Frequently asked questions
What is there to do in Utopia?
In a word: chill…. Relax, enjoy the bush, braai, walk or hike or just sit, swim, use the restaurant, explore the surrounding area, cycle, run, enjoy the silence and the clear night sky with virtually no light pollution.
Is Utopia child-friendly?
Absolutely – 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 children’s pools in addition to the large adult pool, and there’s a playground, tennis courts and putt-putt. When boredom strikes or there’s bad weather, there’s a TV room with DSTV.
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.
Unfortunately not. No motorcycles either please. And absolutely no generators (unless you are building, during the week); our owners cherish their weekend peace.
Will I see the Big Five?
Only on Animal Planet in the TV room... But there is 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 deadly 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) spider, our magnificently-coloured agamas, lizards, geckos, skinks, frogs or a very 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.
May I try it out for one day?
Unfortunately not – Utopians voted for a closed resort several years ago, so no day-visitors are permitted. We have however recently opened our campsite for overnight camping - please contact our office for rates and availability.
May I bring friends?
Chalets may be occupied to match the number of beds in that chalet. 'Overflow' into tents or caravans at the chalets is not permitted.
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, and Sectional Title restrictions make it highly improbable that the current status will change. 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 and reliable 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 it spends a huge proportion of its income on staying safe, with teams of security guards patrolling the property day and night, and an electronic gate access system. Owners are also increasingly installing SMS-generating alarm systems which are linked directly to the security patrols.
Could I live in Utopia, or is it only for weekend use?
Around 10% of Utopian chalets are occupied by permanent residents, who tend to be evangelists for a ‘greener’ lifestyle and the sensibility of solar power.
Could I have a garden?
Owners are encouraged to keep the area the way nature intended it, planting only what is indigenous. Unattended watering is not permitted.
Will my 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…
How far away is civilisation?
Utopia’s restaurant stocks a few essentials. There’s a small shopping complex at Buffelspoort about 14 km away with a QuickShop, petrol, liquor, a couple of restaurants and more, with a supermarket another kilometre further. ‘Real’ civilisation is about 30 km away in fast-growing Rustenburg, where the sprawling Waterfall Mall has scores of shops and more are being built in adjacent malls. Rustenburg has a profusion of restaurants and cinemas.
Is Utopia child-friendly?
Will my cellphone work?
How far away is ‘civilisation’?