Eastern Cape, South Africa
Fly-In from Port Elizabeth or Plettenberg Bay
Kwandwe Private Game Reserve is home to five award-winning safari lodges and villas, each with its own distinctive charm and character.
Couples can enjoy the tranquility that Great Fish River Lodge and Ecca Lodge offer, where stand-alone suites are privately located away from each other as well as central guest areas.
Families of up to four can enjoy the flexibility that a Family Suite at Ecca Lodge offers, complete with a private safari vehicle. Alternatively families or small groups of friends can choose to enjoy an entirely intimate and exclusive safari experience at one of Kwandwe’s three gracious sole-use safari villas, Fort House, Uplands Homestead and Melton Manor.
The nearest national airport is in Port Elizabeth, which lies 160 km (100 miles) from the reserve. There are daily scheduled flights from both Cape Town and Johannesburg international airports to Port Elizabeth as well as Plettenberg Bay on the Garden Route, with daily flights from both towns directly to our private airstrip.
The reserve lies approximately 65 km from the coast and is located in close proximity to the renowned Garden Route. Kwandwe is one of the largest private Big Five game viewing areas in South Africa. With 54 000 acres of private wilderness, accommodating a maximum of 52 guests, making Kwandwe one of the highest land:guest ratios in South Africa.
Located in South Africa’s scenic Eastern Cape province, the 22,000 hectares/ 54 000 acres of pristine wilderness is home to the famous Big Five as well as a diverse number of smaller and more unusual species. 160 km/ 100 miles north-east of Port Elizabeth 30 km/ 19 miles of privately owned Great Fish River frontage A range of accommodation options: 2 intimate award-winning lodges and 3 sole-use safari villas A host of specialist safaris with a team of award-winning guides The perfect add-on to an itinerary featuring Cape Town and the Garden Route
The Eastern Cape is renowned for its diversity of flora and wildlife. Thousands of animals roam the reserve’s expansive plains. The meaning of Kwandwe in isiXhosa is “Place of the Blue Crane”, and Kwandwe is the proud home to a population of these highly endangered birds (South Africa’s National Bird). Game-rich country with Big Five (black & white rhino, elephant, lion, buffalo and leopard) as well as a remarkable variety of predators and general game, including cheetah, kudu, springbok, eland, red hartebeest, giraffe, black wildebeest and gemsbok A paradise for birdwatchers, the Fish Eagle and endangered Blue Crane are among a wide variety of birds found on the Reserve Excellent nocturnal viewing – aardwolf, aardvark and porcupine are regularly seen.
LODGES & VILLAS
Geat Fish River Lodge
Set along the lush green banks of the river after which it is named, the 9-suite lodge is designed to amplify the endless landscape. Featuring a classic-contemporary style of understated elegance and earthy tones, Great Fish River Lodge is all about tranquility and solitude. Watch majestic kudu meander down to the river from the expansive viewing decks, or soak in the views from the privacy of your suite’s plunge pool.
The 9 luxurious suites have been designed to showcase the spectacular scenery. Floor-to-ceiling framed glass doors fold back to reveal an uninterrupted wilderness, and the ensuite bathrooms, with bath and indoor and outdoor showers, separate w.c and twin basins offer unmatched views over the sweeping landscape beyond. Keep cool with overhead fans and air conditioning, and enjoy a spacious thatched veranda and private plunge pool with terrace in every suite.
Twice daily game drives, nature walks accompanied by an armed ranger, big game walking safaris (tracking white rhino, black rhino, elephant and buffalo on foot, accompanied by an armed specialist ranger and tracker team) are all included in your stay. Back at the lodge, several lounging and dining options are available. Delicious African-inspired meals are served in the candlelit dining room or in the boma under a magnificent starlit sky.
Ecca Lodge offers breathtaking views onto an escarpment of steep shale cliffs. With only 6 suites, of which 3 are dedicated to families, the lodge is intimate, relaxed and trendy, with décor inspired by the vibrant colours and textures of the African people. Highlights of the guest areas include expansive wooden viewing decks, an open interactive kitchen and a rim-flow lap pool.
Rooms are airy and open, with barely a barrier between the indoors and the African bush. Wraparound wooden decks with private plunge pools and outdoor showers provide relief from the heat of the day. Super-King sized beds, large bathrooms with free-standing baths and separate lounge areas feature funky bean bags. Family Suites accommodate 2 adults and 2 children (on day beds in the lounge) and include a private vehicle and ranger.
