As the saying goes:
Collect memories. Not things.
At kaKhulu Karoo, it’s our hope that our guests depart with a heart full of memories to carry with them for years to come. The Great Karoo and its unique, overwhelming expanse is home to adventure, excitement and a deep connection with the earth. We’ve done our best to create an unforgettable African experience for our guests, while maintaining highest respect for the wilderness and its animal and plant life, as well as the communities of people around us.
Travellers to kaKhulu Karoo are welcomed to a world where time stands still, even if only for a few days. Trade your worries for a carefree playtime in nature’s backyard, with our many activities and guided tours.
Please note that due to the inherent dangers of some of our wildlife, age restrictions may apply to some of our activities.
The African Joyride
4×4 Trails through the Karoo
Like sandy ribbons meandering across the landscape, our 4×4 trails allow you to explore and discover the wonders of the iSanti reserve for yourself, at your own pace. With so many vistas to take in, pack a picnic lunch and take to the roads for a rugged excursion over hills and crags, through riverines and valleys, and over miles of sunbleached savanna land.
kaKhulu Karoo’s 4×4 trails vary in difficulty, from moderate and mild, to complex axle-twisters. We encourage you to embark on your adventure into the Karoo, however, should you wish to attempt our most challenging 4×4 trails, the company of a kaKhulu Karoo / Magic Hills guide will be required.
Because accidents happen, and sometimes nature is tricky, we do have access to a recovery vehicle to rescue stranded vehicles from sticky situations and precarious terrain.
The African Chauffeur
Guided Game Drives
kaKhulu Karoo guests are welcome to book a guided game drive in an open safari game-viewing vehicle, with one of the talented rangers from Magic Hills Private Collection. Allow our experts to escort you through the Great Karoo, bringing you closer to nature with each mile travelled and each animal meeting facilitated.
Guided game drives are most enjoyed in the morning, before the African sun turns up the heat. Guests may choose to embark on a Big Five expedition, seeking out Africa’s most iconic and dangerous mammals, for a heart-thumping encounter. For those who’d like a more relaxed drive, simply ask your guide to steer clear of larger, more intimidating beasts, and simply enjoy coming face-to-face with the wild’s sweeter creatures and magnificent scenery.
The Great Trek
Lace up your hiking boots and take to the trails, at kaKhulu Karoo. Our enthusiastic guides will lead you on a journey through the vast landscape, walking the lands that prehistoric man once walked. Wonderful exercise, and a truly delightful day out under blue South African skies, our guided walks leave guests feeling invigorated and connected with nature.
The brave at heart may even choose to seek out the Big Five and other dangerous animals on foot, being in the expert care of our armed, and fully trained, rangers. If adrenaline is not your thing, you may prefer a more casual trek through our non-dangerous game sections, taking in the sights and sounds of Africa’s breathtaking herds of game and exuberant birdlife.
Our guided walks are 3-4 hour excursions and require an intermediate level of fitness. Our guides are well trained to deal with animal encounters to the best of their abilities, and are fully armed during walks.
The Cheetah Walk
Beloved by many for their grace, elegance and magnificent speed, the wild cheetah is a striking animal to behold, and remains at the top of many travellers’ bucket lists. Our popular Cheetah Walk leads guests on a hot pursuit through the bush, tracking down Africa’s fastest land predator. Learn tracking techniques used by our experienced guides to find these agile big cats in their natural habitat. A photographer’s dream!
The cheetah walk is a 3-4 hour excursion and requires an intermediate level of fitness. Our guides are well trained to deal with animal encounters to the best of their abilities, and are fully armed during walks.
Trail of the Chubby Unicorn
One of Africa’s most iconic creatures, the white rhino is a majestic giant that attracts attention from all over the world. In our efforts to both showcase and protect this endangered species – a balancing act for any reserve – we invite our guests to walk in the footsteps of these unassuming, lumbering beasts. Although large, rhinos are surprisingly adept at disappearing into the bush. Our Rhino Walk offers travellers a chance to safely track the rhino, while enjoying the marvels of the reserve and other wild game.
The rhino walk is a 3-4 hour excursion and requires an intermediate level of fitness. Our guides are well trained to deal with animal encounters to the best of their abilities, and are fully armed during walks.
With its rocky outcrops, steep inclines and cliffs, the Karoo wilderness offers thrilling terrain to participate in rock climbing and abseiling. Our kaKhulu Karoo visitors are welcome to book a bouldering adventure with our guides – an ideal expedition for an active family or group of friends.
Our rock climbing and abseiling facility in the heart of the Karoo has been set up to the highest safety standards and endorsed by mountaineering expert, Justin Lawson Climbing ZA. What’s more, by installing Via Ferrata (iron path) facilities, the climbing courses at kaKhulu Karoo are more suitable for intermediate-level climbers.
Zip-Lining where Lions Roam
Plotted by climbing expert, Justin Lawson, a Via Ferrata route up steep mountain faces and zip lines up across plunging gorges promises to deliver a surge of adrenaline, invigorating all the senses. kaKhulu Karoo, and Magic Hills, will be the only establishment to offer zip lining across lands inhabited by free-roaming lions.
The excursion will be led by a fully-trained guide, following strict safety measures and making use of protective gear and equipment. Experience freedom, the wind whipping your face, as you sail over the wild landscape, living for nothing but the very moment you’re in!
Snapshots into Ancient Africa
Rock Art Breakfast
Rise early and be escorted by game vehicle to one of the Great Karoo’s rock art sites. Paying homage to the ancestors who walked this terrain thousands of years ago, visitors stand in hushed reverence of early mankind and the rock paintings left for all of time to see.
Research into the rock art in this region reveals that these were likely created by the Khoi-Khoi (or Khoekhoen) people, a tribe of nomadic pastoralist hunter-gatherers who roamed southwestern Africa for around two millennia before colonial settlers arrived on the southern tip of the continent. Carbon-dating of paintings and pottery items place this region’s Khoi-Khoi as the earliest known tribes, as far back as 355BC.
From the rock art site, your guide will accompany you to your bush dining experience, where you may indulge in mouthwatering breakfast, while overlooking the panoramic views of the rugged Karoo. Cooked over campfires, your traditional South African ontbyt in die bos (breakfast in the bush) will have you feeling right at home.
The African Reset
Ilanga Manor House Spa
Escape the rugged countryside to our nearby Ilanga Manor House, a lush oasis in the wilderness. Here, kaKhulu Karoo guests may book a rejuvenating spa treatment with our Africology-trained therapists to restore weary bodies and minds. There is no better backdrop for a day of indulgence than the wide open spaces of the Karoo with it’s fresh air and natural tranquillity.
A Universal View
Stargazing under African skies
The region in which kaKhulu Karoo is located is fittingly called ‘dark-sky country’. With virtually no light pollution from surrounding areas, a new-moon night sky here is a magnificently dark, moody black-and-blue, decorated with countless stars and a crystalline view of our universal home, the Milky Way.
A spiritual experience for many, stargazing in the Great Karoo, surrounded by the night sounds of Africa, is a rare moment of deep retrospection and a welcome break from the madness of modern, urban living.
The stars are available for free on every cloudless night, but should you wish to book a guide to host a stargazing tour, please enquire with us prior to your arrival.