Guest Reviews

umSisi House Guest Reviews: Read what our previous visitors say about us

I arrived at umSisi House to an effortless welcome. Amanda waved from a lawn sprinkled with frangipani blossoms from the gate of their private retreat. After a long drive, it was bliss to settle into my room before heading straight outside to stretch my legs around the glorious gardens to discover an encyclopaedia of trees on their garden tree trail – keep a look out for indigenous orchids that trail their roots from lofty branches. umSisi House invite their guests to enjoy the run of the magnificent country house villa, the lush gardens, the sun-drenched swimming pool and the jacuzzi, while Amanda, Paddy and their bonkers boxers (dogs not pugilists, thank goodness) oversee everything even your self-catering stay at the nearby cottage under the giant fig tree (mind the cheeky, fig-hurling monkeys!). This English duo have travelled Africa extensively, both as photographers and with their gourmet safari company, so can arrange anything for you from Kruger Safaris to Panorama Route tours to incredible meals at umSisi House where they have built a reputation as a gourmet getaway with locally sourced produce and chef Paddy at the helm. Here at umSisi – where gargantuan showers, African art, deep squishy beds and stylish, light-drenched living spaces are the order of the day – all you have to do is sit back, relax and let Africa come to you.

Greenwood Guide to South Africa Handpicked accommodation – things to do and places to eat

If an über-fancy bush lodge (with prices to match) feels too much for the purse strings, you won’t find better value or more glorious home cooking than under the gleaming red roof of UmSisi House. Tailored to groups and families, this is colonial living at its finest.

Just a 15-minute drive south of the Kruger Park’s Numbi Gate, hosts Amanda and Paddy will send you on your way, gourmet picnic in hand, for daylong safaris in South Africa’s most famous (and largest) safari park. After a day in the wilds, you’ll be welcomed home to your very own Out of Africa homestead, where the lavish colonial experience begins with gourmet gin-and-tonics and biltong (cured beef) on the terrace, swiftly followed by an evening’s gourmet safari to match your daytime sightings.

Paddy and Amanda will host as little or as much as you like — but don’t miss out on their amazing bush stories, which are every bit as exciting as their menus.

Shaken and stirred by the luxurious living, sparkling views, fabulous home cooking and great value for money, visitors come back here year after year, so be sure to book ahead. Avid cooks who would rather fend for themselves should ask about the self-catering cottage.

Food Republic – The Seven Best Gourmet Safaris in South Africa


  1. Enjoy being At Home in Africa at a private villa retreat for discerning groups within the Jock of the Bushveld Conservancy
  2. Experience this amazing gourmet getaway featuring delicious home-cooked meals that place an emphasis on local, seasonal produce, our organic kitchen garden and SA’s fabulous game meat
  3. Be reassured that we offer a warm welcome to children of all ages
  4. Explore the Kruger National Park with a day safari in a private game-viewing vehicles with experienced local guides and without any age restrictions for children (guests can also self-drive with detailed advice from us)
  5. Book an exciting and informative Panorama Route tour with a knowledgeable local guide or for those in a hurry book an incredible 2 hour helicopter ride over the Blyde River Canyon with a picnic lunch where no one else can go!
  1. Know that we are a destination committed to responsible tourism and actively promote sustainable living and boast an impressive green footprint
  2. Support ‘The Iso Labantwana Project’ - an initiative dedicated to improving the lives of orphans, vulnerable children and young adults in our neighbouring Masoyi Tribal Area (which we are proud to have developed and sponsored)
  3. Relax to breathtaking views of Legogote Mountain and the African village of Masoyi, beautiful gardens, majestic trees and abundant birdlife refresh the mind, body and soul with 10 km’s of hiking trails, a garden tree trail and a multitude of indigenous meadow trails
  4. Spoil yourself with fantastic wellness treatments and yoga classes on our beautiful veranda
  5. Embrace the outdoors and enjoy time in the sun, in the pool or in the jacuzzi


We are the proud winners of thirteen TGCSA 5 star awards in the Country House category, the 2017 winners of the Lilizela Tourism Awards '5 Star Country House' category for Mpumalanga, the 2018 winners of the Lilizela Tourism Awards '5 Star Country House' category for the whole of South Africa and have received a Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence for 9 years in a row since 2013. If it wasn't for the global pandemic devastating the tourism industry globally, we would have been entered into their Hall of Fame by now! We are very proud of these achievements!



Staying with Amanda and Paddy at the beautiful umSisi House is like staying with great friends who spoil you rotten. Thank you for everything – and the most wonderful time.

Noelle McKean – umSisi House guest

If you’re looking for a unique South African experience, away from the tourist ridden cities, umSisi is a must! In fact, umSisi is a must – Full stop!

This exclusive luxury villa is located in Peebles Valley which provides fantastic views, privacy and peace and quiet. We were a family group of 8 and could not have felt more welcome. The owners of the house (Amanda and Paddy) are brilliant! Not only do they give you invaluable travel advice and a beautiful place to stay, their stories of the African bush, and enthusiasm for where they live, leave anyone who stays at umSisi buzzing with the same love for South Africa.

The house itself is beautifully decorated, clean and modern. The cottage in the garden is every bit as perfect. umSisi has a ‘help yourself’ system so food and drink is unlimited and all included (on the Fully Inclusive rate). Not only did we have a huge spread every day for breakfast and lunch, we were treated to delicious meals every night, including a traditional African meal – yummy!

umSisi is 15 minute drive to Kruger National Park. Ask the owners of umSisi to arrange a safari for you, rather than driving through independently. Our guide was full of knowledge and was dedicated to finding us as many animals as possible. We were lucky enough to see four of the big five and lots more!

The house is situated near the famous Panorama Route which is a must-see! The Bourke’s Luck Potholes and Three Rondavels shouldn’t be missed! We would also recommend the elephant interaction at Elephant Whispers. What an experience!

The staff at umSisi are absolutely lovely, keeping the house and cottage clean and tidy and doing any laundry that you have. They were polite and cheerful every day and always had time for a chat.

The ages in our group ranged from 15 – 50 and everybody loved the experience just as much. We can’t possibly stress how wonderful our stay was at umSisi House. Go and see for yourself!!

Finlayson Family (Scotland) – Trip Advisor Review

This was a happy return for us which again exceeded all expectations. umSisi is an excellent base from which to explore the Kruger and surrounds with good options for day trips to keep the kids interested and occupied. This time we left the menu selection to Paddy and Amanda and absolutely loved every exquisite meal expertly prepared, showcasing the fantastic produce the region has to offer. umSisi provides the Kruger safari experience, combined with gourmet food tailored to your preferences, bespoke service and the private use of this lovely home. You can’t go wrong.

Louw Family (South Africa), Trip Advisor Review

Contact us

T.  + 27 (0) 13 750 1520
M. + 27 (0) 82 479 9700
M. + 27 (0) 82 969 4455
F. + 27 (0) 86 548 5686

Postal Address: 
PostNet Suite 123, Private Bag X11326, Nelspruit 1200, Mpumalanga, South Africa

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