An Ode to the Overberg Wilderness

Nestled near Bonnievale in the Western Cape, the exclusive-use lodge at Melozhori Private Game Reserve is an oasis of elegance and untamed beauty.

By Inga Sibiya

There is something to be said about swapping out skyscrapers for the limitless landscape of bushlands, and our accommodation in the 2 300-hectare predator-free reserve is set seamlessly against this backdrop. Melozhori’s recently refurbished four-bedroom en-suite villa is a haven of contemporary luxury, and the lodge effortlessly accommodates the needs of couples, groups, and families.

But sleeping options abound – there are Eco-Pods designed for intimate escapes, a captivating double-level Treehouse offering an elevated perspective, and The Cottage: a pet-friendly self-catering retreat with its own wood-fired hot tub. Each accommodation space is a bespoke note in the symphony of Melozhori’s offerings.

At dusk, we pile into a Landcruiser already brimming with promises as we embark on the daily game drive. The Overberg homes an ecosystem of wildlife, including aardvarks, baboons, porcupines, black wildebeest, Cape grysbok, kudu, nyala, black-backed jackals and bat-eared foxes. Birders are also spoilt with a cageless aviary that hums and whistles throughout the day. The safari experiences are not rushed but rhythmic, a melody of nature unfolding.

As the day wanes further, the pièce de résistance reveals itself – the fire pit, a sunken lounge on the rim of a reflective pool. Here, with giraffes and zebra as our audience, we marvel at the sunset, a gradient of golds and fuchsia playing off the water’s surface. This circular lounge will become our gallery for morning coffees, daytime wildlife spectacles, and evenings under a sparkling canopy of stars that appear so close you feel like you can touch them.

This theatre of luxury, staged in the Overberg wilderness, is a masterpiece of contemporary design, seamlessly blending opulence with nature’s palette. Each bedroom boasts a private deck with a hammock and a private outdoor shower to cool off on balmy days. Every meal is a personalised experience crafted by a dedicated chef attuned to our preferences.

Reserve manager Lientjie Nell and her husband Coenraad, our hosts, were more than guides – they were storytellersweaving the narrative of Melozhori with an intimacy born of genuine passion and deep knowledge.

Here, time is determined by your desires. Whether you choose to follow a safari’s beat or surrender to the tranquil tempo of nature, each moment is yours to orchestrate. The lack of predators on the reserve mean that daily walks, bike rides, or family adventures in the wilderness are easy to enjoy, and should you wish to swap out viewing our four-legged friends, whale watching or wine tasting can be easily arranged. There’s a liberating sense of freedom and an absence of rigidity that lets you savour the Overberg and its surrounds at your own pace and personal rhythm.

As we depart Melozhori, we carry with us more than memories; we cradle an enduring connection to a place where luxury and nature harmonise. In the Overberg’s embrace, Melozhori isn’t just a destination; it’s a retreat where every note is composed with care, leaving an indelible melody echoing in our hearts.

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