HillsNek Safaris is positioned in a secluded corner of the Amakhala Game Reserve in the malaria-free Eastern Cape, South Africa. This intimate family-run lodge is set on the banks of the Bushman’s River with a breath-taking vista of rolling African plains. HillsNek offers an unprecedented safari experience where privacy and personalized attention is the hallmark of every stay.
The main lodge and luxury tented chalets are elevated on an expansive of wooden decks that command panoramic views of the open plains. Discreetly positioned to ensure privacy and tranquillity, all rooms are complete with an en-suite bathroom and romantic outside bush shower.
The lodge sets the stage for unforgettable African sunsets followed by evenings enjoying bush-inspired cuisine and celebrating all that is ‘safari’. HillsNek is ideal for families, small groups or those seeking a truly romantic retreat and is available as an exclusive-use lodge on request
The main lodge
The main lodge and four private safari canvas safari tents elevated on wooden decks breathe in the uninterrupted sprawling Africa vistas as nature’s daily ebbs and flows unfold before you.
The stone, canvas and thatch main lodge consists of an open plan lounge, bar with sitting area and dining-room with decks overlooking the surrounding vegetation. The entire canvas front of the lodge can be opened up to best enjoy the surrounding landscape.
The stone swimming pool sits front and centre on the main deck allowing one to relax and enjoy the African sunshine and it’s parading wildlife on the not to distant sprawling plains.
The lodge sets a spectacular stage for viewing those unforgettable African sunsets followed by pleasant evenings sitting around a copper bowl fireplace appreciating those starry nights and the Milky Way almost at your finger tips.
HillsNek Safaris consists of four individual luxury canvas safari tents set on expansive wrap around wooden decks with panoramic views. All three tents are linked to the main lodge by raised wooden walkways. The tents are complete with an en-suite bathroom and romantic outside shower. With all the canvas windows rolled up one may appreciate the beauty of nature from the comfort of your bed or whilst soaking in a deep bubble bath. The tents are discreetly positioned, ensuring maximum privacy and tranquility.
• Deep free-standing baths
• Dual basins
• Romantic Outdoor Showers
• Tea & Coffee Facility
• Complimentary Mini Bar
• King Size Beds
• White Percale Linen
• Sitting Area
• Heated Bed Sheet
• Standing Fan
• Oil Heater
• Outside sitting & dining area
Each morning brings a new experience delivered by nature’s magic. Leaving HillsNek Safaris in a open game-viewing vehicle you will traverse over 18 000 acres weaving through 5 of the country’s 7 biomes. The abundant wilderness of Amakhala Game Reserve preserves a complex and diverse ecosystem, providing habitat for over 60 mammal species. The Bushman’s River winds its way through the reserve providing its life source of water to the myriad of wildlife and birdlife.
The dramatic and ever changing topography of Amakhala Game Reserve is host to an abundant tapestry of sights and sounds keeping one fixated on what one may see around the next turn of the land-rover track.
The majestic lion, herds of elephant, buffalo and giraffe, cheetah and endangered white and black rhino make up the big game component.
Amakhala Game Reserve is also home to substantial herds of plains game species including zebra, black wildebeest, red hartebeest, oryx and eland to name but a few.
A recorded bird list of over 250 species on the reserve allows for great land based birding and further birding can be enjoyed whilst cruising along the Bushmans River.
As you reflect on the days sightings under a setting sun, the nocturnal species begin their foraging, from the secretive aardvark to the endangered brown hyena. The rangers spot-light scanning the closing night might highlight these lesser seen yet very interesting mammals as you make your way back to the lodge.
So ends a day at HillsNek Safaris…and tomorrow’s safari dawns with new sights and encounters.
• Personalized game drives in an open game-viewing vehicle
• River cruise by boat
• Guided Bush Walks outside the Big 5 area
• Optional visit to the Amakhala Art & Craft Centre
• Optional visit to Shamwari’s Born Free Foundation
• Pure uninterrupted relaxation in the privacy of the lodge
DIRECTIONS TO HILLNEK LODGE
Situated in the Greater Addo and Frontier Country area of the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa is the malaria-free Amakhala Game Reserve – a mere 50 minute drive north-east of Port Elizabeth’s national airport.
ADDRESS: Kirkwood, South Africa
Take the N2 towards Grahamstown. Continue on the N2 and pass the Shamwari and Amakhala Game Reserve exits until you reach the Woodbury sign post. At the thatched gate turn right. Press the entry button and follow the Conservation Centre signs. Park your car at the Conservation Centre where your ranger will be waiting to escort you to the camp.
GPS CO-ORDINATES: S 33:30’45.86” / E 26:08’30.15”
This 7000 ha reserve is renowned for its truly awesome topography, created by the slowly meandering Bushman’s River running through it.
The Amakhala Game Reserve located in the malaria free Eastern Cape of South Africa began in 1999 as a joint conservation venture between the owners of six lodges who are direct descendants of the orignal Frontier settlers some five generations ago and arrived here with the British settlers of 1820. The families originally settled to farm sheep and cattle on the wild and often hostile Zuurveld.
During 2011 the original members of the Amakhala and the Lion Roars Group created a joint Marketing agreement and brand rejuvenation for the malaria free Amakhala Game Reserve.
Amakhala Game Reserve is a unique conservation initiative that allows animals to be re-introduced to the area where they once roamed freely and so making a contribution to the conservation of our natural heritage. The land was used to ranch sheep and cattle up to the turn of the century. The challenge has been to re-establish the original flora and fauna species to the area and to return the land to nature.
Not only does Amakhala Game Reserve offer the much sought after Big 5, but there are over 16 antelope species, zebra, giraffe and many other small interesting species. The elephant sightings are likely to be the highlight of your stay. In addition to game drives, Amakhala Game Reserve also offer boat cruises and guided walks. The Amakhala Heritage Collection of Lodges are each managed and unique, offering a wide variety of accommodation and personalized style. Amakhala Game Reserve are proud to offer you the superb Amakhala service and famous hospitality.
Guided by experienced rangers, you can return to nature and explore the diverse wildlife and the rugged landscapes of the Eastern Cape valley and bushveld on Amakhala Game Reserve. This bush experience will create memories, which will linger as long as the African sun sets.
Morning and evening game drives in open Land Rovers through Amakhala Game Reserve will leave you in awe of the diverse vegetation and spectacular scenery which abounds here. For a change of pace, enjoy bird watching and game spotting whilst gently cruising down the Bushman’s River. Refreshment breaks have been included to make your safari experience that much more enjoyable.
Amakhala Game Reserve has been awarded the voluntary label by Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa (FTTSA). Based on adherence to specific criteria such as fair wages and working conditions, fair distribution of benefits, ethical business practice, and respect for human rights, culture and the environment, the FTTSA label is an independent endorsement of fair and responsible tourism practice in South Africa.