KWANDWE PRIVATE GAME RESERVE
Kwandwe Private Game Reserve lies in the heart of South Africa’s malaria-free Eastern Cape near Grahamstown, and is a natural conclusion to a journey along the world-famous Garden Route.
A victory for far-sighted conservation, 22 000 hectares (54 400 acres) of farmland in the Great Fish River region were restored and restocked with African wildlife. Today, thousands of animals including the Big Five (lion, black and white rhino, leopard, elephant and buffalo) and cheetah roam this diverse and fascinating reserve.
Kwandwe aptly means “Place of the Blue Crane” in Xhosa and is home to a population of South Africa’s rare and highly endangered national bird. It offers an exceptional safari experience in a region steeped in history and culture. The Great Fish River was a hotly contested border during the nine Frontier Wars of 1770 to 1878 between the Xhosa nation, Dutch farmers and the 1820 Settlers from England. Kwandwe’s reception building is a Frontier War-era fortified homestead, and the Reserve boasts its own intimate chapel.
Kwandwe Private Game Reserve features the Kwandwe Great Fish River Lodge, unique historic Kwandwe Uplands Homestead and Kwandwe Ecca Lodge, all offering world-class sophistication and style in the African bush.
KWANDWE ECCA LODGE is one of a kind with innovative, stylish and intimate chic. Situated on rolling slopes overlooking an aloe-studded valley, Kwandwe Ecca Lodge offers outstanding views of the valley and its steep shale cliffs. Each of the six suites feature walls of wood panelling and pagoda-style corrugated iron roofs with wraparound wooden decks leading out to private plunge pools and outdoor showers.
KWANDWE GREAT FISH RIVER LODGE lies along the bank of the Great Fish River. From the expansive viewing deck of the lodge, view the many animal species that come down to the river to drink or bathe. Nine luxury suites boast en-suite bathrooms, overhead fans and air conditioning and offer unmatched views of the extensive wilderness beyond.
KWANDWE UPLANDS HOMESTEAD is a restored 1905 farmhouse with an Out of Africa feel. The Kwandwe Uplands Homestead, located in a tranquil and remote valley, comprises 3 spacious bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms and separate balconies and is available for the sole use of parties of up to six guests.
KWANDWE MELTON MANOR is a sole use villa accommodating parties of up to 8 guests and has a private 4x4 safari vehicle, butler, chef and ranger and tracker team. This contemporary frontier farmhouse has sweeping views of the river and mountains in three different directions. The four en-suite bedrooms combine traditional mid 20th century furniture with the latest in South African design. Deep, cool verandas overlook the central courtyard and the large inviting swimming pool.
Frontiers @ Kwandwe is a specialist safari company led by a local historian and offers a unique adventure-safari exploring the Eastern Cape’s rich historical and cultural past. The combination of twice-daily game drives in a private 4x4 safari vehicle with fascinating visits to ancient San (bushman) rock art sites and neighbouring forts and military towns (such as Fort Beaufort and Grahamstown) offers the ultimate historic Big Five safari. Subject to availability of a specialist guide. Cost is per day (min 1, max 6 guests). Age: 6 years and older.
Carnivore Research @ Kwandwe
Learn about the fascinating carnivore programme and ongoing research at Kwandwe. Observe Kwandwe’s predators, including African Wild Dog, cheetah, lion and leopard. Subject to availability of a specialist ranger. Cost is per 24 hours (min 1, max 6 guests).
Experienced rangers and Xhosa trackers will lead you on interpretive, twice-daily game-drives in open 4x4 safari vehicles, bringing you close to Africa’s Big Five. Fascinating nocturnal animals such as aardvark, aardwolf, porcupine, Cape fox, bat-eared fox and springhare are regularly encountered on exciting night drives.
Guided bush walks in Kwandwe’s pristine wilderness bring you face-to-face with wild Africa at its best. Hiking along the river is especially rewarding for those interested in birds, vegetation and folklore, and fishing is available for enthusiasts (Kwandwe supports ‘tag and release’ procedures).
Catch sight of some of Kwandwe’s incredible birdlife while paddling along the Great Fish River in a sturdy canoe.
Experience the thrill of tracking rhino on foot under the guidance of an experienced ranger and tracker – an unforgettable safari adventure.
It is possible to organise golf and polo tours in the vicinity of Kwandwe.
(per person, per night, sharing unless specified)
Kwandwe Ecca Lodge: low season from R3695; high season from R6935
Kwandwe Uplands Homestead: low season from R17325; high season from R29080 per night, accommodating up to 6 guests
Great Fish River Lodge: low season from R3695; high season from R6935
Kwandwe Melton Manor: low season from R19800; high season from R33570 per villa per night
Rates are inclusive of:
- Three delicious meals daily including all teas and coffees
- House wines, local brand spirits and beers, soft drinks and bottled water
- Two scheduled game-drives daily in an open 4 x 4 safari vehicle, accompanied by an experienced Ranger and Tracker
- Interpretive nature walks daily (one hour) accompanied by an experienced armed tracker
- Transfers in a game-drive vehicle from Heatherton (Reception and parking area) to the Lodge
- Laundry and Valet service
- Emergency Medical Evacuation Insurance
- VAT / Taxes
Please note that all rates are subject to change without prior notice and are subject to availability. The rates may change for various reasons (e.g. rate of exchange fluctuation) and from season to season, and the above prices are to be used as an approximate indication only.
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