Lalibela’s Mills Manor voted best private villa in class
Mills Manor is a new 5-star exclusive-use villa situated on Lalibela Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape. The villa has a relaxed home-away-from-home ambience and is an idyllic private safari getaway for families or small groups of between 6 and 10 people. Guests enjoy the services of their own game ranger, private game viewing vehicle, chef and hostess.
The gables, high ceilings, large rooms and wide wrap-around verandas are typical of the Edwardian farmhouses of the region, built at a time when high wool prices and the ostrich feather boom allowed farmers to build stately family homes.
Mills Manor is set on a hill overlooking a waterhole, which means that game viewing continues even after game drives. The Big Five and other game species are free-roaming throughout Lalibela and the waterhole at Mills Manor attracts regular visits from thirsty animals. Facilities include a welcoming bar, spacious lounge and gracious dining room. Outside there is a swimming pool and sun deck, a large fire pit and barbeque area where al fresco dinners can be served under the African sky.
With 3 double bedrooms and 2 twin bedrooms, Mills Manor can accommodate up to 10 guests but is priced at a per person rate with a minimum of 6 guests. All rooms are airconditioned and have wide stack doors opening out onto verandas and indigenous gardens with valley views beyond.
Said Vernon Wait, marketing manager at Lalibela:
“The way Mills has been priced is key to the success of the product – having a minimum of 6 pax in a villa that can accommodate 10 pax, means that Mills appeals to a wide range – from small corporate getaways and families wanting privacy and exclusivity to larger groups of friends. We are extremely happy with how the product has been received by the domestic corporate and foreign inbound markets”
Lalibela on track to have 300 free-roaming buffalo
Blessed with vast plains of savannah grassland, Lalibela is unique in the Eastern Cape because of the high carrying capacity of grazers that this biome offers. Because of this, truly vast herds of plains game are able to roam on Lalibela. This, in turn, means that Lalibela is able to sustain what is believed to be one of the densest populations of free-roaming lion in South Africa. Buffalo numbers on Lalibela have steadily been increasing since new owners acquired Lalibela in July 2016. Lalibela currently has approximately 150 buffalo and, with many of the cows pregnant, these numbers are set to rise significantly in the near future.
Said Mark Rippon, wildlife manager at Lalibela: “It brings such happiness to all of us on Lalibela to see how the game numbers have picked up these past 3 years. Having these huge numbers of game, including Big 5 species, means that we are able to limit game sightings to only one vehicle per sighting. This means guests enjoy exclusivity in the true sense of the word. We are also ecstatic to have recently had sightings of leopard and indications are that a male has interacted with a female leopard, which augers well for future leopard numbers. Sightings are still infrequent at the moment, but we are confident that there will be more and more sightings as time goes by.”