Twice daily game drives, nature walks accompanied by an armed ranger, big game walking safaris (tracking white rhino, black rhino, elephant and buffalo on foot, accompanied by an armed specialist ranger and tracker team) are all included in your stay. Back at the lodge a play centre for kids keeps little hands busy for hours and a shared lodge pool provides the perfect place for a communal splash.
Your Out of Africa experience awaits – Uplands an intimate, colonial-style safari home set in a remote and tranquil valley and available for the sole use of families of up to six. This elegant 1905 farmhouse has been lovingly restored to retain all the charm and grace of yesteryear without losing any of its renowned warmth and ambience.
Three suites with private verandas and ensuite bathrooms combine modern comfort with old-fashioned luxury. Antique mirrors and yellowwood chests and wardrobes blend seamlessly with air-conditioning, in-room safes, underfloor heating and other modern conveniences. The Uplands kitchen is the Homestead’s welcoming core. Meals are served in the dining area, where friends and family gather to share the day’s adventures, or alternatively under the African sky in the boma.
A private safari vehicle with ranger and tracker offers a completely flexible itinerary for daily game drives, nature walks, big game walking safaris (tracking white rhino, black rhino, elephant and buffalo on foot) and fishing. Back at the homestead, there is a full size swimming pool and gazebo set amongst rolling lawns, surrounded on all sides by sweeping slopes decorated with hundreds of aloes.
With sweeping views of the Afromontane forests, Melton Manor is chic and contemporary, yet relaxing and comfortable. The welcoming U-shape and 4 ensuite bedrooms of this sole-use safari villa are cleverly designed around the central courtyard and its large, inviting swimming pool. Distinctively South African, feature pieces of simple colonial furniture combine with up-sized, deep comfortable sofas whilst subtle game and bush references embrace the local environment.
The manor’s 4 bedrooms offer a private refuge with a large veranda, enormous bed and a butler hatch for unobtrusive morning service. A generous bathtub invites you for a soak and large windows provide uninterrupted bushveld views. The interactive farm-style kitchen encourages you to try your hand at combining flavours under the guidance your personal chef. Share meals and laughter around the farmhouse table in the fresh air of the terrace.
A private safari vehicle with ranger and tracker offers a completely flexible itinerary for daily game drives, nature walks, big game walking safaris (tracking white rhino, black rhino, elephant and buffalo on foot) and fishing. Spend the afternoon hours in the library enjoying a quiet session with a book, relax around the pool or have some fun with the large collection of board games.
In a private setting with sweeping views of the Great Fish River valley, Kwandwe Fort House discreetly combines the very best of an exclusive safari lodge with the latest conveniences of a modern home. With 4 bedrooms ideally suited for families of up to 8, multiple relaxation and entertainment areas ensure that there are abundant spaces to connect with loved ones or to spend some quiet time alone.
Featuring two master bedrooms and two twin suites as well as free flowing living and entertainment areas, it comfortably sleeps families of up to eight. Peruse the wine cellar, help yourself to a snack from the guest pantry, spend some quiet time in the study or enjoy a massage in the spa treatment room. A complement of staff is discreetly on hand to ensure everything is taken care of.
A private safari vehicle with ranger and tracker offers a completely flexible itinerary for daily game drives, nature walks, big game walking safaris (tracking white rhino, black rhino, elephant and buffalo on foot) and fishing. When not out exploring the reserve relax on the terrace watching wildlife wander by, enjoy a swim in the pool and dine under the stars around the traditional boma – all with a view.
CONSERVATION AT KWANDWE
Kwandwe Private Game Reserve is a conservation victory. Comprising just 26 rooms split across five intimate lodges and villas, providing understated luxury and one of the highest land to guest ratios in South Africa. The successful development of this high yield/ low impact conservation model is key to furthering our numerous conservation initiatives.
The 22,000 hectares (54 000 acres) of pristine wilderness is home to the famous Big 5 as well as a diverse number of smaller and more unusual species. Thousands of animals including lion, black and white rhino, buffalo, elephant and cheetah roam these expansive plains. The Reserve is also sanctuary to numerous other threatened and endangered species.
A REFUGE FOR ENDANGERED SPECIES