Melozhori Game Reserve: Wildlife-Spotting From Your Private Pod

Melozhori Game Reserve: Wildlife-Spotting From Your Private Pod

Start spreading the gnus!

It’s late-afternoon at Melozhori Game Reserve. I pour myself a glass of bubbly before sinking into the hot tub on the deck of our private pod. My travel companions (husband and five-year-old son) have headed off on their mountain bikes to catch a closeup of the herd of buffalo we’d spotted on our game drive earlier, leaving me all alone. The silence and solitude of the sun-drenched savannah are soporific.

Though it’s just a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Cape Town, this 2 500-hectare game reserve near Bonnievale feels like it’s a million miles away. Ahead of me, an acacia-shaded valley extends to the Riviersonderend Mountains in the distance; chirping birds and rustling leaves (as the occasional gecko darts about seeking shade) are the only sounds about.

Melozhori Game Reserve Wildlife

I lie back and allow the events of the day to sink in: a herd of wildebeest romping boisterously on the open plains, giraffes browsing nonchalantly, zebras play fighting, and some stealthy-looking birds of prey circling overhead about to go in for the kill. There’s something about watching animals in their natural habitat…

A movement on the escarpment wakes me from near-slumber. I gaze up to catch a perfectly choreographed herd of springbok hopping across the veld in unison, the last rays of sun catching their backsides to produce a dazzling spectacle. A matinee to end all matinees – enjoyed from the comfort of my own private hot tub.

About Melozhori Private Game Reserve

Founded by the Bhorat family in 2008, the private game reserve (once part of the historic wagon route) lies in the majestic Cape Fold Mountains in the Overberg.

Following considerate rehabilitation efforts, the reserve has since expanded into 2 500 hectares of sweeping plains where Karoo succulents, mountainous fynbos and Renosterveld offer the perfect grazing ground for a slew of wildlife – comprising 19 different mammal species and 131 identified birds.

Melozhori Game Reserve Lodge Pool

Visitors can expect to see the incredibly rare yet beautiful sable antelope, as well as giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, kudu, eland, oryx and bontebok, to name a few. The Cape leopard has also been spotted here on rare occasion.

Melozhori Game Reserve Sundowners

Guests are welcomed by hands-on managers Lientjie and Coenraad Nell and their assistant Marzanne du Plessis, who are only a Whatsapp away should you require anything.

The lodgings

Two brand-new pods (Valley Pod and Waterfall Pod) perch on an untouched area of the reserve that overlooks the game-dotted plains beyond, offering an ideal setting for a private escape or romantic retreat.

In addition to the pods, there is an all-inclusive luxury lodge with four en-suite bedrooms and a rim-flow pool as well as a stunning two-bedroom self-catering cottage with a wood-fired hot tub, a sparkling pool and an outdoor braai.

The pods

Melozhori Game Reserve Pods
Melozhori Game Reserve Pod Balcony
Melozhori Game Reserve Pod Exterior
Melozhori Game Reserve Pod Lounge
Melozhori Game Reserve Pod Bathroom
  • one bedroom and a sleeper couch, sleeping two adults and a small child
  • en-suite bathroom with a bath and shower
  • open-plan kitchenette with an oven, microwave, stove, fridge and tea- and coffee-making facilities
  • open-plan lounge and dining area with an indoor fireplace
  • outdoor deck with a braai and seating area
  • wood-fired hot tub
  • 14-metre hammock
  • wood-fired pizza oven
  • air conditioning
  • complimentary wifi

Cost From R3 500 per pod per night

The cottage

Melozhori Game Reserve Cottage
Melozhori Game Reserve Cottage Bedroom
Melozhori Game Reserve Cottage View
Melozhori Game Reserve Cottage Hot Tub
Melozhori Game Reserve Cottage Twin Bedroom
  • two bedrooms, able to accommodate four adults and two children
  • en-suite bathrooms with a bath and shower
  • private deck leading off each bedroom
  • fully equipped spacious kitchen
  • open-plan lounge and dining area with an indoor fireplace
  • outdoor deck with a braai, fire pit and seating area
  • wood-fired hot tub
  • private swimming pool
  • hammock
  • air conditioning
  • complimentary wifi

Cost From R3 000 – R3 500 per night for the cottage (depending on season)

The lodge

Melozhori Game Reserve Lodge
Melozhori Game Reserve Lodge Firepit
Melozhori Game Reserve Lodge Lounge
Melozhori Game Reserve Lodge Dining Room
Melozhori Game Reserve Lodge Bedroom
  • four luxury suites including two family suites
  • en-suite bathrooms with a bath and shower
  • in-room fireplace
  • private deck with sun loungers
  • shared open-plan lounge
  • shared bar and dining area
  • shared outdoor deck with a swimming pool
  • outdoor boma and fireplace
  • outdoor seating and relaxation area
  • tea- and coffee-making facilities
  • air conditioning
  • complimentary wifi

Please note The lodge can only be booked in its entirety, not on a per-room basis. At least three to five days’ notice is required for lodge bookings depending on the group size.
Cost From R18 000 per night for the lodge (1 to 4 guests)
From R4 500 per night per person thereafter (maximum 8 guests)

While you’re there

Melozhori Game Reserve Game Spotting

  • game drives
  • nature walks
  • Birdwatching
  • Mountain biking (wondrous terrain and views; bicycles can be rented on the reserve for those who don’t have their own)
  • surrounding wine farms
  • Cape Agulhas, the southernmost tip of Africa
  • Hermanus for whale-watching in season; shops and restaurants

Distance from CT 2.5 hours
Child friendly? Yes
Pet friendly? No
Where to find it Melozhori Game Reserve, Overberg, 5km from the N2 turn-off to Stormsvlei

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The Inside Guide has made every effort to ensure that the information in this post was correct at the time of publication. However, we do not assume any liability caused by errors, such as price, cost, time, and location.

Time of publication: 30 March 2021