As you watch the lions, rhinos, cheetahs, wild dogs or any of the other fascinating and exciting animals that your expert guide shows you, it's difficult to believe that the wilderness you are in was once farmland. It is only 30 years since Adrian Gardiner, the founder of Shamwari (see below) began to realise his vision of a perfectly rehabilitated area for the conservation of area-appropriate, indigenous game to protect biodiversity, support conservation, create a livelihood for local people and create fantastic, accessible opportunities for malaria-free, world-class luxury safari experiences.
The area has come so far since then!
Now you can luxuriate in one of many superb lodges in several different outstanding game reserves with all of the Big 5, an extraordinary range of breathtaking lands, hundreds of species of birds and with no need for malaria precautions. What's more, you can get there with a short drive or transfer from the city of Port Elizabeth (now Gqeberha) or its airport which has regular scheduled flights, and you can combine a safari with a holiday in the Garden Route or Cape Town.
This is an area that we know well; we know how to get around and how to stay safe. We will put together a fantastic luxury safari with aGarden Routetour, a beach holiday or a Cape Town city break. Everything will be flexible and ABTA and ATOL secured, and we will be available 24/7 from the moment you press the enquiry button to when you are back in the UK after your holiday.
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One of the most popular game reserves in the Eastern Cape is Shamwari. It has seven five-star lodges, each with its own unique and individual character, each offering a slightly different focus, each one ensuring exceptional comfort, excellent service from friendly people, wonderful local food cooked by the best chefs, and a feeling of complete immersion in the natural landscape.
Shamwari was the first private reserve in the Eastern Cape, and the precursor of the others. It covers 50000 acres spread over 5 eco-systems, supporting the Big 5 and dozens of other species. It has led the way in the rehabilitation of the local eco-systems and has won dozens of awards for wildlife conservation, with a breeding centre, a rehabilitation centre and an animal hospital all run by a top wildlife vet. It also has an education centre, as well as an anti-poaching unit recognised by Global Nature Fund through an award for best conservation practice.
Contact us today to talk about making Shamwari your malaria free luxury safari destination!
For a fantastic safari experience, from exhilarating game spotting to superb meals in beautiful surroundings it is difficult to beat Amakhala.
The nature reserve is very close to Port Elizabeth. It has varied and beautiful topography, beautiful bush, a huge diversity of animals, including lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos and buffalos (the big five!) and wonderful birds.
There is also a big variety of lodges, from the most luxurious five star establishments to great value for money three star lodges, making it one of the most accessible private reserves in South Africa.
Contact us today to talk about an exciting. affordable, malaria free safari at Amakhala!
A little further inland (but still only an hour's drive from Port Elizabeth) and closer to the provincial capital and university city of Makhanda, previously known as Grahamstown, is the multi-award winning luxury Big 5 safari reserve of Pumba.
Pumba, like Timbavati in the lowveld, boasts extremely rare white lions among its Big 5.
As well as its more than 40 animal species, it is particularly good for birding, with over 300 species occurring in the region.
If Pumba excites you, contact us to see whether one of its 2 luxury lodges should be part of your holiday plan!
On the coast between Port Elizabeth and the city of East London, Kariega has the great bonus that its 20 000 acres include the Bushman's River and the Kariega River, so in addition to the usual activities in a private reserve there are the options of river cruises, canoeing and fishing.
Also, Kariega is close to the towns of Kenton-on-Sea and Port Alfred and tobeautiful beachesso that if any of your party want to vary the excitement of game viewing with a trip to the beach or a game of golf, that can easily be arranged.
With 5 different accommodation options, this might well be the choice for you!
To discuss spending all or part of your holiday at Kariega, contact us today!
Just inland of Makhanda (the city previously known as Grahamstown), spanning the Great Fish River which meanders for 18 miles through the reserve's 45 000 acres, is Kwandwe.
This award winning reserve was rehabilitated from land previously farmed, and as well as the Big 5, it is now home to a number of special species including the little Cape grysbok, the black wildebeest and the black footed cat.
The reserve has only 30 bedrooms split across lodges, luxury camps and private villas, so it has one of the lowest visitor to land area ratios of any reserve in South Africa, meaning that your special sights are more likely to be undisturbed by other visitors.
With its emphasis on quality guiding this could be the best option for you.
To discuss making Kwandwe your choice of premier private reserve, contact us today!
For a very different top quality private reserve holiday experience there is the stunning Samara.
If you long for wide open spaces, this is the place for you. At the heart of South Africa lies the Great Karoo, a vast semi-arid region of extraordinary vistas, with very few people and hardly anything interfering with its peace and quiet.
Since 1997 Samara has consolidated 11 former livestock farms covering 67 000 acres into an ambitious re-wilding project. With the introduction of lions in 2019 it became a Big 5 reserve.
Though the density of game may be lower than in other reserves, it also has a very low visitor density with only 26 guests at any one time. There is also a reasonable chance (no guarantee of course) of seeing some sights that you would be extremely unlikely to see anywhere else, in particular the elusive aardvark!
There is a great range of superb accommodation at Samara and lots of attention to detail for everything from children's activities to romantic getaways.
If Samara sounds good to you contact us now for a no obligation discussion about your incredible game viewing adventure!
4 nights on bed and breakfast at the Southern Sun Waterfront Cape Town, the perfect base for your own exploration of the wonderful Mother City
4 Day, 3 night guided tour taking in Mossel Bay, Oudtshoorn and Knysna, with all the highlights, including the southern tip of Africa, Cango caves, an ostrich farm, the Knysna lagoon and Buffalo Bay beach
4 Nights malaria free Big Five Safari at Kariega Main Lodge.