Kitchen Confidential, originally uploaded by finepixtrix.

Dereliction always amazes me. Someone probably went to a bank, arranged finance, built an hotel (of which this kitchen was a part), equipped it, had menus designed, advertised the place, employed staff, received guests. What happened to cause this business to end up in this state? Did they recoup their costs. And why just leave the place like this? Why not sell?

This derelict hotel is located in the small Mpumalanga village of Waterval Onder (lit. under, or below, the waterfall), which is situated in one of the most beautiful parts of South Africa. Surely someone could turn this into a viable concern once more.


© 2008. Image copyright Grahame Hall and may not be used without the written permission of the copyright owner. Please respect the rights of others.



  1. My parents, Gordon and Bridget Dustan owned ye wayside inn from 1964 and built everything except krugerhof and the main building. My father built the bowling green, swimming pool, maintained the cemetery and sold to business to willie and spies. Mrs ward owned the shop and her brother the long forgotten wayside service station.

    1. Thanks for this info, Linda. I had no idea when I first posted my Watervalonder musings that so many people connected to this story would actually arrive to comment. I hope I’ve managed to bring a few fond memories to you.

  2. Sam, would love to get a copy of the history of the area from you if at all possible. Let me know where I can send photo’s and I will do this with pleasure

  3. My husband Pierre and I are busy revamping the old hotel in Waterval Onder and any information or photos would be greatly appreciated

    1. Sally-Ann, I have done so much digging about the history of the Inn. Would love love love to see some photographs of your progress. I also have been given a copy of a fantastic lecture about the history of the area. Let me know if you have any questions.

      1. Thank you very much for you comment, Linda. I would very much like to it see photos of the hotel when it was going strong. I’ll drop you an e-mail.

  4. Grahame, restoration of the Wayside Inn has begun under new ownership. It was amazing to find the old bowling green & swimming pool this last weekend. Sadly, most of the buildings have really suffered but are slowly coming back to life!

    1. Wow, Derek. This is amazing news. Have you guys gotten hold of the original plans? I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to seeing this project on completion. Good luck with the work! And please take plenty of pics as the work progresses. I’ll be happy to post some on my blog, and on Facebook and other places. (not that I am the most widely followed person in the world!), but every little bit of publicity helps.

    1. Sam, I have been most remiss by not contacting you following your last e-mail to me. Profuse apologies. I am also awaiting developments on the Wayside Inn with bated breath.

  5. I used to work during 1985/1986 in this superb place as manager employed by the owners Willie and Spies. Seeing the place down and ransacked makes me nearly cry..and also many questions like how and why?The most beautifull years of my life I enjoyed in this area.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Ronny. Perhaps you can fill in a few more of the missing details. Do you know when the Inn ceased operations, and why…or whatever else you can add to the discussion would be really appreciated.

  6. The kitchen in question here is indeed the actual kitchen of Ye wayside inn. What a beautiful establishment this used to be, I am planning to restore the hotel to it’s former glory. At the moment the place is in really bad shape but I suppose it makes the challenge even greater. Waterval onder is definitely the most beautiful place in the world and I am planning to put it on the map again.

    1. I wish you every success in this venture, Charl. Please keep me informed of developments. I agree the place is in really bad shape these days and, I fear, getting worse. It would be great to see it restored to its former glory.

  7. Could you please contact me regarding this hotel. Is it very old and where in Waterval Onder is it located? I am trying to locate the site of Ye Olde Wayside Inn as it was built by my great great grandfather.

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