Views from the Tomjachu Bush Retreat in Mpumalanga. Photo: Supplied

Tomjachu Bush Retreat is an establishment with a rich family history. Created in the late 80's, it is named after Brian Fillery’s three sons; Tom, Jack and Hugo. Scattered throughout the different accommodations and property are stunning antiques, artefacts, memorabilia, and locations each carrying a unique Fillery story - but none more so than at the recently refurbished family home, Valbonne Villa.
 
As you enter the library at the villa you’ll find an exquisite backgammon table with beautiful wooden finishes. It was here that the family would come together most evenings, when the clock on the mantelpiece struck 6, with Brian, Tom and Jack rolling their sleeves up, ready to find the next backgammon champion. What often began as a quick game, would in most cases run straight through dinner into the early hours of the morning. Battles lost and fought, tears, tantrums and smiles in abundance!

         One of the nature drives that are on offer at the Tomjachu Bush Retreat. Photo: Supplied. 

Stepping outside at the back of the villa, sits the majestic Valbonne Villa viewing rock. This is where Brian would be found every morning at sunrise, with steaming coffee in hand, and dressing gown flapping in the breeze. When seated here with the mist driving up the mountains, and the animals grazing silently on the plains below, he’d experience perfect peace and solitude. When visiting this spot the Fillery sons’ are forever reminded of the blissful early-morning moments spent here by their father.

Looking out onto the property from here you may see the game viewer winding its way through the valley below. Tom, Jack and later Hugo, all learnt to drive on the property in this vehicle, affectionately nick-named Shrek – the loveable green monster. Having to recall your first time driving is an experience no one can forget, more so if your first driving lesson was in a 10-seater Land Rover! The Fillery sons would spend much of their time cruising around the property looking for game, going for picnics at Zebra heights or Gordon’s pools, and only very occasionally getting stuck in the wetlands during rainy season. Over the many years, Shrek has picked up a few battle scars, each telling a story of its own.

Today Valbonne Villa, and Tomjachu Bush Retreat in its entirety, has been transformed into a place for guests to enjoy, and to create long-lasting memories of their own to be treasured for years to come.

 
Click here for bookings and to see what Tomjachu Bush Retreat has to offer.