Kwandwe Uplands Homestead was constructed in 1905. Since then the property has been restored, but it maintains all the charm associated with the original building. Safarists seeking something more modern could consider Kwandwe’s Melton Manor . Accommodation at Uplands is booked on a full-board basis, including all meals, a selection of alcoholic and soft drinks, twice-daily game drives, nature walks, big game tracking, transfers between the homestead and Kwandwe’s airstrip, childminding, and a laundry service. The homestead sleeps a maximum of six adults and one infant, and your stay also includes use of a private safari vehicle, and the services of a private ranger, tracker, and chef.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
The homestead is accessed via road transfer from Kwandwe’s airstrip or by driving from Port Elizabeth (2 hours 30 minutes). It’s situated within a quiet valley in the reserve’s western region, not far from the scenic Great Fish River and very convenient for inclusion in a Garden Route itinerary.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES:
There are three suites within the farmhouse. Each sleeps a maximum of two adults, with additional room for one infant in a cot. Every bedroom is decorated in settlers’ style, and features a double bed or twin beds, bedside tables and lighting, storage furniture such as a yellow-wood chest, and a pleasant seating area. Additional amenities include air conditioning, mini-bar, safe, and hairdryer. The en-suite bathroom offers flush toilet, washbasin with mirror over, and shower. Two en-suites also have a claw-foot bathtub with shower attachment, while the third boasts an immense oval stone bath! And all suites have a lovely private balcony, where you can relax and marvel at views over the valley to the hills beyond.
The shared spaces within the farmhouse include the pleasant lounge, featuring comfortable sofas and chairs around a central coffee table. In the adjoining dining area, one large table is flanked by plain or patterned upright chairs in readiness for communal meals. Delicious dishes are prepared in the homely kitchen by your private chef, who can rustle up both classic family favourites and adventurous new options for you to try! Guests can eat outside too, in the traditional boma or on the farmhouse’s spacious veranda with its beautiful views across a rolling lawn. At the end of the lawn, you’ll find the swimming pool. This is a reasonable size and surrounded by sunloungers, some shaded within a gazebo structure. As there’s an electric fence around the entire homestead, it’s a very safe environment – small mammals might be able to enter the grounds, but big game species keep away.
- As guests of Uplands have use of a private vehicle and safari staff, activities are truly tailored and you can set the pace at all times.
- Kwandwe is a really thrilling destination! It covers approximately 220 square kilometres of savanna, shrubs, thickets, and water sources, not least the Great Fish River.
- It’s home to all Big Five – lion, rhino, leopard, elephant, and buffalo. Smaller predators in residence include cheetah, hyena, and occasional wild dog, while the herbivore count features hippo, giraffe, black wildebeest, zebra, eland, kudu, red hartebeest, steenbok, and gemsbok.
- There are also over 300 types of bird, among them specials such as ostrich, crowned eagle, Kori bustard, red-billed oxpecker, and of course the bird from which the reserve derives its name – the blue crane.
- Game drives can take place during early morning and late afternoon into evening, while nature walks begin after breakfast. There’s a minimum age requirement of 12 years for walks, and guests must be at least 16 years old to take part in big game tracking.
- However, everyone can enjoy special-interest safaris, for example bush excursions featuring photography, rhino conservation, and birding.
- Catch-and-release fishing is available too, both in still water and within the swift-flowing Great Fish River.
- Kwandwe’s Eco-nect programme for families offers a great range of things to do – arts-and-crafts, community gardening, treasure hunts, and more!