Dine privately next to your pool at Melton Manor.

Melton Manor | Family Safari | Garden Route Private South Africa Safari House

Melton Manor offers a break from the tyranny of the school run, as you get to set the schedule (or have none at all). This private South African safari house is ideally designed for family time, with lots of communal spaces – plus more private retreat areas, and a vast game reserve to explore.

The place

Set just inland from the coast on the Garden Route, Melton Manor is one of the jewels in the crown of Kwandwe Private Game Reserve. The villa sits in splendid isolation, hidden away among trees but with great views to nearby low hills. The reserve is one of the largest privately-owned Big Five properties in South Africa, encompassing some 22,000ha.As well as having our own sole-use safari villa, we feel as though we have the entire reserve to ourselves. And with our own ranger, tracker, chef and butler, we have the perfect crew to complete the picture.In fact, with staff to do the heavy lifting, we’d decided to let our two kids bring a companion each. Our son’s girlfriend has never been on safari before and her initial hesitancy disappears as she watches a journey of giraffe browse on nearby trees.

Set just inland from the coast on the Garden Route, Melton Manor is one of the jewels in the crown of Kwandwe Private Game Reserve. The villa sits in splendid isolation, hidden away among trees but with great views to nearby low hills. The reserve is one of the largest privately-owned Big Five properties in South Africa, encompassing some 22,000ha.

As well as having our own sole-use safari villa, we feel as though we have the entire reserve to ourselves. And with our own ranger, tracker, chef and butler, we have the perfect crew to complete the picture.

In fact, with staff to do the heavy lifting, we’d decided to let our two kids bring a companion each. Our son’s girlfriend has never been on safari before and her initial hesitancy disappears as she watches a journey of giraffe browse on nearby trees.

The rooms

I instantly fall in love with the style of Melton Manor. Each room is decorated in a calming neutral palette. I’m learning to recognise the distinctive style of South African farmhouse furniture – solid, simple pieces that are equal parts reassuring and comfortable.I know we’re going to be spending a lot of time around the fireplace with its magnificent stone chimney, and having four bedrooms means plenty of space for all six of us – the two youngest will sleep better knowing we’re just next door, while our teenage lovebirds will have to endure being separated at night!The central courtyard will see a lot of use on sunny afternoons, and the swimming pool will keep the kids entertained while we go on walking safaris. We won’t even need to rely on the distracted teens to play lifeguards, as there’s a wonderful babysitting service.By the time I’ve toured all four bedrooms, I find our four travelling companions ensconced in the open-plan kitchen, where they’re giving our chef helpful lunch tips. So, we can expect no broccoli, ever, and pineapple on the freshly baked pizza!

I instantly fall in love with the style of Melton Manor. Each room is decorated in a calming neutral palette. I’m learning to recognise the distinctive style of South African farmhouse furniture – solid, simple pieces that are equal parts reassuring and comfortable.

I know we’re going to be spending a lot of time around the fireplace with its
magnificent stone chimney, and having four bedrooms means plenty of space for all six of us – the two youngest will sleep better knowing we’re just next door, while our teenage lovebirds will have to endure being separated at night!

The central courtyard will see a lot of use on sunny afternoons, and the swimming pool will keep the kids entertained while we go on walking safaris. We won’t even need to rely on the distracted teens to play lifeguards, as there’s a wonderful babysitting service.

By the time I’ve toured all four bedrooms, I find our four travelling companions ensconced in the open-plan kitchen, where they’re giving our chef helpful lunch tips. So, we can expect no broccoli, ever, and pineapple on the freshly baked pizza!

What sets it apart

While the pizzas are being prepared, the two youngest kids go on a quick ‘poo safari’ with the tracker, immediately in front of the lodge. I’m used to them scattering, but things are starting to get scatological! Upon returning, a proud ‘junior ranger’ informs me that the olives on my pizza are more like impala droppings than giraffe poop.And that’s the beauty of Melton Manor – there’s so much for kids to do, it won’t be hard to rouse them in the mornings or persuade sleepy heads to go to bed after a whole day of fishing, treasure hunts or clay-animal making.The four separate bedrooms mean that we have loads of room, while everyone has their own space. Having our own private South African safari house means we can go on safari when we like, or take a duvet day and drink hot chocolate. Or do both – we choose. And did I mention the staff just love kids?

