Going on a safari may seem daunting to some, but if it’s a luxury safari, it’s another story. The Royal Portfolio – the award-winning, family-owned collection of luxury hotels and resorts in South Africa – just announced the official opening of The Farmstead, an exclusive new safari lodge in Kruger National Park, which is the epitome of luxury.
The new lodge is just a 12-minute drive from Royal Malewane, the first-ever property from The Royal Portfolio, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. The Farmstead offers the same safari experience with a highly qualified guiding team, as well as the same service and cuisine that guests have come to expect over two decades at Royal Malewane.
The newly built lodge has been styled by Liz Biden, owner and founder of The Royal Portfolio, including the main lodge area, the three free-standing Luxury Farm Suites and The Farmhouse, a three-and-a-half-bedroom villa offering private amenities. Antique doors from Zanzibar welcome guests into the Farmstead’s interiors, which are a marriage of the contemporary style of The Silo, the group’s industrial conversion property in Cape Town, and the opulence of La Residence, the portfolio’s wine estate in Franschhoek. Fabrics from Ardmore and Clarke & Clarke cover plush sofas and designer chairs, and light oak, tin roofs, wrought iron and gentle hues of blue and white with lively splashes of emerald and ruby define the style.
While exquisitely designed, The Farmstead also retains a rustic homey feel, with outdoor living encouraged on the deep verandas replete with custom-made hanging day-beds and a fire pit. In the main lodge area, a vintage North African banking kiosk has been repurposed as a serving hatch for the cuisine prepared by Executive Chef Brandon Souris. The collection of contemporary African art enhances The Royal Portfolio’s already extensive private collection with notable pieces by Zimbabwean artists Kudzanai Chiurai and James Jana, among other works from the AVA Gallery and Smith Studio. In keeping with the community involvement of The Farmstead, there are a number of pieces from Lalela, an educational arts organization for at-risk youth based in Cape Town.
In keeping with The Royal Portfolio’s Purpose and Values, The Farmstead is part of a broader project to uplift local communities. Support for the community and conservation of the environment are inextricably linked, and The Royal Portfolio will continue its work with local communities to demonstrate the value in protecting wildlife and the environment through the financial gains of tourism. The Farmstead land is leased from the local community. Not only will The Royal Portfolio’s presence in the area provide substantive employment for members of the community, but at the end of the long lease period, both the land and asset will revert back to the community with the option to continue working with The Royal Portfolio in perpetuity.
The Farmstead will be managed by both Nick Daneel and the General Manager of Royal Malewane, Adriaan Erasmus. The nightly rates at the all-inclusive resort include all meals, drinks, game drives and bush walks for guests. There is a double spa treatment room offering a variety of treatments, as well as a gym.