Like the lodges in Phinda, this is another owned by &Beyond Africa. Situated within the 22,000ha Kwandwe private reserve in the malaria-free Eastern Cape province, the reserve is slightly different from its peers because much of the wildlife including cheetah, black rhino and the rare blue crane has been restored to land once cleared for farming. You can best appreciate the landscape from the luxe comforts of Kwandwe's Melton Manor, in the Great Fish River valley. This Relais & Chateau frontier-style homestead wouldn't look out of place in Australia's outback with its wide wrap-around verandas and antique settler furniture. Available for sole-use, the ultra modern farmhouse accommodates a maximum of eight guests who have access anytime to a vehicle with expert animal tracker and ranger, as well as a chef to prepare meals and provide cooking tips - if you feel an urge to pitch in. This is however, a truly silver-service affair. With the coast (Kwandwe is a 20-minute flight from Port Elizabeth or two hours by road), and the famed Garden Route nearby, this South African getaway becomes even more attractive.
Thoughtful touches like champagne and chocolates placed beside a bath already filled with bubbles at the end of a long day turn this experience to gold.