) your brood, really spoils one’s equilibrium. Although it shouldn’t be, urban dog walks can be stressful.
A few kilometres outside Mbombela, however, an animal-loving couple set up a B&B and restaurant to cater for canines and their human caretakers. Unpretentious and simple, the small establishment is a breath of fresh air. After years in the corporate lane, owners Erika and Dylan Tholet were longing to return to the Lowveld for a more uncomplicated existence, and building up their business is just the ticket.
Dylan enthusiastically shares their progress so far. Besides the restaurant, he has built a couple of cabins for overnight guests, where (you guessed it) dogs are not only welcome, but allowed on the beds. Set in a pristine bush environment, each self-contained unit is fenced for added doggie-friendliness.
“We’re passionate about animals,” Dylan says, while introducing their brood of five canines, clearly unfazed by large numbers of dogs milling around. On their opening day, they had about 35 animals on the premises, with no complications, he says. “It’s all about socialising your dogs.”
While the animals are frolicking in the garden, owners can sit down to breakfast, light meals or a cuppa and cake. Erika, who did her chef’s training in Switzerland, keeps the menu uncomplicated, offering wholesome, value-for-money meals and beautifully presented homebaking.
Guests are welcome, but obviously not obliged, to take a meander down one of the 2,5-kilometre trails cleared by Dylan. Ranging in difficulty, although generally not too taxing, one of the paths allows dogs to swim.
It’s all laid-back and casual, probably exactly what the couple had in mind when they decided to scale down. All we know is any place that accepts and welcomes our furry kids with open arms, can’t be half bad.
Get in touch
To see more, visit www.happyhound.org.za or contact 076-307-4542