Shamwari is a private game reserve in the Eastern Cape and hosts 6 different camps on the reserve
Shamwari Game Reserve: Our full report
Shamwari Game Reserve, is an old favourite. Covering a large area, 250km², it is a private, malaria-free game reserve on South Africa's Eastern Cape.
Situated only 45 minutes drive outside the city of Port Elizabeth, you are immersed in lush countryside along the Bushmans River, which makes it ideal if you want a few days safari in the Cape.
The owners of Shamwari have tried hard to return the land and environment here to its original flora and fauna – and currently it contains several quite diverse ecosystems, and a variety of plant, animal and bird life. Sightings of white rhino, elephant and lion are almost guaranteed; whilst there's a good chance of seeing more elusive species, including black rhino, cheetah and leopard.
Whilst it's very large by European standards Shamwari is relatively modest in size compared with most game reserves – especially those north of South Africa. Hence the rangers can often locate key species of game without too much difficulty – and the sightings record is usually very good.
There are 56 rooms in total, split into six separate lodges, all varying in cost, amenities and luxuries:
Eagles Crag is luxurious spot built overflooking rocky crags frequented by eagles. There are nine rooms, all are built from thatch, stone and glass and decorated with contemporary colours. Expect wall-to-wall glass doors on two sides, an en-suite bathrooms with indoor and outdoor showers, and a small private deck with a pool outside.
Long Lee Manor is a perfect family lodge built in the colonial style with 19 more conventional rooms including some family suites available. There are two swimming pools, and a garden to wander around.
Bushmans River Lodge offers impressive views of the Bushmans River valley and is decorated in traditional African style. The four deluxe en-suite rooms are air-conditioned and offer substantial comfort and luxury.
Lobengula has five luxury en-suite rooms housed in ethnic thatched surroundings with the serenity of the Bushmans River to soothe you.
Riverdene offers a colonial African experience with nine rooms, all with standard amenities and private balconies. It is the dedicated family lodge where children from 4 can go on safari.
Bayethe Tented Lodge is a more traditional safari experience with tented luxury. Air-conditioning and heating, as well as en-suite bathrooms, are standard and they are perfect for a private experience.
Sarili Lodge comprises of just 5 luxury rooms and overlooks the Bushman's River.
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Full Board
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Drinks included: Local alcoholic beverages are included
Family holidays: If you're looking for a malaria-free experience of big game, then Shamwari should be on your list – especially the lodge within it known as Long Lee Manor. This isn't as big an area, or as wild an experience, as you'll find further north in Africa, but it can provided a very good introductory safari for a few days in the Cape.See more ideas for Family holidays in South Africa
Attitude towards children: Long Lee Manor is an ideal family lodge where children under the age of 12 are welcome, but children under the age of 12 are not welcome at Bushmans River, Riverdene and Bayethe
Equipment: At Long Lee Manor, there are special menus for children, baby cots, and a babysitting service available
Generally recommended for children: YES
Notes: No children under the age of 16 are accepted at Eagles Crag or Lobengula Lodge
Health & safety
Malarial area: No
Dangerous animals: High Risk