Shamwari Luxury Game Reserve – Eastern Cape, South Africa

 The 20,000-hectare private reserve stretches along the Bushman’s River, a spectacular landscape of dry hills and river-etched gorges halfway between Port Elizabeth and Grahamstown.

Shamwari was the first game reserve to be established in the area offering ‘Big Five’ game viewing in a malarial free environment close to Port Elizabeth. The reserve is home to the world famous Born Free Foundation – a sanctuary for big cats who have been rescued from captivity.

What is included

The reserve supports a wide variety of plant, bird and animal life. Highly trained rangers conduct game drives in open land rovers and take you close to elephant, buffalo, rhino, lion, giraffe and several antelope species.

There is a choice of six lodges on the reserve. Breakfast, lunch and dinner with two game drives per day are offered. Transfers are normally offered to and from Port Elizabeth – see end of this section for further notes on itineraries available.

Children are accepted in a number of lodges but normally they have to be aged at least 6 or 7 to participate in adult game drives – ask for details.


Long Lee Manor – Elegance from a bygone era

An Edwardian style Manor house which has been restored to offer a colonial style environment, offering 18 air conditioned rooms in the house and a garden wing, three of which are luxury suites. Facilities include two pools, a spa and lounge. Meals are served in the main dining room, under the pepper tree or around an open fire in the barn.

Riverdene Lodge – Colonial African Experience

Further inside the reserve is a smaller lodge with only nine luxury rooms which all have air conditioning and a patio leading to landscaped gardens. It is a restored settler’s home with an ethnic African interior. Facilities include two elegantly furnished lounges and an attractive smart rim flow swimming pool.

Bushmans River Lodge – Traditional South African Hospitality

Bushmans River Lodge is a restored former settlers home with four bedrooms which can be booked for small groups or family groups. Facilities include outdoor plunge pool and thatched game viewing area overlooking the river. All rooms are air conditioned.

Further Accommodation

Bayethe at Shamwari – a unique bush experience in luxury tented accommodation

Bayethe is a small lodge in the south east corner of the reserve which offers luxurious tented accommodation close by nestled along the river bank and camouflaged by trees. Each tented room has its own viewing deck with plunge pool. There are nine luxury tents plus three premier tents, the premier ones have an additional fireplace, satellite TV and hammocks.

Lobengula at Shamwari – Classical African Elegance, exclusive getaway

Hidden in a quiet valley on the reserve, Lobengula offers guests a more up market and exclusive experience while retaining an ethnic atmosphere with thatched roof and elegant traditional decor. The five luxurious suites have air conditioning, two have plunge pools and three are adjacent to the large swimming pool. A further Chief Suite includes a large lounge with fireplace and private pool. Other facilities include a magnificent game viewing deck, pool bar, spa and gymnasium. No children under 16.

Eagles Cragg – Ultimate Luxury with contemporary African design

This exclusive premium lodge is situated in a quiet remote area.  Facilities include spa, lounge and cocktail bar. All nine superior rooms have air-conditioning, private deck with a small plunge pool and two wall to wall glass doors on two sides with uninterrupted views on the bush. The rooms have been specifically designed to maximise privacy for all guests. No children under 16.


.Transfer/driving time

60 minutes from Port Elizabeth.

This property and location is ideal as part of a tailor-made itinerary along The Garden Route. Either 4 star plus or 5 star depending on property chosen.

Map Link Shamwari

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Contact Simon at Designer Travel  Tailor-made Holidays & Cruises

All details quoted are thought to be correct at time of posting but are always subject to confirmation at time of booking

Photo: Lobengula Interior (Lodge) 4