While the pizzas are being prepared, the two youngest kids go on a quick ‘poo safari’ with the tracker, immediately in front of the lodge. I’m used to them scattering, but things are starting to get scatological! Upon returning, a proud ‘junior ranger’ informs me that the olives on my pizza are more like impala droppings than giraffe poop.

And that’s the beauty of Melton Manor – there’s so much for kids to do, it won’t be hard to rouse them in the mornings or persuade sleepy heads to go to bed after a whole day of fishing, treasure hunts or clay-animal making.

The four separate bedrooms mean that we have loads of room, while everyone has their own space. Having our own private South African safari house means we can go on safari when we like, or take a duvet day and drink hot chocolate. Or do both – we choose. And did I mention the staff just love kids?

At a glance

  • A contemporary take on frontier farmhouse style in Kwandwe Private Game Reserve, designed around a central swimming pool and courtyard, with an interactive farmhouse-style kitchen and views of wooded hills. Sleeps eight in four bedrooms.
  • Exclusive-use safari house, private safari vehicle with dedicated guide and tracker, in-house chef and butler and complete schedule flexibility for meals and activities.
  • Game drives, night drives, walking safaris (minimum age of 12), bush meals and drinks, cultural visits, rhino-conservation safari (needs dependent, additional cost), special-interest safaris (additional cost) and swimming.
  • Children of all ages welcome. Private villa ideal for families. Wide range of kids’ activities with the Eco-nect kids’ safari program and Blue Crane Conservation Club, including ‘poo safaris’, fishing, treasure hunts, cooking and baking, traditional crafts and African bedtime stories with cookies and milk.

  • A contemporary take on frontier farmhouse style in Kwandwe Private Game Reserve, designed around a central swimming pool and courtyard, with an interactive farmhouse-style kitchen and views of wooded hills. Sleeps eight in four bedrooms.
  • Exclusive-use safari house, private safari vehicle with dedicated guide and tracker, in-house chef and butler and complete schedule flexibility for meals and activities.
  • Game drives, night drives, walking safaris (minimum age of 12), bush meals and drinks, cultural visits, rhino-conservation safari (needs dependent, additional cost), special-interest safaris (additional cost) and swimming.
  • Children of all ages welcome. Private villa ideal for families. Wide range of kids’ activities with the Eco-nect kids’ safari program and Blue Crane Conservation Club, including ‘poo safaris’, fishing, treasure hunts, cooking and baking, traditional crafts and African bedtime stories with cookies and milk.

Prices

  • Not only do African safari lodge prices shift with the seasons, they also change based on your length of stay, room type, travel party composition, special offers, if your trip involves stays at sister lodges – and for more reasons besides.
  • It’s worth noting that depending on your itinerary, your lodge cost will make up about 75–85% of your total safari trip cost.
  • Our safaris are tailor-made to match your personal safari dream, we’d be delighted if you’d allow us to create a bespoke proposal for you.  Simply enquire now – our quotes are complimentary and obligation-free.
  • However, to help you get an idea of safari lodge prices we’ve created three safari-lodge categories with various price ranges, to find out more click here.

  • Not only do African safari lodge prices shift with the seasons, they also change based on your length of stay, room type, travel party composition, special offers, if your trip involves stays at sister lodges – and for more reasons besides.
  • It’s worth noting that depending on your itinerary, your lodge cost will make up about 75–85% of your total safari trip cost.
  • Our safaris are tailor-made to match your personal safari dream, we’d be delighted if you’d allow us to create a bespoke proposal for you.  Simply enquire now – our quotes are complimentary and obligation-free.
  • However, to help you get an idea of safari lodge prices we’ve created three safari-lodge categories with various price ranges, to find out more click here.

When to Go

The weather in the Western Cape, and along most of the Garden Route, is almost the inverse of the rest of South Africa. These warmer summer months are the driest time of the year. The beginning of summer ushers in the end of the whale-watching season, but game drives in Addo Elephant Park and Bushmans Kloof can be even more rewarding as the vegetation dies back. For ideal beach weather, you should look to be here between January and March.

If you’re from the Northern Hemisphere, you’ll find that winter in the Western Cape and Garden Route is much like spring back home: mild, sunny days interspersed with wet, windy ones. At it’s coldest, from June to August, daytime temperatures are usually 14–18°C. Southern right whales migrate into the Cape’s waters from June to November to give birth and nurse their young, with peak calving season being in July and August, easily seen from land.

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