About Ashbourne

Ashbourne Escape is a lodge built and run by owners Rob and Dawne Topham and is located in the town of Hazyview between the Kruger National Park and the scenic ‘Panorama Route.’ Named after Rob’s grandmother Ashbourne and also after one of the many different homes Rob’s family owned in England, Ashbourne Escape is set high on a hill with views of the Kruger Park and the Sabi River Valley, and catches the cool afternoon breeze and breathtaking sunrises and sunsets.

Rob and Dawne Topham hail from Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal where both their families lived from the year 1836. After deciding it was time for a change they relocated to live and work in the cape before moving to Mpumalanga to farm citrus in the Sabi River Valley. Having always had a love affair with the Lowveld, when they decided to downscale from citrus farming, it took just one look at the site to inspire them to build a new home from scratch.

“We wanted to take all that’s good about South African farmhouses, but tweak the design to get rid of passages, poor lighting and lack of bathrooms,” Rob comments.

“I wanted our house to disappear amongst the trees and rocks and definitely didn’t want anything ostentatious,” says Dawne, adding that they were determined to use the land’s natural resources.

While this led to cladding the exterior of the house with rocks found on the farm, it was the couple’s love for thick walls and deep windows that decided the structure. “Besides keeping the place cool in summer and warm in winter, thick walls create a feeling of permanence,” says Rob.

So it was, that armed with a water cart, one Landrover and the assistance of Mandross the local builder and four helpers, the project was eventually finished “18 months and 10 divorces later”!

The result is a home that reflects the couple’s love for the outdoors and their relaxed outlook on life. And given that they decided to build according to the lay of the land instead of levelling the site, they’ve made the most of views that extend as far as the Kruger Park and Drakensberg Escarpment

Our vision was to create a space where people could feel at peace and comfortable and be close to attractions such as; Kruger, Sabi Sands and Panorama Route. We hope that your visit with us is as peaceful as it is comfortable and that you fall in love with our surroundings as much as we have.

We look forward to meeting you and having you with us.

What to bring

Come prepared for your stay with us in the bush
  • Binoculars
  • Camera
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Warm Jacket
  • Swimming gear
  • Mosquito Repellent

*We are not a Malaria area, however the Kruger Park is

Location & Directions

How to find us here in the bush

Our GPS Co-ordinates are :


Driving Directions

From OR Tambo International Airport

Approximately 4 hours

Follow the well-marked Ashbourne signs either on the R40 between White River and Hazyview or from Hazyview turn left into the Sabi Road R536 and follow the signs to Ashbourne thereafter.

Don’t be alarmed when you get to the dirt road, just a few kilometers later and you’ll be at Ashbourne where mountains, valleys, sunsets and wine await you.

From King Shaka International Airport

Approximately 8 hours

Follow the well-marked Ashbourne signs either on the R40 between White River and Hazyview or from Hazyview turn left into the Sabi Road R536 and follow the signs to Ashbourne thereafter.

Don’t be alarmed when you get to the dirt road, just a few kilometers later and you’ll be at Ashbourne where mountains, valleys, sunsets and wine await you.

Customer Experiences

Hear from people who have stayed by us about their experience
  • If you ever wanted a romantic week-end this is the place to go to. Our bedroom must have been a ballroom in its earlier life. The beds are extra king size and beautifully enclosed by drapes. We had two balconies - we could see both the Kruger Park and the Numbi gate as we lay in bed. Absolutely stunning. Rob & Dawne has the most unusual collection of books ever seen, dating back to 1835! A great place for a getaway all round.  

    Rosalin M Reviewed 18 June 2016
  • Rob and Dawn you have created a wonderful, peaceful and beautiful home from home. There is no criticism here, not even constructive. Everything has been thought through and the service is excellent. The facilities are great and the decor first class. Rob and Dawn are fantastic hosts and go out of their way to make your stay a wonderful memory. The rooms are truly magnificent. This was meant to be a stopover point on the way back home but the two nights we had there were so good that if we had known this we would have planned a longer stay. Well done to all involved. We will return....

    Gary W Reviewed 9 January 2016
  • We had an absolutely wonderful time at this beautiful country retreat. A must for nature lovers who enjoy sprawling views and lush vegetation that you can only find in the hills of Hazyview. The manor house features an authentic and elegant colonial aesthetic complimented by crisp white linens and very comfortable beds. Rob, Dawn and the dogs where gracious hosts and made use feel very welcome. Small touches like packing us a cooler bag with goodies for the Kruger was really appreciated. We will definitely be back with friends and family.  

    Sasha E Reviewed 7 January 2016
  • Dear Rob, Dear Dawne, Dear Erika. Thank you for this wonderful stay at your place. Thank you for introducing us in african livestyle, politics and culture, for the trip to the hippo pool, for the organization of our bushwalk at the Mac Mac river and the great tipps for our drive to the Panorama route especially the potluck Restaurant or Tanks diner. No other accomodation in our 3500 km Trip through southafrica gaves is a so familar feeling as yours. We enjoyd the drinks with you and your dogs under the night skys. Thanks for all. We will be back definitly. Alex ans Miriam

    Alex ans Miriam Reviewed 19 September 2017
  • Rob and Dawn are the most wonderful hosts in this most amazing relaxed, welcoming and comfortable country estate. Spacious cottages (we had the family cottage) with all you could need. Our own small pool and just 1 minute walk to the main pool. Incredible breakfasts laid out on crisp white linen providing the best start to the day. And, within 10 minutes you have all the fun you could need with zip wires, rafting and horse riding. We ate out in the evenings at the excellent Pioneers, but the cottage has it's own BBQ.

    T Hudson75 Reviewed 30 April 2017
  • What more could a person ask for? Ashbourne is absolutely amazing! Rob and Dawne are fantastic hosts and the staff are friendly and welcoming. Ashbourne is perfectly situated in the centre of all main attractions, such as the Kruger Park and the Panorama Route, as well as fine dining facilities. I will definitely be going back for another visit soon

    Mixi84 Reviewed 24 September 2017
  • We had the pleasure of spending 2 nights at Ashbourne after a 3 week safari in Kruger National Park. My family Martin, Acacia and I cannot recommend this place highly enough. From the moment we met Rob and his gorgeous dogs we felt at home. Nothing was too much trouble. From the room to breakfast, amazing trip to see a hippo pod and even getting our mountain of laundry done was just wonderful. Rob, we are definitely going to be back to our new found home!! Thank you once again to you and your staff for making the end of our trip so special. The Netscher family.

    Flossypip Reviewed 5 September 2017
  • We stopped by Ashbourne Country Escape in a rush for the last night of our road trip in South-Africa. So, we unfortunately hadn't the time to enjoy this beautiful place as much as it deserved it. Shame on us! But the few hours we spent there were sufficient to appreciate the exceptional kindness of Rob and his wife, who waked up so early in the morning to prepare for us a delicious breakfast, as they fear we and our two 7 years old children would take the road back to Johannesburg with an empty stomach. The apartment we have rent was really beautiful and comfortable. For sure, we would like to go back to that little paradise!

    SophieMore Reviewed 29 August 2017