‘Big 5’ Luxury Nature Reserve in South Africa Hits the Market for $40 Million

By Phil Butler
Phil Butler
Phil Butler
Phil Butler is a publisher, editor, author, and analyst who is a widely cited expert on subjects from digital and social media to travel technology. He's covered the spectrum of writing assignments for The Epoch Times, The Huffington Post, Travel Daily News, HospitalityNet, and many others worldwide.
December 4, 2021 Updated: December 4, 2021

One sad reality in our world is that much of our pristine wilderness is disappearing. Fortunately, it’s possible to support conservation efforts, such as the one at a luxury nature reserve in South Africa’s seemingly endless heartland, the Eastern Cape province.

The Magic Hills property, which lists for 580 million South African rand (US$40,553,202), is made up of the Sky Lodge, Ilanga Manor House, and the Elsa Farmhouse. These houses are set in isolated locations across roughly 50,000 acres (21,000 hectares) of mountain and karoo (semi-desert) landscapes.

In all, there are 24 bedrooms and 24 baths divided across the three residences. There’s also a grotto, a wine cellar, staff quarters, a private lake, several pools, a spa, and even a private airport on the property. A tent-style lodge called ISanti, currently under construction, is intended as part of the hospitality aspect of the preserve.

As for the conservation effort, extensive veld rehabilitation and species diversification have already taken place, and there are plans for expanding the preserve to 42,000 hectares.

Thus far, there’s been a regreening of vast swaths of the landscape, and a fourth luxury encampment is already underway. The overall vision is to link biodiverse sites and to protect sensitive species, including the “big five”—lions, leopards, black rhinoceroses, African bush elephants, and African buffaloes.

The visionaries who began this conservation effort set out to restore the natural balance of this part of the region. The various areas of the property offer breathtaking views out across the rugged mountains and karoo landscapes as far as the eye can see. Thriving in this stunning natural environment are 26 large mammal species, 10 endemic bird species, and more than 7,700 plant species.

Epoch Times Photo
Sky Lodge’s main salon features facing fireplaces and custom furnishings to accentuate the panoramic views of the preserve from inside. Outdoors, the lodge features sweeping decks for sunning in the day and stargazing at night. (Andrew Howard/Magic Hills)
Epoch Times Photo
Sky Lodge mountain retreat at Magic Hills, one of South Africa’s largest nature preserves. The lodge features seven lavishly appointed suites and two separate apartments. (Andrew Howard/Magic Hills)
Epoch Times Photo
Sky Lodge’s whirlpools, spa, and other therapeutic touches further differentiate this authentic South African experience. (Andrew Howard/Magic Hills)
Epoch Times Photo
Luxurious suites and apartments on the preserve are fitted with every possible convenience, from rainfall showers to WiFi. Each has its own en-suite bath and shower, as well as a private terrace. (Andrew Howard/Magic Hills)
Epoch Times Photo
Another view of Sky Lodge’s main hall, showing the custom furnishings, unique lighting, the front entrance, and the fireplaces. (Andrew Howard/Magic Hills)
Epoch Times Photo
The Ilanga Manor House has 10 spacious rooms and a design reminiscent of yesteryear, but with every modern convenience. The house is a luxurious getaway in the middle of a remote environment. (Andrew Howard/Magic Hills)
Epoch Times Photo
Safari experiences are a part of the daily routine at Magic Hills. Here rhinos, sometimes called “chubby unicorns” by staff, join other endangered wildlife roaming the preserve. (Andrew Howard/Magic Hills)

Magic Hills Conservation Preserve
Eastern Cape, South Africa
$40,553,202 (580,000,000 ZAR)

  • 24 bedrooms
  • 3 Fabulous Lodges
  • 50,000 acres

Key Features:

  • A unique wildlife refuge
  • Breathtaking nature
  • Pools, gardens, and exclusive luxury
  • Private airfield

Agent:

Greeff Christie’s International Real Estate
Aimee Campbell, franchise owner
+27 72 693 4052

Phil Butler
Phil Butler is a publisher, editor, author, and analyst who is a widely cited expert on subjects from digital and social media to travel technology. He's covered the spectrum of writing assignments for The Epoch Times, The Huffington Post, Travel Daily News, HospitalityNet, and many others worldwide.