We at Portfolio never pass up the opportunity to discover new, exciting and beautiful places, for ourselves, yes, but more importantly, for you, our avid travellers. Our consultant Wendy recently became acquainted with one of the new kids on the block when she visited the amazing Swartberg Private Game Lodge in the Klein Karoo. Her first encounter was simply incredible and she shares it with us here…
There are frequently times during my travels all over South Africa when I have one of those “hit on the head” moments and I’m reminded how exceptionally lucky we are to live in a country surrounded by such an enormous variety of extraordinary beauty. We really do have it all - from the unending, barren plains of the Northern Cape, to the plush forests of the Tsitsikamma and everything in between.
My visit to the Swartberg Private Game Lodge was definitely one of these moments. Not only was it a weekend spent living in the lap of luxury and indulging in superb food and wine with the very best company, but it was one filled with an overwhelming amount of sheer natural beauty, courtesy of the magnificent surrounds. They just leave you utterly breathless…
It's a complete escape
The gracious, sprawling farmhouse sits on the Swartberg Private Game Reserve, a 3 000 hectare conservancy, with 17 homes dotted around panoramic locations on the reserve. It runs along the foot of the majestic Swartberg mountain range, adjacent to the Swartberg Nature Reserve, a World Heritage Site. From the moment you arrive you feel completely away from it all. In fact, sometimes all there is to listen to is a deafening silence – a real tonic to the soul!
There are top-notch facilities
We were met on arrival by Cowan who made sure that we got settled in nicely and had everything we needed – nothing was too much trouble for him as long as it ensured that we were comfortable and happy. We got going straight away with preparing dinner. The social kitchen is enormous and is fully kitted out for a seamless self-catering experience. There’s also a lovely 10-seater table where we ate breakfast and enjoyed a glass of wine (or two!) while dinner was cooking.
Various relaxation spots are at your fingertips
Outside, there is a boma for those Milky Way nights, and an inviting undercover braai area which also comfortably seats a full party around a long table. The classic picture-perfect fireplace is another highlight of the house, where you can sink into a soft leather couch with a good book in front of the flames and while away the hours.
Luxury accommodation that is second to none
Five bedrooms are attached to the kitchen and living areas, assuring comfortable privacy, yet still being close enough to it all. The rooms themselves are a treat, with all the comforts of home and in top-draw style. The deluxe-size full bathrooms leading through double doors onto a private patio have a cool and tranquil vibe to them and are the cherry on top of a dream stay.
Abundant fauna and flora awaits
The following day we set off with Cowen in the game vehicle for a drive. The reserve offers a large variety of plains game and we got to see a good deal of it. However, for me, the intrigue was around the incredible flora. There are three natural plant biomes present: Renosterveld, Succulent Karoo and Fynbos. Pictures simply don’t do them justice, especially against a backdrop of the most spectacular mountain scenery South Africa has to offer - this Eden, flanked by Karoo on either side, is truly fascinating.
The numerous vantage points along the way offered breathtaking views, many of them featuring multiple layers of mountain ranges that appear to stretch to infinity. Arriving back at the lodge, we were met by a tower of giraffe, five or so in total, who were very interested in checking up on what was happening at home.
You can always tuck into a delicious braai
It would be unthinkable (at a place such as this) not to have a braai. Fire lit, a good glass of red in hand, we enjoyed a particularly good one before spending the rest of the evening in front of the fire in lazy conversation – this was the perfect end to an unforgettable day and overall trip.
As you can imagine, saying goodbye was not easy. The weekend flew by so fast, yet we still felt like we had had a good break. Swartberg Private Game Lodge is all kinds of wonderful and whether you’re celebrating a gathering of the clans, or looking for the ideal spot for that company team-building weekend getaway, this is, without question, the ideal destination. So go and see for yourself – there’s a magic about this place which you will remember for a long, long time.
Other things worth mentioning:
- There is extra accommodation available on special request for larger groups.
- It is perfect for families of all ages.
- You can enjoy the company of others in the party in a warm and close atmosphere, yet still have all the privacy and space you could ever need. The grounds and facilities are expansive, with many places in the lodge being able to accommodate larger numbers of people. For example, the kitchen, dining-room table, braai area, boma and pool space can each comfortably accommodate more than 12 people.
- Everything you need to make your stay easy and comfortable is at hand, in grand style.