Experience the wild Karoo
the way you’ve always wanted to
Journey deep into the heart of the Eastern Cape to explore rocky outcrops, valley bushveld, open savannahs, and craggy mountains, on a camping safari in South Africa’s Great Karoo. Miles away from the urban bustle and city lights, kaKhulu Karoo ushers travellers into an African adventure of fun and excitement, hosted by Mother Nature and her raw, wild beauty.
Here, your senses are immersed. An expansive sky looms above – the territory of the majestic Verreaux’s Eagle – and the rolling, rugged wilderness sweeps around you. The air is heavy with the scent of sun-baked dirt and an airy, tranquillizing silence, broken by the distinctively melodic chirrup of the Lark-like Bunting and the hushing of a breeze as it disturbs dusty, dry vegetation. Vibrant bursts of aloe contrast the sunbleached landscape and are a feast for the eyes and attract some of the region’s most spectacular birdlife and roaming herbivores.
kaKhulu Karoo’s self-catering apartments, rugged hides and off-the-grid campsites give travellers a typically South African bush getaway, wide-open space to breathe, and a home-base from which to enjoy the wonders and activities on offer at the Magic Hills Private Collection.
A safari without ceremony. Pure nature. No frills. Just the way we like it.
At kaKhulu Karoo, the wilderness is the star of the show. We offer comfortable self-catering accommodation, adventurous hides, and wild camping sites, connected by off-road trails.
Seven self-catering rooms of various comfort configurations offer travellers a place to rest between the exciting activities to be enjoyed on the iSanti reserve. Braai facilities and a sparkling swimming pool surrounded by lush gardens allow guests to enjoy a true South African bush lifestyle, surrounded by the magnificence of the wild Karoo.
These modest abodes, constructed entirely of brick and stone, offer shelter and warmth to adventurers who long to be just a little closer to nature. With sunken floors, the brick hides are ideal safari photography accommodation, giving residents the opportunity to capture the passing wildlife from a marvellous angle, and often up close.
For the young at heart, those who had always wished to sleep in their childhood treehouse, our timber-frame elevated hides give travellers an authentic, natural stay in the Karoo bushveld. Intoxicating and wild, enjoy the scent of fresh air mingled with sunbaked thatch, while overlooking the rugged countryside and its native wildlife.
For the ultimate connection with nature, nothing beats a wild camping safari in the Great Karoo. kaKhulu’s off-the-grid campsites are set in prime locations to enjoy the Karoo daylight vistas and star-studded skies at night, and are accessible by 4×4 trails that wind through the untamed terrain.
Explore. Experience. Exhale.
Rugged dirt roads wind through the riverines, hills and crags, and open savanna that make up the iSanti reserve. From easy roads to axle-twisters, kaKhulu Karoo’s 4×4 trails offer venturers the opportunity to explore the African terrain and all its beautiful sights and vistas, at their own pace. Although we allow self-drive on most levels of terrain, our more complex trails require the company of a Magic Hills guide.
Guided Game Drives
Visitors at kaKhulu Karoo may book a guided game drive with the skilled rangers of Magic Hills Private Collection. Climb aboard our open-air game viewing vehicles and be chauffeured through the wilderness, on a fresh morning game drive or a transcendental evening drive.
For travellers who enjoy hiking and wish to explore the Great Karoo on foot, our experienced guides are available to host exciting treks through the wilderness, showing guests the sights and sounds of Africa’s most breathtaking wildlife, birdlife and plantlife. Guests who opt to embark on a guided tour may choose to seek out the Big Five on foot, while others may prefer a safer experience, in which case, the guide will avoid dangerous animals.
Endearingly called “The Trail of the Chubby Unicorn”, our Rhino Walk allows guests the opportunity to track rhinos with their guide, and walk in the footsteps of these great, gentle beasts. Learn about the rhino and its habitat while you hike; our guides will do all within their power to lead you safely to your rhino sighting, a magical and unforgettable experience – especially on foot.
As elusive as leopards, the cheetah is one of Africa’s most fascinating big cats and a favourite for many who visit us on the iSanti reserve. Our Cheetah Walk guides will lead you on a tracking journey through the bush, tracking down land’s fastest predator, in the hopes that you might find yourself face-to-face with these proud and graceful cats.
Coming Soon to Magic Hills:
Abseiling and Rock Climbing
kaKhulu Karoo caters for adrenaline junkies with natural rock climbing and abseiling opportunities, in Mother Nature’s gymnasium. Set up to world-class standards and endorsed by Justin Lawson of Climb ZA, our rock climbing and abseiling sites are run by professionals who have mastered the art of balancing safety and fun.
Rock Art and Bush Breakfast
Journey back in time with our guides by visiting some of the Karoo’s ancient rock art sites, taking in the primitive paintings of our land’s ancestors. Dating back to 355BC, these prehistoric depictions tell the story of life in the Karoo long before western civilization existed on this continent. End your tour into the past with a delicious bush breakfast, cooked on site.
Magic Hills Private Collection Spa
Not everything about the Karoo is rugged – kaKhulu guests may indulge in a rejuvenating spa treatment at Ilanga Manor House. Allow our therapists to restore body and mind with a massage, facial or soothing Africology treatment.
Stargazing in Dark-Sky Country
Aptly named “dark-sky country” for having almost-zero light pollution, the night skies above kaKhulu Karoo are a star-studded blanket-display of the glorious Milky Way. Hours spent marvelling at the expanse of the universe while listening to the iconic sounds of an African night will leave you changed for a lifetime.
Coming soon to kaKhulu Karoo:
Via Ferrata and Zip Lining
Currently under construction, and the brainchild of local rock-climbing extraordinaire, Justin Lawson (Climb ZA), a thrilling Via Ferrata and zip-lining course will keep adrenaline pumping for hours. Via Ferrata (italian) means “iron path”. Metal rungs are driven into the mountain cliffs, allowing adventurers to climb, as if climbing a ladder.
Our Slice of Paradise
kaKhulu Karoo is located on a privately-owned game reserve, iSanti, that forms part of the immensely-beautiful Great Karoo. The vast 20 100 hectares of rugged terrain is home to a variety of wildlife and birdlife, including the Big Five, and is one of South Africa’s most unique plant biomes. The land is ancient, and historically-significant, whispering legendary tales on the hot, dry winds. Visit iSanti to knit your story into the tapestry of all those who came before you.
kaKhulu Karoo and Conservation
– Restoring Nature –
kaKhulu Karoo forms part of the iSanti Karoo Nature Reserve, a beacon of hope on the Great Karoo. Conservation efforts on the reserve are focused on restoring vegetation, reintroducing indigenous species, and gradually removing exotic animals and plants, so that the beauty of the Karoo may be treasured and preserved for centuries to come. Read more about our conservation efforts here.
– We’re still smiling under our masks –
The good news is that the Karoo hasn’t changed, even though the world has. Our health and safety procedures are a little different, but the raw beauty of Africa remains. We might not shake your hand when you arrive, but we’re still smiling under our masks, and still doing everything we can to ensure that your Great Karoo adventure is everything that you’ve been longing for. Read about our COVID-19 safety policies here.
We’ve been waiting to welcome our guests back.