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“Beautiful location” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Kwandwe Uplands Homestead

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Kwandwe Uplands Homestead
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Heatherton Towers, Fort Brown District | Grahamstown, Kwandwe Private Game Reserve, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
cape town
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Beautiful location”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2013

We have just come back from a 4 night stay at Uplands manor with our children (ages 1,4,5). The manor house is beautiful and perfect for a family. The food was good but not gourmet. The staff was very friendly and helpful and really spoiled us. Everyday they had a new surprise for us like a brunch in the bush and sundowers out in the reserve. The gamedrives were great and we saw everything except leopard. The only disappointment was that none of the childrens program and activities that are described on the website were offered to us, eg.Daily treasure hunts, poo safaris etc. So the kids got quite bored, which i mentioned to the lodge managers. Finally on day 3 I asked whether they can bake a cake with the chef, which they then really enjoyed. The kidsprogram should have been organised and have been offered to us as advertised on the website.After all he parents can only enjoy their holiday if the kids are happy. This is the only reason why I Would give overall only 4 and not 5 stars. Nevertheless we had a great time all in all and I would recommend Kwandwe.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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19 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room Tips
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
New York City, New York
Top Contributor
143 reviews 143 reviews
58 hotel reviews
Reviews in 67 cities Reviews in 67 cities
200 helpful votes 200 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2013

We chose this resort because we wanted accommodations for our entire family in one building, and not divided among villas.

What a treat!

First, the building is old, authentic, and filled with charming antiques, amenities and curiosities. You will find yourself seamlessly affecting an accent. You may look off into the distance wistfully waiting for Robert Redford to fly back home. It is a fabulous,comfortable, luxurious, place to stay.

Second, the staff. Bring org chart software, as there are so many of them. Your own driver, tracker, butler, maid, cook. Wonderful ,warm and talented people.

The day follows a certain tempo, dictated by the heat. You rise before dawn to hot cocoa, tea, coffee and fresh baked scones on the patio. They bundle you up with blankets and hot waterbottles as you venture out on your safari tour, tracker and driver along. You safari until the sun comes up, when they stop and fix "plein air" pancakes for you in the bush!

On the way back, the driver calls ahead so that your baths are drawn to wash off the safari dust. Apres bath, your choice of full breakfast in the lovely dining room, all made to order.

The heat of the day is spent at your private pool, watching giraffes amble by. Lunch in the dining room again, one day featuring pizza the cook showed my kids how to make.

Just before dusk, head out to safari again. At sunset, stop to enjoy the view, and freshly mixed cocktails in the bush. As you head back, the driver calls ahead again. You are met with a butler who holds a tray of the cocktails of the day, just as you alight the open air jeep. Luminarias light your path and dinner is served that night in the garden.

This was my second safari. Both times we saw "the Big Five". But the setting and services of Kwandwe's Uplands made this safari beyond extraordinary.

PS We visited in April years ago.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton, Canada
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2013

6 of us stayed here for two nights in mid-March 2013. We were near the end of a two week trek through the western and eastern Cape. What an amazing way to wrap up the trip. Lovely old, manor house. Exceptional, personalized service from a dedicated staff of about 8 people.

Our only complaint (and minor at that) about the rooms were that the shower head in one room needed to be replaced as it was only pushing water through less than 20 percent of the head. In one of the other rooms, the bathroom door locked our friends out of their bathroom for a few hours as the mechanism failed. These are minor hiccups on an overall fantastic experience and home, which the 6 of us had to ourselves.

The game drives were magical. The reserve is a beautiful piece of land, so just taking in the hills, river and vistas was wonderful. With all the different animals, birds and plants, the Reserve is full of everything you might hope to see.

Our guide, Morne, was extremely knowledgeable and clearly passionate about what he does. His quiet enthusiasm was infectious.

A truly magical experience. Highly recommended!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Monaco-Ville, Monaco
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2013

I spent "only" ;( 3 days in Uplands with my family, great experience under all points of view>
The location is of indescribable beauty, the house is the one you have always dreamed and the services provided by the staff are not less then 7 stars !!!
Melyssa and Morne make you feeling at home and are able to surprise you with any kind of amenities few times per day.
The safari managed by Morne has been superb, he has been able to take us watching all in a relaxing and extremely safe way, children are still excited ! The staff has been incredible !
Organisation provided has been better than any expectations.

Room Tip: Experience in Kwandwe would be limited if not in Uplands
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durban, South Africa
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2013 via mobile

We spent four glorious nights at Uplands Homestead. Looked after by Melissa Morne and Zyo we wanted for nothing. Staying in the Uplands Homestead we were spoilt rotten in terms of food drinks and all aspects of the accommodation. Having our own ranger meant amazing photographic experiences and sightings. Thanks to the entire team for all your kind efforts they will not be forgotten! Kind regards Yvonne Dean Caleb and Jordan

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Geelong, Australia
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2012

Six friends staying in this amazing house had the most incredible holiday. Previous reviews have described the luxurious house and we were lucky enough to make this our home for 8 nights. We had our own guide, tracker, chef, butler and other friendly staff. We loved our early morning game drives, especially our muffins and Amarula coffee amongst the wildlife. There were just so many wonderful things- the beautiful food, cocktails on the evening drive, our surprise banquet dinner out in the game park, Rhinocerus Day dinner, Pimms by the pool, hot chocolate by the fire, our washing returned the next day and so many other luxury. Above all this the animals were fantastic and thanks to Toast and Dennis we saw so many wonderful sights, cheetahs after a kill, elephants, lions, rhinos, giraffes and the very illusive leopard to mention a few- there were so many sightings. A trip on the lake, a beautiful lunch and the hippos was a highlight. I could rave on and on with so many wonderful aspects of this holiday but I'll leave some surprises. Thank you to Toast and his team for the amazing experience and joining in on all the fun.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bishops Stortford, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2012

Superlatives don't do this private house justice. The house is just amazing with 3 ensuite bedrooms including a master bedroom with sitting area and huge stone bath tub in the bathroom. The dining room is very impressive and the cosy living room with roaring log fire for the cold nights is very welcoming. Outside is a fantastic swimming pool and covered gazebo with loungers. The wonderful warm and efficient service makes this house what it is. You are provided with a chef, a butler, gardner, tracker, ranger and two maids who are all from the local area (kwandwe is heavily involved in the community). The food is fantastic without being over the top or pretentious and the wine provided is superb. As for the game drives, we were very impressed - we expected it to be great but it exceeded all our expectations. The ranger was expert and extremely friendly, while the tracker made some incredible sightings. Our ranger, Toast, would radio in when we were on our way back and we were greeted every time with a glass of something special and delicious canapes, the house lit with candles and fires roaring. It is this attention to detail and also the fabulous wildlife that makes this an amazing lodge.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kwandwe Uplands Homestead

Address: Heatherton Towers, Fort Brown District | Grahamstown, Kwandwe Private Game Reserve, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Eastern Cape > Kwandwe Private Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 Specialty Lodging in Kwandwe Private Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Number of rooms: 3

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