Elsa's Farmhouse
Elsa’s Farmhouse

Daily Safari Magic

It comes as no surprise that the central activity of every safari adventure has to be the safari drives and walks. On a normal day your guide will meet you at sunrise every morning with warm drinks and rusks at your lodge before departing on your morning game drive or walk. The experience will last for about three hours before returning to your lodge for a mid-day rest and relaxation. In the evening you’ll depart again with your guide to be out in the African bush in time to bid farewell to another perfect day. Your safari experience is completely customizable to your needs with private vehicles and a personal guide available on request. Our guides are passionate beyond the norm with each guide a believer in the Magic Hills philosophy and goals so however you choose to safari you will find that at Magic Hills you will always have way more than just a ‘game drive’.

Walk the Walk To Talk the Talk

Being on foot in a big game area is always special and our expert walking guides will introduce you to some of the smaller things that you may miss from the back of a game viewing vehicle. On a game walk you will learn about spoor and dung… that’s right you’re going to talk about poop… as well as insects, trees and the medicinal uses of plants. At Magic Hills we respect that not everyone is comfortable with the risk that comes with the possibility of encountering dangerous game on foot and so have set aside an area of 1500 hectares in which there are no large or dangerous game animals but you’ll still find all the other species as well as vistas and wide sandy rivers.

The Trail of the Chubby Unicorn

Let our experienced, qualified guides walk you in the footsteps of rhinos. This experience can take place on request or ad hoc while on a safari drive or from the lodge depending on where rhinos are moving during the day. You and your guide will start at a water point where animals have drunk the previous night or that morning and look for fresh rhino spoor. Once you find spoor you’ll set off on “The Trail of the Chubby Unicorn” learning about these animals, their ecology and biology as well the threats they face as a result of poaching, misunderstanding and greed. Led by your guide you will follow the spoor that you found together until you get a sighting of the rhino. After some time with the rhino your guide will lead you back to your vehicle or lodge.

*For safety’s sake we only track white rhino on foot with guests*

Sky Safari

Join us under the thick black blanket that is the Karoo night where your guide will take you on a journey of the skies using our state of the art telescope and purpose-built observatory. The dark night skies over Magic Hills are ideal for launching your flight into our solar system, and even further, without ever leaving the comfort of a blanket around your shoulders and a hot Irish Coffee in your mug made the same way it was first concocted in 1943 with Irish Whiskey, pouring cream and a hint of adventure.

Disappearing Spots

Did you know that the cheetah is an endangered species and that there are less cheetahs left on earth than rhinos? Magic Hills has aligned with the National Cheetah Meta-Population Strategy under the Endangered Wildlife Trust to actively promote cheetah conservation awareness. Our cheetahs are monitored as frequently as possible and you’ll join one of our conservation officers or rangers to learn how we use radio telemetry receivers to track cheetahs at Magic Hills. Once a signal is found for one of the cheetah radio collars you will proceed either by vehicle or by walking to find the collared cat. Once found some time will spent in close proximity on foot observing the cheetah in their natural environment. For the purposes of monitoring our cheetahs are all habituated to people so while you are observing them they ignore you and act normally occasionally even moving towards the observers.

The Juniper Journey

Once thought to be a prophylactic for the prevention and treatment of malaria, gin has come a long way from the simple London dry gins of a few years back. Infused with botanicals and fruits, drunk neat, over ice or in a cocktail, modern gin tastings at Magic Hills make for as interesting a summer night as any wine tasting exercise or cocktail evening. Gin and Coke anyone? How about a Sloe Gin Fizz featuring egg whites as an ingredient?

Grapes and So Much More

If you’re a wine drinker then a mainstay of any decent Safari has to be an evening spent with our resident wine lover as you go the A-V, from aroma to vegetal, through the world of wine. Remember to let us know if there are any wines you want us to have ready and waiting for your stay with us.

One of the Very Nicest Things About Life

…is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating. Those words from legendary operatic tenor Luciano Pavarotti certainly ring true through the Magic Hills food philosophy. Our Executive Chef will take you on a fresh flavour adventure while also bubbling up happy memories by making the familiar dishes that make up your food memories. Specialities include game meat dishes harvested locally and enhanced with foraged spices typical of the Magic Hills floral diversity, ranging from the citrus of the Spekboom and spicy wild mint to the aromatic blue sage.

Smoke On the Water

When the Lootskloof River is flowing our guests can join us at our bush braai site for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Located on a bend in the river under the watchful cliffs of Dassiekraans we will host you for a meal cooked on the open fire of our bush braai. In the skilled hands of our Executive Chef a braai fire can be used just as effectively as any oven or stove producing every kind of meal from steaks to seafood to soups. If you’re feeling adventurous you are most welcome to jump into the cooling waters of the Lootskloof and sip on a refreshing beverage while your food is prepared.

