Shamwari Game Reserve (South Africa)
Shamwari Game Reserve is an award-winning game reserve with an impressive wildlife conservation record, and an excellent concentration of the sought-after big 5. It is the largest reserve in the Eastern Cape, situated on 25 000 hectares of African bush. Found in the heart of the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, the area is known for its striking scenic diversity, with bright lagoons, thick forests and towering mountains. Shamwari’s position also gives access to 9 different tourist routes.
There are 6 luxurious lodges to choose from in the reserve, each uniquely decorated. Two of the lodges, Long Lee Manor and Sarili Lodge are family friendly, welcoming children under the ages of 12. Shamwari also possesses an Explorer Camp for adventurous guests who enjoy camping and walking safaris.
Shamwari is completely Malaria free, meaning you can have a safe and relaxing safari; this is especially great for families with small children. Shamwari's wildlife department is also acclaimed for its conservation efforts; featuring environmentalists, ecologists and veterinarians as well as an animal hospital and rehabilitation center. The reserve's anti-poaching efforts are well organised and include an in-house unit.
Shamwari and Born Free UK have also collaborated to provide for rescued lion and other wild cats. The union is primarily concerned with conservation and awareness, with the goal of protecting endangered species.
Shamwari is located in the Eastern Cape, only 45 minutes by car from Port Elizabeth. This makes it a convenient addition to Garden Route holidays. Flying is also convenient, with the airport located at nearby Port Elizabeth, as well as Shamwari's private landing strip.
Attractions & Activities
A closer look at what your holiday could be.
Shamwari is highly child friendly, and its malaria free status makes it perfect for families, with 6 luxurious and unique lodges. Two of the lodges, Long Lee Manor and Sarili Lodge, welcome children under the ages of 12, who are also permitted on game drives from the ages of 4 and up. Kids will be entertained with Shamwari's Kids on Safari programme, which includes visits to the Born Free foundation, arts and crafts, sport and more. This great feature enables parents to enjoy some free time should they wish, with sundowners and other activities.
Please note that children under the age of 4 are not permitted on game drives and have to be accompanied by an adult when visiting the animal hospital.
Shamwari is a magnificent malaria-free safari destination. The reserve has received 38 awards in the last 10 years, including the coveted World Leading Safari and Game Reserve award in 2009. Expect to see lion, cheetah, giraffe, elephant, rhino, leopard and numerous plains game and bird species.
Game drives are of course the primary activity at Shamwari, with drives lasting around 3-4 hours. Each group of 6 people is assigned a game ranger, who will track wildlife and educate guests with facts and information about the environment and animals. Afternoon drives will usually include a sun-downer, while morning drives will have coffee breaks. Guided walks are also excellent ways to discover the bush and small flora and fauna that are often missed on drives.
Spas are available at Eagles Crag, Lobengula, Long Lee Manor and Bayethe. Treatments can also be arranged for guests staying at Riverdene and Sarili, so no one misses out.
A well known face on the Discovery Channel, Lyndal Davies, is based at the reserve. Her professional camera crew is available capture your wildlife memories if you choose to hire them.
When to visit Shamwari
Shamwari falls within an arid to semi-arid region. This makes game viewing productive all year round as the animals never stray too far from water sources. The best game viewing can be enjoyed during the dry winter months - June to September. Keep in mind that it can get very cold during this time of the year, so make sure to pack warm clothing and windbreakers, especially for game drives.
The months of October to April see the park becoming lush and green, and this is the best time to see newborn animals. Bird watching during this period is also particularly good. You'll be likely to see more active predator movement too, as the wealth of young animals makes for better hunting.