WATCH: A short escape to the Klein Karoo where cheetahs roam


The Western Cape isn't exactly a premier wildlife destination, focused more on its natural landscapes, marine life and coastal activities to entice visitors. 

But just under a three-hour drive from Cape Town you'll hit the Klein Karoo, and with it the Inverdoorn Private Game Reserve.

At first it seems a little unassuming, turning off into the middle of nowhere down a dusty road typical in this region. But instead of your typical game lodge with the flamboyant African decor, Inverdoorn instead opted for something a little more Karoo chic.

Reception and lunch areas are placed outside under large khaki canvasses, surrounded by the most beautiful succulent garden that fits right in with its surroundings - and with a welcome drink in hand, you instantly leave the stress of city life far behind.

WATCH: Riding through a Western Cape game reserve on horseback

garden full of karoo succulents

The beautiful succulent garden at Inverdoorn. (Photo: Gabi Zietsman)

champagne toast to cactus

After a short drive from the main road you're welcomed with some bubbly before checking in. (Photo: Gabi Zietsman)


The reserve boasts an array of accommodation options - from five-star luxury tented camps to affordable lodge rooms. In-between there's also the snazzy Tankwa Chalets that come with cosy fireplaces for the colder months and the five-star Ambassador Chalets that have roof patios perfect for gazing at the Karoo stars with a bottle of wine and loved one to keep you warm.

The chalets are much more relaxing than the lodge rooms, but it does depend on your budget as the price tag ranges between R3 110 and R6 190 per person for the chalets, depending on the season.

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safari lodge chalet room bed

This is a room in the Tankwa Chalet. (Photo: Gabi Zietsman)


Although it has five-star options, Inverdoorn is a simple place. They don't advertise themselves as a long-stay spot, focusing more on quick getaways for visitors to Cape Town - or Capetonians themselves - because there isn't that much to do. 

Unlike its sister reserve Aquila - which bought it over only a few months ago - there are no spa options or extreme activities besides going on a game drive, but if you're looking to just chill out in arid Karoo beauty a book next to its pool areas will be like balm for the soul. 

WATCH: This Limpopo bush lodge proves a luxe poolside experience is the best

safari vehicle driving in karoo

Accommodation is inclusive of game drives if you're staying five-star. (Photo: Gabi Zietsman)

The wild

The reserve's main attraction is its cheetah rehabilitation centre, where the fastest animals on the planet recover and relearn how to survive in the wild. There used to be cheetah interactions, but since Aquila bought it over this was stopped in line with their wildlife policies. 

rescue cheetah yawning

One of the cheetahs in the rehabilitation centre. (Photo: Gabi Zietsman)

Another big cat in the reserve are two lions - but they're not the wild hunters of the ones you might find up in Kruger. These are rescue lions from the canned hunting industry and as such are incredibly fat and lazy - although the male is known to have a fondness for chasing safari vehicles.

READ: Why you should add the Old Rectory and Inzolo Game Lodge to your next Eastern Cape road trip

male and female lion having a snooze

The lions are lazy most days and not phased by cars. (Photo: Gabi Zietsman)

Beyond the cats, the reserve boasts a Big Five offering (although a leopard spotting will be rare) as well as giraffes, wildebeest, springbok, gemsbok and antelope. 

Giraffe in the distance

(Photo: Gabi Zietsman)

After either a late afternoon drive or early morning wake-up, there's a lovely stopover at a boma in the middle of nowhere with vast views of the sun rising or setting, with a gin and tonic or coffee in hand - though you might just be on the alert for any wayward elephant.

elephant bull in the bush

The reserve only has two male elephants. (Photo: Gabi Zietsman)

coffee on a morning safari drive with the sunrise

(Photo: Gabi Zietsman)

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