Kwandwe Melton Manor
Eastern Cape Game Reserves, Eastern Cape, South Africa
At a Glance
Sole-use safari villa for families or groups of up to eight
Private 4×4 safari vehicle, butler, chef, ranger and tracker team
Beautiful swimming pool overlooking the bush
Great service and food
Variety of activities available
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
Game viewing is excellent all year round. Summers (October to March) are hot and wet, were as winters (May to August) are cool and dry. Daytime temperatures in summer are high and may soar above 36°C/97°F. Winter is known to produce beautiful warm days, though the evenings and early mornings can be quite chilly.
To start planning your vacation to Kwandwe Melton Manor
Set in a beautiful location with sweeping views of the river and Afromontane forest, Kwandwe's four-bedroom safari villa, Melton Manor has enjoyed a recent refurbishment and is now available to be taken on an exclusive use basis only from August 2013.
Kwandwe Private Game Reserve stretches along 42 kms of the Great Fish River and the 22,200 hectare reserve is set on the edge of the former Karoo Basin, where several of Africa’s vegetation zones converge, and biodiversity is extremely rich. The Kwandwe landscape is dominated by valley bushveld on open plains and rolling hills, with succulent euphorbias, aloes and spekboom among the characteristic plants. Thousands of animals, including the ‘big five’ (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo) have been reintroduced to roam the reserve, which is also a haven for endangered animals and birds and numerous programs to support them have been introduced.
Set in a beautiful location overlooking the Fish River and Afromontane forests, Melton Manor has a large swimming pool and central courtyard and is the perfect escape for a family safari, accommodating up to eight guests. The elegant and simple design incorporates earthy, organic finishes, deep inviting sofas, gorgeous Nguni rugs, dramatic photography and celebrates the style of the early frontier days.
The four en-suite bedrooms feature innovative "butler hatches" for discreet room service and the interactive kitchen is a cosy place where guests can muck in with Melton Manor’s expert chef.
Melton Manor offers four guest rooms with an expansive veranda, enormous bed and butler hatch for discrete morning service. Sandstone walls and crocheted blankets in funky shades evoke a nostalgic yet cosy atmosphere. Relax and unwind in deep bathtubs and enjoy stunning bushveld views through large windows.
Interconnecting doors have been added to the two large suites on either side of the courtyard during the recent refurbishment.
Children of all ages are welcome to stay at Melton Manor, however, there is a recommended minimum age of 6 years for all game drives. Baby sitting for younger children can be arranged if necessary while the rest of the family goes out on a game drive.
There is a myriad of exciting activities on offer for children of all ages at Kwandwe. Through the Blue CraneConservation Club, the Reserve teaches young guests about green living in a fun way, and encourages them to start their own initiatives once back home.
Children receive a welcome gift on arrival which includes a Blue Crane Conservation Guide comprising animal
checklists, themed games and activities, and a pledge to ‘live green’ (‘Junior’ for under 6’s and ‘Senior’ for ages6 and up), crayons/ pencils, a BPA free water bottle and a ‘Frolicking Rhino’ range of bath products including shampoo, body lotion and bubble bath (Kwandwe supports the Bespoke Amenities Co., who created thisange in support of their efforts to eradicate rhino poaching).
Activities for children include a ‘Bugs & Bones’ walk (a great way to stretch little legs and learn all about this ecologically diverse reserve whilst searching for insects, bones and skulls and being taught how to identify animal tracks and droppings), sand art, face painting, making moulds from Plaster of Paris, beading, chocolate fun (making spider webs and insects from chocolate), Minnow’s fishing trip with a ranger, special game drives outside of normal times where available, baking and pizza making with specially designed ‘Chefs in Training’aprons and toques, DVDs and popcorn, eco educational board games (learning about recycling and the how to care for our planet in a fun way), chocolate mould making, creature cookie baking, and African bedtime stories.
