Bayethe is a comfortable lodge in Shamwari Game Reserve in South Africa's Eastern Cape.
Shamwari Bayethe Lodge: Our full report
Bayethe Lodge is a luxurious tented lodge in the well-known Shamwari Game Reserve, in South Africa’s Eastern Cape area. It provides a comfortable base for not-too-wild game-viewing and appeals to travellers looking for a relatively traditional safari experience.
Unfortunately, none of the Expert Africa team has had the chance to stay at Bayethe Lodge yet, however, we do know the area as we’ve stayed on the reserve several times, most recently in May 2013. Furthermore, we’ve had excellent reviews from our travellers about Bayethe Lodge. So until we pop in for a visit ourselves, here is what we understand about it from the lodge’s information and our travellers’ comments:
Tucked away in the vegetation, there are 12 detached tents at Shamwari’s Bayethe Lodge, which offer views of the surrounding bush. With mellow tints like light green, white and beige setting the tone of their interior design, they fit in well with their surroundings and give an impression of airiness and much space. Nevertheless, due to maroon wooden floors and all the amenities the tents offer, they feel very substantial - you might occasionally forget that you’re staying in a tent!
You can choose between the following tent types:
The main areas at Shamwari’s Bayethe Lodge comprise a gift shop, a lounge area, where you can find a TV, and an outdoor deck with a swimming pool.
Activities in Shamwari Reserve evolve around morning and evening game drives by 4WD, each lasting about three to four hours. On our most recent visit to Shamwari, we got particularly close to both black and white rhino, and generally found these drives very productive in terms of sightings.
However, the sections of the reserve where game drives take place are significantly smaller than Shamwari’s whole area might imply, and so the rangers had a good knowledge of where to go for certain animals – using their radios extensively to fill in possible gaps in this knowledge. As a result, our game-viewing experience here didn’t feel very ‘wild’, in spite of excellent sightings.
Other activities are walking safaris, wellbeing treatments or visits to the educative Rhino Awareness Centre and the Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre.
Our viewWe know Shamwari Reserve reasonably well, even though our team haven’t yet stayed at Bayethe Lodge. Our travellers have stayed here and given it very good reviews, so we have confidence that it’s a comfortable and well-run lodge for gentle game-viewing in Shamwari. However, we wouldn’t come here expecting a wilderness experience.
Ideal length of stay: We feel that you can explore the reserve on an introductory safari within a few days.
Directions: Leave Port Elizabeth on the N2 to the north. Take the signposted turnoff left to Bayethe onto the gravelled Sidbury Road. Continue on this road until you arrive at a T-junction, where Bayethe Lodge is signposted to the right. Alternatively, if you don’t want to drive yourself, you can book a chauffeur service between Port Elizabeth and Shamwari directly via Shamwari Reserve. There is also an airstrip for chartered flights into the reserve.
Accessible by: Self-drive or Fly-and-Transfer
Owner: Bayethe Lodge is part of the Shamwari Group, together with five other lodges and one camp in Shamwari Reserve.
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Full Board
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Attitude towards children: Children are accepted at Bayethe Lodge.
Property’s age restrictions: Only children aged four or older are allowed on game drives.
Special activities & services: Bayethe Lodge in Shamwari does not have a dedicated children’s coordinator. This is why child-minding must be requested prior to arrival and will be charged at an extra cost.
Please note that the minimum age for game drives in Shamwari Reserve is four years – children younger than that are not allowed on 4WD safaris here. However, there is a range of other activities that children of all ages can take part in. They include for example sports activities, arts and crafts, playing board games and watching DVDs. There is also a selection of books and puzzles available. Every child staying in Shamwari Reserve receives an age-appropriate gift pack.
Bayethe Lodge’s children’s menu offers the choice between:
- Eggs, omelette, pancakes, French toast and crumpets for breakfast.
- A cold platter, soup, sandwiches, pizza, several pasta dishes, hamburgers, steak, chicken escalope and various desserts for lunch and dinner.
Notes: Although Shamwari isn’t known as a particularly wild game reserve, parents should always keep their children under close supervision as game risks do exist.
Communications: Internet access is available at the ‘business desk’ in the main area of Shamwari’s Bayethe Lodge.
TV & radio: There is a TV in each of Bayethe Lodge’s tents. In addition, you can watch TV in the main lounge.
Health & safety
Malarial protection recommended: No
Dangerous animals: High Risk