Kwandwe Melton Manor is a chic and contemporary safari villa, sleeping up to eight travellers in four spacious bedrooms. It’s a superb base from which to explore the reserve! If you’re looking for an older-style property, we recommend Uplands Homestead, which is slightly smaller too. Accommodation at Melton 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. Your stay also includes use of a private safari vehicle, and the services of a private ranger, tracker, and chef!
ACCESS & LOCATION:
The manor is accessed via road transfer from Kwandwe’s airstrip or by driving from Port Elizabeth, a distance of 2 hours 30 minutes. It’s situated on the reserve’s sprawling plains, surrounded by hills cloaked in the small succulent known as spekboom.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES:
The manor is a U-shaped building. Its four super-spacious bedrooms are situated to either side of its enclosed courtyard. Each room is designed to sleep a maximum of two adults. All have air conditioning and underfloor heating, and furnishings include a king-size bed, bedside tables and lighting, a wardrobe, and a couple of easy chairs. We love the discreet hatches, through which staff can post various beverages and other items! En-suite facilities comprise flush toilet, twin washbasins with mirrors over, step-up shower, and big bathtub. Wide windows let in plenty of light, as well as providing beautiful views over Kwandwe Private Game Reserve. You can also marvel at the scenery from your private deck, which is set with comfy wicker seating and offers a great spot to relax during the day.
The communal spaces within the manor are also very well appointed. The main lounge features well-cushioned sofas and armchairs around a coffee table, satellite television, computer with internet access, and a few games for entertainment between safari activities! There’s a library too, with a television and DVDs in addition to a good selection of reading material. Melton’s dining area is open plan to its kitchen, and the room as a whole has a very pleasant rustic feel. You can sit and relax at the farmhouse-style table while your chef rustles up delicious meals, or even join in with the cooking. Outside, a number of verandas offer additional venues for lounging and dining, all surrounding the shady courtyard. And at the far end of the courtyard, there’s a deck with a swimming pool and inviting sunloungers alongside!
- Tailored game drives – guests of Melton Manor have access to a private vehicle and safari staff. Early morning and late afternoon into evening drives provide opportunities to explore Kwandwe Private Game Reserve and to view its wealth of wildlife! The reserve covers approximately 220 square kilometres of savanna, shrubs, thickets, and water sources such as the mighty Great Fish River. It’s home to all Big Five – lion, rhino, leopard, elephant, and buffalo – in addition to numerous smaller mammals. Among the predators here are cheetah, hyena, and rare wild dog, while the herbivore count features hippo, giraffe, black wildebeest, zebra, and a fine assortment of antelopes.
- Nature walks (for 12+ years) – this activity is available after breakfast. With a knowledgeable and experienced guide, guests explore the reserve on foot, paying close attention to the birds, insects, and plant life.
- Big game tracking (for 16+ years) – also in the presence of a guide, guests look out for signs of big game, and follow the trail to fantastic sightings of black and white rhinos, elephant, and buffalo.
- Photographic safaris – guests book a private vehicle and photographic guide, taking photos themselves or watching the guide take photos for them. The pictures are edited in electronic format, and guests receive a free Kwandwe digital photobook.
- Rhino conservation safaris – guests track rhino with a specialist team, all the while learning about the species and the challenges presented by poachers. The activity concludes with a picnic in the bush.
- Birding safaris – brilliant for birders, this experience is all about the feathery friends of Kwandwe! Kwandwe contains over 300 bird species, among them ostrich, crowned eagle, Kori bustard, red-billed oxpecker, and the blue crane from which the reserve derives its name.
- Fishing – this is offered on a catch-and-release basis. Guests can try fishing in still water or in the Great Fish River.
- Eco-nect family programme – Kwandwe’s things to do for families involve arts-and-crafts, community gardening, treasure hunts, and more!