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 (54 000 acres) of farmland in the Great Fish River region were restored and restocked with African wildlife. Today, thousands of animals including lion, black and white rhino, buffalo and elephant roam this diverse and fascinating reserve.
Kwandwe aptly means “Place of the Blue Crane” in Xhosa (South Africa’s highly endangered national bird) and is home to a population of these rare birds. It offers an exceptional safari experience in a region steeped in history and culture.
Kwandwe Private Game Reserve features the exclusive Great Fish River Lodge and Ecca Lodge, offering world-class sophistication and style in the African bush.
Great Fish River Lodge:
Set along the steep banks of the Great Fish River in the scenic Eastern Cape, this extraordinary safari lodge affords spectacular views of the wild yet gentle African landscape.
The Great Fish River Lodge is stylishly furnished in Frontier Settler style, integrating local African culture with colonial settler history. Elegant thatched stone and glass suites feature floor-to-ceiling doors which fold back to reveal uninterrupted wilderness vistas. Guest areas have a large fireplace with massive stone chimney, and a soaring thatched roof with imposing chandeliers.
Sophisticated, glass-fronted sitting and dining areas boast expansive viewing decks with breathtaking river views. Delicious Pan-African cuisine is served on the private decks, in the candlelit dining room, or enjoyed in the boma (outdoor dining area). Kwandwe is renowned for its spectacular bush banqueting in surprise settings.
Heatherton Towers is the main reception building, which is situated 15 minutes from the Lodge. It is, in fact, a Frontier War-era fortified homestead, complete with dramatic gun turrets and private chapel.
Set in spectacular African wilderness surrounds, this unique safari lodge boasts a revolutionary design – stone-and-mesh gabion walls, sliding glass, timber and gauze doors and corrugated iron roofing. Exquisite guest areas overlook spekboom valleys with a backdrop of the distant cliff-faces of ecca shale.
Ecca Lodge is fun, flamboyant and fabulous, with a “funk-meets-futuristic-farmhouse” ambience. Nestled into a gently sloping, densely vegetated hillside, the Lodge is airy and open with barely a barrier between indoors and the African bushveld.
Each suite features an en suite bathroom with spacious, plate glass-enclosed shower, bath, private w.c and twin hand-basins, as well as a sitting area which can comfortably convert into accommodation for children 11 years and younger.
Overlooking rolling spekboom valleys, guest areas comprise a spacious sitting room with fireplace, dining room and bar area and deep veranda with expansive viewing decks. Delicious fresh farm cuisine is prepared in the modern, open-plan kitchen and an interpretive centre provides hours of entertainment for children of all ages.
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 river walking/hiking or fishing
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).
Experience the thrill of tracking rhino on foot under the guidance of an experienced ranger and tracker – an unforgettable safari adventure.