Kwandwe Uplands Homestead Villa
Ideal for families or friends travelling together, Kwandwe’s Uplands Homestead is a sensitively restored 1905 farmhouse set in a tranquil valley, offering the ultimate safari accommodation.
This is a sole-use property where up to six guests have exclusive use of three air-conditioned bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, sitting and dining room, farmhouse-style kitchen, numerous terraces, large swimming pool, gazebo, private butler, chef, ranger and 4WD safari vehicle. Relaxation in the truest sense.
Facilities & Activities
There is a large inviting swimming pool, open verandas and an extensive lawn.
The dining and sitting areas feature lovely high ceilings, wooden floors and beautiful fireplaces. For relaxing between game activities the lounge has a TV with a library of DVDs and games.
Private 4WD game drives in your own safari vehicle, guided walks (12 years & over) and Big Game Walking Safaris (16 years & over) are all included. For an additional charge you can enjoy a ‘Save the Rhino Drive’ and spend 3-4 hours tracking rhino with a specialist ranger and tracker team (restrictions apply).
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In the contemporary farm kitchen, your private chef prepares delicious pan-African cuisine and local specialties. Nothing surpasses a bush banquet in a surprise setting under the magical African sky.
A children’s menu is available, including fun and nutritious mealtime options such as fish cakes with veggies and homemade chips; vegetable soup and freshly baked bread; DIY pizzas with fun toppings; fresh fruit salad; homemade chocolate brownies and more!
The 3 suites can accommodate up to 6 guests plus one infant 2 years & under in a cot.
They are furnished with beautiful antiques, yellowwood chests and wardrobes, along with claw-foot bathtubs in the bathrooms and amenities include air-conditioning and in-room safes. Each suite has its own veranda with a wonderful outlook.
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Uplands provides ideal family accommodation for those travelling as a group or with children. The sole-use lodge includes use of a private safari vehicle, ranger and tracker which enables even children under the age of 6 years to join the game drives.
Children are given a warm welcome at the lodge. On arrival they receive a welcome gift which includes an Eco-nect Guide comprising of animal checklists, themed games and activities, and a pledge to ‘live green’ (‘Junior’ for under 6’s and ‘Senior’ for ages 6 and up), crayons/ pencils, and an age appropriate gift from our gift shop.
Families can participate in the new range of ‘Eco-nect’ fun and adventurous activities on the reserve, including kite building, scavenger hunts and treasure hunts out on the reserve (during a game drive, which will require some basic navigation using a sun-compass and major landscape features in order to find the treasure!).
Children will love the special kids programme, with everything from 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 (yes – really!), to sand art, face painting, making moulds, beading, chocolate fun, Minnow’s fishing trip with a ranger, baking and pizza making with specially designed ‘Chefs in Training’ aprons, DVDs and popcorn, eco educational board games and African bedtime stories.
Children are encouraged to offset their own (small!) carbon footprint with the opportunity to plant Spekboom – a prolific type of thicket vegetation, and one of the top five carbon-storing vegetation on the planet. Families can also participate in Kwandwe’s voluntourism activities through the reserve’s Ubunye Foundation, which works with communities living in and surrounding the reserve.
In terms of accommodation, up to 2 children 3-16 years share their own suite next door to their parents. Inter-leading doors between the 2 suites ensure privacy but also peace of mind.
Please note the swimming pool is unfenced.
Kwandwe’s Sustainability Programme is fabulously lengthy:
Kwandwe’s ‘Knit a Bit’ program – where guests can knit squares which are joined to make blankets and given to the Ubunye Foundation that distributes them to the needy communities surrounding Kwandwe.
Reclaiming 22,000 hectares (54 000 acres) of farmland and placing it under wildlife conservation
The reintroduction of the endangered black rhinoceros
Returning cheetah to the Great Fish River Valley for the first time since 1888
The re-establishment of populations of disease-free Cape Buffalo, Cheetah, Lion, White Rhino and Black Rhino on many game reserves in South Africa from Kwandwe’s founding stock
Reclaiming areas of intense and often damaging agriculture
The reintroduction of small and mostly rare felid species eradicated from the area, such as the Serval, African wildcat and Small Spotted Cat
The reintroduction of more than 7000 wild animals, including elephant, both species of rhino, hippo, lion, leopard, brown hyena etc
Every guest staying at Kwandwe makes a direct contribution to community development through the Conservation and Community Levy (funds raised from this levy are split equally between these two initiatives).
Kwandwe is located in the malaria-free Eastern Cape near Grahamstown.
The nearest national Airport is in Port Elizabeth, which lies 160 km (100 miles) from the reserve. There are daily scheduled flights from both Cape Town and Johannesburg International Airports to Port Elizabeth.
There is also a daily scheduled flight from Port Elizabeth or Plettenberg Bay directly to the Kwandwe Airstrip. The reserve lies approximately 65 km from the coast and is located in close proximity to the renowned Garden Route.
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