Giving back: children have the opportunity to plant Spekboom, a type of thicket vegetation that is native to the Eastern Cape and prolific on the reserve, and one of the top five carbon-storing vegetations on the planet.In this way they are encouraged to offset their (own small!) carbon footprint. Families can also participate inKwandwe’s voluntourism activities through the reserve’s Angus Gillis Foundation, which works with communities living in and surrounding the reserve. Activities are tailored according to individual and family interests andskillsets. For young guests this includes assisting with gardening projects at the local Mgcamabele Community;participating in arts and craft activities; and toddlers are invited to join in playtime at the pre-school. Children Are also welcome to participate in Kwandwe’s ‘Knit a Bit’ program
Facilities at the lodge include a swimming pool and a library where you can relax with a good book or play a variety of board games. The farm-style kitchen offers mouth-watering cuisine which can be enjoyed at the dining table, on the terrace or in the ox wagon boma.
Game drives, guided walks, fishing, canoeing, bush picnics and rhino tracking are all included in room rates. Archaeological drives are charged additionally.
Camilla Smith (Staff)
A lovely 4 bedroomed home designed with funky and stylish decor and bright colors set in the middle of the gorgeous scenic Kwandwe Reserve. The house has a dining and sitting area, garden and private pool. There is a fun open kitchen so guests can see the meals being made and children often get involved! The house is perfect for a family or group of friends wanting to have the privacy and exclusivity of a private house with your own private guide, vehicle and chef. All meals are in the privacy of your home or set up in the bush! The four rooms can also be sold seperately, so it still feels small and intimate but will not be exclusive unless you pay for all 4 rooms.
The property is run by an extremely efficient and friendly team of staff with superb guides. The guides are particularly brilliant with children making it a very enjoyable and educational experience for them. Everything is completely flexible, so you can choose the times for your game activities and meals.
Kwandwe has superb game and the big 5 in great numbers, for a fantastic safari experience in the Eastern Cape it is a great option!
1 and 2 day Photographic Workshops
Kwandwe offer private photographic safaris with award-winning professional photographer Mike Dexter. This experience is private and customized, each safari is provided with a private vehicle and safari guide.
Campfire Cooking at Melton Manor
Anyone who's been on safari more than once knows you'll eat very well. So why not roll cooking and learning some South African braai (barbeque) skills in and around your safari activities at Kwandwe Melton Manor?
Children's Activities at Kwandwe
Kwandwe have a fantastic range of activities specifically tailored to children to ensure that their first safari experience is educational, engaging and unforgettable.
Interpretive Bush Walks
Hop out of the vehicle during game drives, or take a walk from camp to have a closer look at the details of the surrounding bush.
Private photographic safaris and tutorials are offered by local award-winning photographer Mike Dexter. A private safari vehicle with ranger and tracker is provided to tailor-make each experience.
Private Safari at Kwandwe
Ensure exclusivity, privacy and flexibility by organising a private guide and vehicle for one or more days of your stay at Kwandwe.
Rhino Conservation Safari
This is one of the most exciting and educational activities we know of in South Africa, a chance to join the team at Kwandwe in the darting of their rhino for conservation and preservation purposes is unmatchable.
Save the Rhino Monitoring Drive
An incredible opportunity to witness at first hand the dedicated work of Kwandwe's rhino monitoring team.
Twice Daily Game Drives
Guests at Kwandwe enjoy twice daily game drives in open safari vehicles. This is a fantastic way to explore the vast and varied environment of the reserve.
Location & directions
Eastern Cape Game Reserves, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Nestled in the heart of South Africa's unspoiled Eastern Cape province lies Kwandwe Private Game Reserve, a world-class Big Five safari experience in 22 000 hectares (54 000 acres) of pristine private wilderness and featuring 30 km of privately owned river frontage of the Great Fish River.
How to get there
Guests are advised to fly to Port Elizabeth and proceed to Kwandwe by road or air transfer. A flight from Johannesburg to Port Elizabeth takes about 1 hour 45 mins. The distance from Port Elizabeth to Kwandwe is 160km (100 miles) and can be comfortably covered by road in 2 - 2 1/2 hours. A flight from Port Elizabeth directly to the Kwandwe Airstrip takes approximately 45 minutes. Transfers to the Lodge from the airstrip or Port Elizabeth can be arranged by Kwandwe.