Three luxury bush camp estates planned for Askari Lodge in Magalies.

Located on the magnificent Plumari Private Game Reserve at Askari Game Lodge & Spa, and ringed by the breathtaking mountains of the Magaliesberg, Ukuphila is set to become a leading destination for Gauteng investors and bush enthusiasts alike.

Giuseppe Plumari, CEO of Steyn City Properties and owner of Plumari Private Game Reserve has a dream: to create and share a space where families can take time out from the bustle of Johannesburg and experience the glory of nature together. It’s a dream based on his own experience as a young father, when he would bring his children to his farm, the Plumari Private Game Reserve to have a break from city life.


The establishment of Ukuphila, a development presenting 75 luxury homes in three well- appointed  camps, has brought that dream to fruition. “This is a first,” says Plumari, noting that the 4 000ha reserve is one of the only Big Five game farms in Gauteng. What’s more, at only an hour’s drive from Johannesburg, Ukuphila is easily accessible, even for those who can snatch only a day away – holidaymakers would have to drive for at least three hours to experience a game viewing destination offering an experience of the same quality. “What makes this place truly special, however, is the fact that most Big Five reserves in the area don’t allow children. In contrast, Ukuphila is all about family. We love the fact that children will learn about nature here; hopefully, we will play a role in nurturing a passion for conservation amongst the next generation of South Africans,” says Plumari.

He reports that careful thought has been given to the planning and construction of the new private bush camps at the game reserve so that it has minimal impact on the land. This pertains to the aesthetic of the homes, too: DBM Architects, who were charged with creating a look and feel for the homes, have applied their ample experience in lodge design to come up with an organic, earthy style which sits softly on the soil.

DBM Architects’ Wynand du Plessis explains that the design takes inspiration from the Transvaal farmhouses of old, which have been reinterpreted in a more contemporary manner. “Ukuphila’s homes aren’t drastically different from the charming old houses in surrounding towns like Hekpoort – think thick stone walls, corrugated iron roofs and wraparound stoeps,” he comments, “but the use of modern materials, like exposed timber trusses and rough-hewn wooden beams, freshens the look.” The design is not only ideal for the environment; it’s also particularly well suited for the climate.

The homes have been positioned to ensure prime views and privacy and may be configured to suit each homeowner’s specific taste. Thus, although architectural guidelines are in place to protect the integrity of the estate and the environment, certain elements may be adjusted; homeowners may select their own colour schemes, for example, and may specify the number of rooms.

The homes – which measure up to 360m² on erven of up to 1 125m² – are designed around a central entertainment hub with open plan kitchen, dining room, lounge and bar. “This forms the core of the house, making for special family moments,” Du Plessis says. The hub opens out onto a wide veranda which is literally part of the bush, thanks to the absence of fences and gates. Again, homeowners can customise this space with the addition of a fire pit or infinity pool.


The bedroom pods, separated from each other by courtyards, lead off the entertainment hub. Each boasts its own separate entrance, outdoor shower, en suite bathroom and wooden deck. The modular design of the hubs is a special feature, making it possible to isolate part of the home – perhaps to be used by different families holidaying together, or maybe to be rented out to other holidaymakers, creating a passive income stream for homeowners.

The homes are found in three groups of 25, in small nodes especially chosen for their sweeping views. The sites – Kudu Creek, Thorntree Hill and Magaliesview – have their own singular character and atmosphere, since the sheer size and diversity of the Plumari Private Game Reserve means that it is possible to experience many different types of vegetation and scenery during one game drive.

Although game drives are one of the major attractions at this one-of-a-kind reserve, other pastimes are available. Outdoor activities such as target and clay pigeon shooting are on offer. A world class equestrian centre is planned, while Poplar Country Village – another future attraction – will feature a microbrewery and artisanal food market. A breeding programme, established for such rare species as golden wildebeest, adds an extra dimension to an already special destination.

Guests will, moreover, be able to enjoy the four-star facilities of the luxurious Askari Game Lodge, located on site. These include a restaurant, pool and spa facility and, for those who have to mix pleasure with business, a fully equipped conference centre. The property also has its own chapel, making it ideal for weddings. Another highlight is the Plumari Museum, with exhibits tracking the history of the area, from the earliest inhabitants of the Magaliesberg to the brave Voortrekker Boers who established the first farms in the region.

The presence of Askari Game Lodge is significant for another reason, too: it is possible for homeowners to add their bush homes to the lodge’s pool of accommodation, providing yet another avenue for revenue.

“This place has always been a haven for my family, and we are looking forward to sharing its peace and the wonders of nature with others who love the bush as we do,” Plumari concludes.



Press release issued  November 2016 on behalf of the Plumari Group by Marie Yossava | Grapevine Communications |

For further information, contact Daniela McCormick on 011 431 4092.

For images, contact Christa Badenhorst on


In the world of glamping,  camping may include fluffy gowns as gifts for your guests, faerie light décor, crystal glasses and chilled champagne – the possibilities are endless.

With the latest budget speech still ringing in our ears, budget cuts for conferencing and holidays are frightening reality. Bush Willow Tented camp in Muldersdrift comes to the rescue in more than one way.

Have you heard of the term “glamping”?  Imagine a tented camp, set up already done, with real beds, real linen and little kitchenette, a hot water shower and flushing toilet. All you need to do is to add the final touches to your stay.

