Jacqueline Roth shares her family’s experience staying at Camdeboo Manor for a safari trip in this guest blog post.
This June my family and I embarked on what would be one of the most extraordinary and thrilling vacations of our lives. We arrived at the Mount Camdeboo in Graaf-Reinet just before sunset and we were immediately taken back by the 35,000 acres of varying terrain and spectacular views. The accommodations at the Manor were incredible, an old farmhouse restored to perfection with a keen attention to detail, and a staff so attentive you could never go hungry or without a drink in your hand. While the five-star accommodations were incredible, what will be most memorable is the incredible wildlife and being able to share this once in a lifetime experience with my family.
While staying at the property we were able to enjoy two game drives per day; one early in the morning and one in the late afternoon. The safari truck had no problem going up and down the mountains, some of which were over 4,000 ft. high. Our guide Dane was extremely knowledgeable and informative, making each drive a unique adventure. He also wasn’t afraid to test us on what we learned about each animal.
On the game drives, we were able to find giraffe, rhino, kudu, springbok, wild boar, zebra, warthogs, baboons, and, my personal favorite, cheetah. One of the most memorable moments during our safari was our run-in with a female cheetah and her three cubs. I can honestly say that there is nothing more thrilling than standing 5 feet from a wild cheetah who is trying to protect her cubs.
While every meal at the manor was exceptional, one of my favorites was a barbecue style dinner in the boma. When we arrived back from our afternoon game drive, we were escorted to the backyard where the staff had prepared a tradition, candlelit braai. We enjoyed pre-dinner drinks by the fire and then a delicious dinner of fire-grilled meats and vegetables. Afterwards, we had hot tea and homemade cakes for dessert. It was a spectacular evening and a great way to experience a traditional African meal.
During our last night at the manor the proprietor, Ian, stopped by for an afternoon drink. We talked for hours about the history of the private reserve. We learned about the “Battle of Paardefontein”, a historic Anglo Boer war fought on the property, and about the owner’s efforts in protecting the Rhino species. It was so great hearing his story and how passionate he was about wildlife preservation. Also, it seems he has big plans to make Mount Camdeboo even bigger and better in years to come. I couldn’t recommend a place any stronger.
Thank you THIRDHOME, for making our dream vacation a reality.
Check out Jacqueline’s highlight reel from the safari, below!