Restoration and Rejuvenation

Whether at Sky, Ilanga or Elsa we invite you to take advantage of the availability of our resident spa therapists and Reiki Master. Select from our wide selection of traditional and modern holistic massage experiences or engage in a one on one Reiki session tailor-made to your needs which we guarantee will leave you feeling relaxed and grounded.

Bows with Breakfast and Clays Over Lunch

If thrills while challenging your own strength and hand-eye coordination sound like something for you then we can offer you the excitement of “Bows with Breakfast” or “Clays over Lunch”. Which ever you choose you will head out with your guide to a safe and remote area of the reserve where our expert marksman instructors will meet you for a safety briefing before engaging in some target archery or clay pigeon shooting. Snacks and refreshing drinks will be available already set up for your indulgence while a full breakfast or lunch, depending on the time of day, will be prepared to be indulged in once your “Bang Woosh” experience is complete.

The Difference You Made Today – The Spekboom Plant For Guests

Visit the Magic Hills Private Collection and literally help save. For every guest who visits us at least two indigenous trees are planted as part of our thicket restoration program. One of the trees will be of the miraculous Spekboom species while, depending on where the trees are planted in our restoration landscape, the other may also be a Spekboom or perhaps a Spike Thorn tree or even an indigenous succulent such as the Paper-Rose Cactus, whichever it is you can rest easy knowing that you have made a difference today.
A Sense of Adventure

First Nation Gallery Visit

We at Magic Hills are all very excited about the discovery of previously unknown rock art sites on the Reserve. An investigation is currently underway into the history and significance of the sites while respecting the rights of the national cultural estate and the KhoiKhoi people. Unfortunately the San and Khoi cultures are slowly eroding, being lost to the twin corrosives of both the instant gratification that modern technology brings and the boredom of extreme rural living. To help in ensuring the long term sustainability of the culture we are in the process of developing an alignment with the Ju/’hoansi Master Trackers of the Nyae Nyae community to provide an experience like no other. As you depart from the lodge for your morning game drive or walk you will be joined by a Ju/’hoansi Master Tracker who will take you on a spiritual journey of interpretation. You’ll learn, through his interpretation of tracks and sign left by the animals and birds of Magic Hills, who has been walking around at night and what they’ve been doing. Why did that jackal stop right there? How did that springbuck know she was being followed by that cheetah? Your journey will culminate at our rock art site for a guided tour of the paintings interpreted by none other than descendants of the hand that put them there eons before.

The Magic Hills Pioneers

This experience will be limited to the first 16 full paying parties only! In the spirit of Erik and Alexandra’s (the owners) pioneering spirit we are offering the chance for the first 16 full paying parties to leave a special mark on a special place somewhere on Magic Hills. You will travel with your guide to a secret place on the Magic Hills Private Game Reserve where a small plaque with your name and date of visit will be placed as a token of gratitude for your support of our dream. This secret place will remain off limits to future guests and only the pioneers or their delegates will be allowed to visit their plaques on return visits. Why 16 you ask? 16 is a prevalent number for us at Magic Hills. It marks the date the final farm was officially bought and subsequently also the date of Erik and Alexandra’s wedding anniversary. It has therefore become a date symbolizing love, union and adventure in the Magic Hills family.

A Sense of Wonder

Magic is not something restricted to the old or the young and so in recognizing that our younger safari adventurers visiting us at Magic Hills are just as important as Mom and Dad we have developed special programs to keep Cubs and Pups under the age of 12 years entertained:

When I Grow Up I Wanna Be A Ranger

Special educational drives and walks can be arranged for the Cubs while the “big cats” are resting during the day at the lodge. Taken in our non-big game area, and with the presence of a trained minder as well as one of our professional guides, these drives and walks are designed to accommodate easily distracted minds and fidgety little hands while ensuring maximum safety and fun.

All The Flavours of the Rainbow

Our junior and trainee chefs need their practice and what better way than by introducing our younger lodge guests to the joy of cooking. From clever sandwiches and sliders to fun sized cakes of every colour washed down with a nice healthy Spekboom smoothie who knows what surprises might come out of a kitchen inspired by the unfenced imagination of a child’s mind.

View Our Specials

Passing By? Stop at Magic Hills for a day exploring the reserve, driving 4×4 trails, and indulging in a panoramic picnic!
Enjoy a 30% discount on your indulgent stay at Ilanga Manor House!

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