Kwandwe Uplands Homestead
$ 2,881 (Pps)
- Victorian homestead offers a colonial ambiance
- Perfect for family parties
- Enclosed garden with swimming pool
- Excellent variety of predators including lion, cheetah and wild dog
- Family friendly game lodge
- Private ranger, safari vehicle and chef at your disposal
- Relaxed informal atmosphere
Kwandwe Game Reserve offers 22,000ha of pristine malaria-free wilderness with a magnificent, ecologically varied landscape resulting in a diverse range of game: elephant, lion, rhino and buffalo. From June to August, Kwandwe boasts a superb display of flowering aloes. The Reserve offers morning, afternoon and night game drives in open 4x4 vehicles. Kwandwe's night drives are renowned with aardvark and aardwolf regularly spotted. Alternatively you can enjoy longer big game walking safaris which take the place of a morning game drive. You could also join the rhino monitoring team for a few hours to learn more about these magnificent endangered creatures. (Both activities are offered at an additional charge.)
The Uplands Homestead is a restored 1905 farmhouse with an Out of Africa ambiance, set in a remote and tranquil valley. It is decorated in period style with antiques and memorabilia reminiscent of an authentic settler homestead. Persian rugs and fine damask linen, antique mirrors and furniture, silver and porcelain all combine with stylishly modern elements such as well-appointed bathrooms, air-conditioning and a contemporary farm kitchen, to ensure that your stay is as comfortable as possible.
Kwandwe Uplands Homestead has three en suite bedrooms each with its own balcony, making it perfect for families or friends. The homestead has a sitting room, separate formal dining room and interactive kitchen where you can chat with the chef. The decor is based on an 1820’s Settler style with a fresh and contemporary look. The furnishings exemplify rich colours and textures and the original antiques are complemented with glass and crystal lanterns. It should be noted that one suite is grander than the other two bedrooms. This works well for a family but will require some negotiation if you are a group of friends. Outside there’s a fully enclosed garden where children can run around, with a decent sized swimming pool and a gazebo - perfect for alfresco lunches or candlelit dinners.
Kwandwe Uplands Homestead can only be taken on an exclusive use basis and offers a very private and intimate safari experience for a family party or group of friends. This is an exclusive experience as Uplands has its own chef and ranger so that your safari can be tailored to your requirements.
Madelyn NieuwoudtAfrica Travel Specialist
Kwandwe Uplands Homestead on the map
Uplands Homestead - A Sole-use Villa
A restored farmhouse dating back to 1905, Uplands Homestead is available on an exclusive-use basis only. It features a contemporary farm style kitchen, three spacious bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, two with a ball and claw bath, one with an oval stone bath, and private verandas. The decor is based on 1820’s Settler style with a fresh and contemporary look. The furnishings exemplify rich colours and textures and the original antiques are complemented with glass and crystal lanterns, celadon ceramic lamps and silver candlestick holders to give this laid back luxurious home a comfortable and romantic ambiance.
Kwandwe Game Reserve review by Kate
I recently stayed at Kwandwe again and was reminded why Kwandwe is my first choice for game-viewing in the Eastern Cape... if your budget allows.
In an ideal world you would combine a few days at Kwandwe with a Kruger private lodge as the style of safari and animals seen differs considerably. Here you are much more likely to see cheetah, (but highly unlikely to see leopard.) Similarly your chances of seeing aardvark and aardwolf are probably second to none and we even saw meerkats (though this is not guaranteed!). Elephant, lion and buffalo are also plentiful as well as black rhino which are less commonly seen (and rarely seen in the Kruger).
At Kwandwe the focus is on spotting the animals on the open plains from high vantage points rather than tracking animals in thick bush as you would in the private game reserves of the Kruger
Kwandwe in Summer and Winter
Kwandwe’s climate changes dramatically from Summer to Winter with very hot days in high summer and very cold nights in winter. This leads to a very different summer and winter game viewing schedule. In summer, you wake up at 5am out 5.45am and return at the latest by 9am when it is already hot. You have plenty of time to catch up on missed sleep during the day with the afternoon drive only starting at 4.30-5pm and back at 8pm or later. However in mid winter, you sleep in, have breakfast first then out for game drive at 8-8.30am, staying out until 11am In the afternoon you meet at around 2.30-3pm for the game drive and you’re back by 6pm. Autumn and spring schedules straddle the middle.
Ecca is ideal for those preferring a modern contemporary look, which is not too minimalistic. I really liked the décor. The showers were amazing, massive with a stone backdrop and waterfall showerhead. The pleasant main rooms comprise a sitting room, cosy dining room for the winter months, summer dining on the expansive deck and a separate TV room slightly away. The food was exceptional, some of the best on the trip.
Our guide, Chase, was excellent - just the right mix of deep knowledge, enthusiasm and relaxed informality. He was clearly passionate about Kwandwe which became infectious.
Great Fish River Lodge
I actually preferred this lodge though its all a matter of personal taste. I loved the setting overlooking the impressive Fish River, the suites which were airy and light, modern yet romantic. I also loved the main building.
This is the larger of the two Kwandwe villas and is ideal for larger family parties, two families travelling together or even a party of friends. Its a modern take on an old settler homestead and I loved the decor. The setting was magnificent overlooking the mountains with a rimflow pool. Bedrooms had a slightly strange layout as you came into the room to face the back of the bed (which faced the view) but that was my only (small gripe). The bathrooms were filled with light with either a bath with a view and shower or massive shower but bath with no view.
Uplands Manor is the real McCoy, an original 19th settler homestead filled with period pieces and artefacts. As such its a bit like marmite. You will either love it or hate it. Personally I love historic homes so I loved it. But its only suited to a family rather than friends as the rooms vary in size and luxury. The fenced lawns mean that its ideal for kids who like to let off steam but I preferred the overall setting of Melton. (My comments are from a previous visit but I am assurred that the lodge hasn't changed!)