Magic Hills is a sanctuary like no other. Hidden away in a forgotten part of South Africa, lies a vast expanse of land with majestic views as far as the eye can see. Calling all pioneers to embark on a journey of rebirth, growth and revival with us.
During 1993 Slovakian entrepreneur and businessman, Erik Kovacs, was invited on a safari in South Africa which took him through the Jansenville area in the Greater Karoo. Here the stern beauty of the Noorsveld and the Oudeburg mountains over which he walked captured his heart and despite his journeys taking him around the world he yearned to return to the warming kiss of the Karoo sunrise. A full 17 years later when the opportunity arose to buy the 2,200 ha Vlaknek farm near Jansenville in this malaria free region of the Eastern Cape, Erik and his wife Alexandra grabbed the opportunity with both hands securing the anchor point for what would eventually grow into the Magic Hills Private Collection.
While heavily overgrazed at the time Magic Hills has grown by over 672% and is now spread across 16,986 hectares of rehabilitated undulating hills, breath taking ravines, wide sandy riverbeds and open plains over which the Big 5, cheetah and giraffe (which together make up our Magic 7) already roam past three completed lodges with a fourth under construction.
The vegetation of Magic Hills is representative of two Biomes, the Thicket Biome and the Nama Karoo Biome, which, with species from both biomes present, makes for a diverse variety of animal and plant life that our guests can discover.
Special among this plant life is the Spekboom or Elephant Food Tree which occurs all over Magic Hills but is most abundant on the southern valleys and slopes. This miracle tree is a climate change champion since it takes just 120 Spekboom trees to offset the carbon footprint of an average person for an entire year and Magic Hills plays host to hundreds of thousands of Spekboom! On arrival you will be presented with your own small tree to plant before departing, leaving a small bit of yourself behind while also helping to offset the carbon footprint of your trip. We suggest plucking a few leaves from your Spekboom and chewing them for a quick soury citrus pick me up (just 5 leaves will provide you with all the Vitamin C you need for the day). Don’t worry if you find your little tree soon picked bare of leaves, they will grow back.
The pinnacle of Magic Hills luxury is the exclusive Sky Lodge perched high atop an unnamed peak at 920 meters above sea level. Sitting between the Spioenkop and Ouberg peaks it is not uncommon to wake up, quite literally, in the clouds!
Sky Lodge has 2 apartments and 7 suites (three with their own private splash pool). Built in an African inspired modern style the extensive use of glass doors keeps the crisp Karoo air out in winter while allowing a cool breeze through in summer and all the time providing uninhibited views of what can only be described as “Big Sky Country”. On a clear day the Great Karoo vistas from Sky Lodge reach more than 30km in any direction.
The jacuzzi, spa, infinity pool and sunning area will have you relaxing at your own hideaway in the sky while the fully stocked wine cellar and services of our Executive Chef will have your taste buds quivering in anticipation of the next meal.
Ilanga Manor House is a large renovated farmhouse built in the typical Cape Dutch style familiar to those who have explored the vineyards of the Western Cape. Ilanga has 7rooms, a dining room with high ceilings, an intimate library and a collection of old rifles and other memorabilia dating back to the second Anglo-Boer war and older. While you rest between game drives you can indulge in a massage or Reiki treatment before relaxing in the outdoor pool with is views across a narrow plain to the foot hills of the Oudeberg as buffalo and occasionally rhino graze their way across your line of sight.
Summer evenings at Ilanga are spent exchanging stories around the braai fire, the South African equivalent of a barbecue, in our large boma making new friends and reliving the day’s adventure under a spilled sugar bowl of stars. At Ilanga rain is always welcome and with our indoor lapa you can enjoy the life-giving gift from the heavens while staying cozy and still enjoying the warm flames and smokey tingle of the evening braai fire.
Elsa’s Farmhouse is a restored farmhouse located in the north east of Magic Hills. Named after the famous lioness from the series of books “Born Free”, “Living Free” and “Forever Free” the open spaces around Elsa present a sense of space and freedom punctuated only by the roars of our resident lions.
The organic theme of space and freedom continues outside of the lodge building to the boma and outside lapa area. Ideal for families or small groups of friends Elsa has four rooms and the entire lodge receives electricity from its own solar electricity conversion system. Elsa’s Farmhouse Lodge is our first step towards ultimately taking all our infrastructure off the national power grid and reducing our environmental footprint on this small blue dot that we call Earth.