Kwandwe Galpin Tented Camp: Our full report
In the remote south of Kwandwe Reserve, Galpin is a small, exclusive camp for just one group at a time.This traditional tented camp aims to balance comfort with a sense of adventure. It’s a great spot for groups and families looking for an immersive and private experience in the reserve - who don't need to levels of luxury found in Kwandwe's established lodges.
Galpin Tented Camp is a new property in Kwandwe Private Game Reserve, opened August 2020. Like its sister-properties, Melton Manor and Uplands Homestead, it is booked as a whole for one group at a time - ideal for a family or a small group of friends.
Four well-appointed canvas tents sit on raised decks gazing towards a nearby dam, a wonderfully relaxed spot immersed in nature. They are simple but comfortable with verandas for afternoon wildlife watching, outdoor solar showers and no Wi-Fi to distract you from the moment. Available at twins or doubles, the camp can host groups of up to eight guests.
You’ll find a kitchen, lounge and dining area neighbouring the tents as well as an enticing boma area, a wonderful setting for campfire cuisine under enormous skies and unspoiled quietness.
The camp is run and hosted by two guides and a tracker, with one of the guides being a senior walking specialist. Activities at Galpin are geared towards walks on which you can encounter elephant, giraffe, buffalo and both black and white rhino on foot. Explore more of the 22,000-hectare reserve on day and night drives in search of predators and more unusual species such as aardvark, aardwolf, bat-eared fox and porcupine. Or walk to the dam for a spot of fishing and sundowner drinks.
Being exclusive use, your days are as active or as relaxed as you wish; you'll be the only group o this camp - and so you can set your own schedule.
We haven't yet visited Galpin, the most recent entrant onto Kwandwe's stage. However, we've long known the team here, and the other properties in the reserve well. We'd expect similarly first-rate guiding, friendly staff and exciting safari experience - even though the costs her are rather lower than Kwandwe's other exclusive-up properties.
Country manager: South Africa
- Kwandwe Private Game Reserve, South Africa
- Ideal length of stay
- We’d recommend a minimum of three nights here, and four or five nights wouldn’t be too many if you wanted to relax as well as spot game.
- Due to excellent roads it is an easy self-drive of 30 minutes from Grahamstown, or one and a half to two hours from Port Elizabeth Airport to Kwandwe (160km). You leave your vehicle at the car park at Heatherton Towers (main reception) and will be transferred from there to your lodge in an open-topped safari vehicle.
Alternatively there are daily scheduled flights from Port Elizabeth Airport to Kwandwe airstrip, or take a private 20-minute charter flight. On request, chauffeur-driven road transfers can be arranged.
- Accessible by
- Self-drive or Fly-and-Transfer
Food & drink
- Usual board basis
- Full Board & Activities
- Dining style
- Mixture of group dining and individual tables
- Dining locations
- Indoor and Outdoor Dining
- Attitude towards children
- As the camp is unfenced and walking is encouraged, there is an applicable age restriction meaning that only guests 16 years or older can be accommodated. Families with younger children should looks towards Kwandwe's Ecca Lodge which caters to children exceedingly well.
- Property’s age restrictions
- 16 or older.
- Power supply notes
- The camp runs entirely on solar power and gas.
- No Wi-Fi and limited cell phone reception
Health & safety
- Malarial protection recommended
- Dangerous animals
- High Risk
- Fire safety
- Disabled access
- On Request
Other lodges in Kwandwe Private Game Reserve
Alternative places to stay in this same area.
Great Fish River Lodge
Great Fish River Lodge is a superb lodge built on the edge of a gorge overlooking the river and is located in the Kwandwe Private Reserve.
Kwandwe Ecca Lodge is a smart, chic lodge and is located in the superb malaria-free Kwandwe Private Reserve.
Uplands Homestead is a restored farmhouse and is located in a remote and peaceful valley in the Kwandwe Private Reserve.
Sleeping a maximum of 8 people, Melton Manor is an exclusive use villa located in the superb malaria-free Kwande Private Game Resertve.