By SIVE FAITH GINYA
The three-star Mansfield Private Reserve on the Kowie River 11km outside Port Alfred hosted an open day after its refurbishment on 21 July. River Hotels director Justin Bester and marketing manager Crystal Bester, together with the new Mansfield managers, Werner and Nicole Erasmus, took visitors on a tour around the reserve.
Mansfield sports a kids’ play area, and activities include game drives, hiking, canoe hire, fishing, birding, and swimming.
Werner Erasmus said the refurbished accommodation appealed to a “broader spectrum” of people.
Five full-time employers and casual workers are hired from Port Alfred during the festive season when it gets busy, as they also have a restaurant down the river.
Justin Bester said River Hotels and its nine game reserves employed 174 full-time workers. Even at the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, none of those workers was retrenched.
There are a variety of self-catering accommodation options available at Mansfield. The farmhouse can accommodate up to six people in three double bedrooms at R550 per night per person. Two rooms have en-suite bathrooms. Facilities include a private swimming pool and braai area.
Up to four guests can sleep at the two-roomed cottage, which used to serve as staff accommodation. The cottage costs R540 per night per person.
The third, more rustic accommodation option is the Eagle’s Nest cabin, situated in a private part of the reserve with exquisite views of the Kowie River. Up to four guests can sleep in the cabin. It is the cheapest among the three accommodations only R440 per person per night. The cabin is furnished with double and bunk beds. The kitchenette is equipped with a small gas stove and fridge. Battery-operated lights and paraffin lamps are provided. An old-fashioned “donkey” powers hot water to the shower.