What is there to do at Tonquani?
Two words: Just chill ...
Relax, rejuvenate and enjoy the bush. Enjoy the tranquility and panoramic views. The stars at night are a kaleidoscope, even to the naked eye due to a clear night sky with virtually no light pollution. The chalet is within 200m walking distance to the Main centre, the restaurant, estate facilities and bush walks.
Take a walk or a maybe even a hike in the Gorge. Or just sit and drink in your surroundings. Go for a swim, pack a picnic, look out for the wildlife, fauna and flora. Take a meal at the restaurant, and when cabin fever sets in, it's time for you to explore the surrounding area.
'Off the Grid' - What does that mean?
In short, it means 'NO ELECTRICITY'. That is the charm of Tonquani, and does not mean you are without the necessities. The geyser (hot water), stove, fridge and small freezer operate off gas, and there is solar lamps, candles and battery charged lamps for limited light and softambience. Full ESKOM power is provided at the Main Centre, where you can charge phones, etc, so bring your necessary adaptors and chargers.
Is it child-friendly?
Absolutely – The children can enjoy, explore or play safely in the unspoiled natural surroundings, though for some teenagers once the PlayStation batteries have run down, bets might be off! There are two kid's pools in addition to the large adult pool, and there’s a playground, tennis courts and putt-putt (rackets and balls stored at the chalet). When bad weather hits, there are games in the chalet for the family to play, otherwise the main centre offers a TV room with DSTV and games.
Just a caution, the staircase in the chalet is rustic and somewhat steep, but has non slip strips which illuminate at night. Outside the
Will I see the Big Five?
Only on Animal Planet in the TV room... There is however an intriguingly elusive scattering of small wildlife, ranging from duikers and porcupines to jackals, civets, baboons, monkeys, warthog, hares, dassies, tortoises, leguaans, bushbabies and more – and the very occasional leopard. With at least 133 documented bird species, Utopia is also a paradise for bird-watchers.
Are there any creepy-crawlies?
Hey, it’s the African bush, with its normal quota of all creatures great and small. You may see the odd bat, or (generally harmless), a spider, our magnificently-coloured agamas, lizards, geckos, skinks, frogs or a occasional snake. But in 40 years we haven’t lost a Utopian yet. Chalets along the river tend to have more mozzies than the others in-season, so bring a spray or stick.
Will Utopia ever be electrified?
Unlikely for the foreseeable future – and most owners prefer it this way, using solar power or the gas-powered lighting, stove, fridge and hot water. Electricity supply to the area is in any case erratic. On the upside, there is nothing quite as magic as a few winking paraffin or solar lights at night. And no electricity generally means no blaring TVs or stereo systems.
How safe is the water?
Utopia pumps its water from a clear perennial mountain river, and has no neighbours upstream. The (slightly-treated) water has been tested as being among the highest quality in South Africa. The river is brilliant for swimming too!
How safe is the area?
Utopia is not entirely immune from the broader South African problems, and does occasionally suffer thefts or incursions. But we spend a huge portion of income on staying safe, with security guards patrolling the property 24 hours, day and night, with an electronic gate access system. Owners are also increasingly installing SMS-generating alarm systems which are linked directly to the security patrols.
Will my mobile phone and laptop work?
Signals from all the networks cover Utopia to a greater or lesser degree. But bear in mind you will have to charge your phone or laptop (or indeed any other battery-powered device) from your car or another 12-volt source if the chalet is not equipped with solar power. Don’t even think of bringing a hairdryer… Remember though, there is always full power available at the restaurant and Main Centre as well
Any quadbiking or speedboats?
Unfortunately not, neither motorcycles please. Our owners and residents cherish their weekend peace, and that's you too!
May I bring friends?
Tonquani may be occupied to match the number of people booked for during your stay. 'Overflow' into tents or caravans at the chalets, or otherwise, is not permitted.
May I bring my dogs?
No, Utopia is a nature estate with a profusion of small wildlife, and owners voted many years ago to prohibit pets of any kind, in a move towards full Nature Reserve status. So no dogs, cats, birds… we'd prefer NOT to tempt the occasional elusive leopard too much.
What is there to do Nearby?
There are farm stalls, a golf course, a day spa, canopy tours for the adrenaline junkie, and lots more all within a 20km radius. Check out the page 'Out and About' for more information.
How far away is civilisation?
Utopia is in the process of starting a tuck shop which will stock the typical provisions. The Caltex Petrol Station at Buffelspoort about 14km away offers a small shopping complex, including a QuickShop, ATM's, fantastic butchery, small restaurant, a liquor store, and gift shop. Otherwise the Mooinooi Spar about 10km's further is well stocked, with pharmacy and other shops. ‘Real’ civilisation is about 30 km away in fast-growing Rustenburg offering shopping malls, cinemas and restaurants.