Glamping definition.png

Add to this some ingenious camping cooking ideas and your team or family is set for the time of their lives. First thoughts veer in the direction of desserts – marsh mellows sticks on the fire, bananas cooked in foil with marsh mellows and cinnamon or perhaps just a simple “stokbrood” with delicious apricot jam.

The men-folk will love the opportunity to prepare a fillet or a juicy steak to perfection on the boma braai. Add to this some traditional favourites such as pumpkin fritters (pampoenkoekies) and pap and sauce and your dinner is sorted.

The boma comes equipped with tables, but don’t forget your white table cloths and linen napkins, as well as lanterns for a touch of glamping magic.


Bush Willow Tented Camp has ten tents, each sleeping six guests. For R9 600 a night,  your family or company has camp exclusivity which includes the function/ conference venue for sixty guests, the boma, ten tents, the farm dam and river access. The tented camp rests at the foot of the Zwartkops mountain in Muldersdrift next to the Blauwbank river, on the Glenburn Lodge & Spa property.

If you love the idea, please contact Berlene Ras in sales on Cell 076 455 9826 or

Glenburn Lodge & Spa: Tel 011 668 1600 | Central Reservations: 08611 48866

Terms and conditions apply. Rates are correct at the time of going to press.

For some brilliant glamping ideas, visit these blogs:

Winding down? A Spa conference may be just the thing…


While we are all keeping an anxious eye on the calendar with the days to Xmas  getting fewer and fewer, all of us are so acutely aware that this is the time to put all the planning in place for 2016.

“Fail to plan, plan to fail”

So how do we bring our brain-fatigue  and our end of year planning objectives in line?

I am a big fan of rewarding oneself. You know the scenario… skip the glass of wine tonight and have two on Saturday with the braai!


So it makes total sense to spend a morning sussing out the 2016 plans and then settling in for relaxing Spa treat or two.

At Askari Spa, Glenburn Spa, Fairway Spa and Kloofzicht Spa conference package can be tailormade to your group’s requirements and range from R295 per person.

Spa Conference Signature 2016 - Guvon Spas

We look forward to hosting your Spa conference:




Monday madness has struck Kloofzicht Lodge. Well, from what I can see it actually starts on Sunday – Stay Sunday night at half price, and your Monday conference is less 20%. Talk about a bargain! Remember the added bonus of waking up to beautiful serene surrounds – none of that early morning traffic and road rage on your way to work. If ever you needed an excuse to book at Kloofzicht  Lodge & Spa, this is it!

KLoofzicht Aug Conference Madness

Bookings: | Tel 011 317 0600 |


Government officials can now benefit from a special rate offered by Umbhaba Lodge in Hazyview. The conference special includes dinner, overnight and breakfast as well as two soft drinks per person at R895.

Day conferences are R230pp and includes 2 tea/ snack breaks, lunch, standard conference equipment. Valid until the end of August 2015.

Umbhaba lodge government conference specialThe tranquility at the 30-room Umbhaba Lodge, along with the seclusion of the bushveld, is the ideal departure point for excursions in to the Kruger National Park, the majestic Blyde River Canyon, God’s Window and Bourke’s Luck Pot Holes. The Kruger National Airport is minutes away. Umbhaba Lodge lies on a hillside overlooking the Sabie Valley, on the edge of the Drakensberg escarpment. | Tel 013 737 7636


Its not often that blogging inspiration hits me on Monday, but I have just received this brilliant ice breaker for conferencing and had to share it with fellow hoteliers and corporates immediately. I have no idea where it originates from and can only thank my friend Hannelie for mailing it to me:


Once a group of 50 people was attending a seminar. Suddenly the speaker stopped and decided to do a group activity. He started giving each one a balloon. Each one was asked to write his/her name on it using a marker pen. Then all the balloons were collected and put in another room.


The delegates were let into the room and asked to find the balloon which had their name written, within 5 minutes. Everyone was frantically searching for their name, colliding with each other, pushing around others and there was utter chaos.


At the end of 5 minutes no one could find their own balloon. Now each one was asked to randomly collect a balloon and give it to the person whose name was written on it. Within minutes everyone had their own balloon.

Food for thought?


TWO SHAKES OF A LAMB’S TAIL And other animal inspiration for the brand new Guvon Hotel conference writing pads


#atGuvon Hotels  we are about to introduce a light-hearted To Do  and Check List as our latest offering to conference guests.  Our Blog,  Facebook and Linked followers get (as always) a sneak peak at what’s to come. Gone are the stale old serious conference pads and in its place conference guests will have a freshly coloured conference pad to take home or to the office – ideal for those never ending To Do Lists. Want one? You will have to #MeetAtGuvon for your next conference.

“Our new conference pads designs were inspired by the 2014 casual conference campaign which Guvon Hotels embarked on earlier this year. It further adds value to the #GuvonFever hashtag campaign which we are slowly introducing to all promotional and fun events,” Christa Badenhorst Group Marketing and PR manager noted. ”In line with creating fun conferences with informal settings and creative food, we are having a cheery look at getting things done.  Inspiration is drawn from animal idioms as “Getting your ducks in a row” to the less optimistic “When pigs fly”. We also include a personalised memo opportunity for each conference guest: the Blah-Blah page.”

A further introduction to the conference pages is the use of a vintage stamp. This will feature as a design element on all marketing material, ranging from newsletters to signatures and posters.

For more information on the Guvon Hotels Casual conference packages available from Askari Game Lodge & Spa, Kloofzicht Lodge & Spa, Ruimsig Country Club and All Suite On 14th, please refer to the group website under Specials.