Mount Camdeboo

Easter Getaway: History Hunt At Mount Camdeboo Game Reserve

Nestled seamlessly into the Karoo landscape is Mount Camdeboo Private Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape offering guests a unique historical and wildlife experience.


  • Mount Camdeboo is located about 60km southeast of Graaff-Reinet and is in a malaria-free region of South Africa.
  • The accommodation currently comprises three elegant manor houses as well as an intimate cottage for two and two new eco-friendly, luxurious sleep-out pods – the Eagle’s Flight Pod and the Camdeboo Plains Pod.
  • The Mount Camdeboo experience includes all meals, two game drives a day, plus a select local bar.
  • Visit for more stories.


The Sandton Times has searched ‘hot and cold’ ahead of the Easter break and explored some of the most desired eateries and getaways, to get a first-hand experience of what guests can expect when planning their April holiday. With some of the best spots in South Africa, there is no doubt Easter holiday travelers are in for an absolute treat.


Often discounted for not having the same attractions as the Western Cape or Kwa-Zulu Natal, a visit to the Great Karoo with its malaria-free wildlife hub will have you coming back sooner than you think. Mount Camdeboo offers guests a luxurious yet personal safari experience, bathed in Karoo culture and South African history, including Anglo-Boer war battlegrounds and memorials offering a window to the past that shaped South Africa today.


Mount Camdeboo
Overcoming Cheetah genetic homogeneity is a focus of an Endangered Wildlife Trust initiative, the Cheetah Metapopulation Project, in which Mount Camdeboo Private Nature Reserve actively participates. Image: The Sandton Times

The land offers guests spectacular views and varied terrain on which to enjoy exploring for both traces of the past and wildlife. The property is vast and includes a variety of accommodation, from spacious manor houses to a romantic private cottage and of late, new luxury pods. Mount Camdeboo Private Game Reserve covers around 14’000 hectares, nearly 400 times the size of the wild animal park in Kent. The climate and topography are also very different.


Yet the charm of Mount Camdeboo lies deep in its history, with the property having been a town known as Petersburg, the traces of which can still be uncovered today. Petersburg gradually faded away over time, becoming part of a collection of farms, which in turn transformed into a private game reserve, eventually giving way to Mount Camdeboo as it stands today, with the main Manor House being the former Police Station, the then Post Office is now the conference building and the private accommodation designed with families in mind used to be the Home Affairs offices. This layered with a rich history of Anglo-Boer war battles, and Mount Camdeboo is a sought-after destination for history fans and wildlife enthusiasts alike.


Mount Camdeboo
No visit at Mount Camdeboo is complete without a visit to the site of the ‘Battle of Paardefontein’, which saw the arrest of Commandant Johannes Lotter, believed to be one of the last Boer rebels. Image: The Sandton Times

Expect to take a step into a treasured part of South African culture, with rich homecooked meals served by locals who have lived in the area almost all their lives. This, combined with surroundings steeped in history, makes for an authentic yet premium experience, as all rooms are fully equipped with all you could ask for, from luxury amenities to quality linen, a mini-bar, coffee station, air-conditioning, and beautiful common areas.


The Karoo climate can be equally as hot during the day as it is cooler at night, and packing the right kind of clothing to accommodate both is essential. Those needing a break from the summer heat can take a dip in the hotel pool alongside the rose garden and beautifully kept grounds.


Mount Camdeboo
Privately owned and represented by NEWMARK Hotels, Mount Camdeboo Private Game Reserve offers home comforts in a gorgeous Karoo setting. Image: The Sandton Times

Make it a proper road trip and stop in at The Drostdy Hotel in Graaff-Reinet – the fourth oldest town in South Africa and a gem in the heart of the Karoo. This will provide a chance to visit the spectacular Valley of Desolation in the Camdeboo National Park, the historical Reinet House museum, numerous art galleries, and divine eateries. While in the area, why not take a short drive to the infamous Owl House and the village of Nieu Bethesda too.


For booking inquiries about the Eastern Cape’s iconic Mount Camdeboo Private Game Reserve, visit their website.


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Sandton Times Correspondent

Curated content from The Sandton Times newsroom desks.


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