Sanbona Tilney Manor
Submit to the lure of the stark Karoo, in style
Sanbona Tilney Manor
Sanbona Wildlife Reserve stretches across 54,000 hectares of arid and silent Little Karoo landscape. This is where San people lived for thousands of years, and where galleries of rock paintings illustrate their lives. It's a pretty inhospitable place, and yet it is rich in wildlife and indigenous flora. Tilney Manor is one of four lodges in the reserve, with interiors that are indeed manorial, combining warmth and comfort with true elegance. The food is glorious, the staff are attentive and the guest suites, just six of them, meet your every need. It's a glamorous base from which to explore this extraordinary wilderness.
At the lodge
Cape Georgian is the lodge's elegant design theme, and the decor draws on the natural colours of the surrounding stone and vegetation, with subtle reminders of San culture. The main area is extremely comfortable, with huge windows, a large but cosy lounge (with fireplace and TV), indoor and outdoor dining at a long table (the food is extremely good), a spa with a steam room and sauna, a rim-flow pool and wi-fi. Tilney Manor is also an excellent wedding venue.
There are six large, open-plan suites (four with king-sized beds, two with twins) in three separate units. Each suite is spacious and opens onto a private veranda with views across the indigenous gardens to the undulating mountains and plains. The interiors, which really deserve the 'luxurious' label, have aircon, TV and DVD player, a tea and coffee station, his and her outdoor showers, an en-suite bathroom with shower, twin basins and free-standing bath, a fireplace and a minibar. Just relax!
Game drives to explore the raw beauty of the plains and their wild inhabitants, from the Big Five (and those famous white lion) to hyaena, black-backed jackal, giraffe, zebra, antelope of all sizes and 200 bird species. Guided walking safaris can be arranged and are perfect for investigating the flora and smaller creatures. Back at the lodge, the spa offers treatments in two rooms, the verandas have views to eternity and the suites are perfect for a little snooze.