Shamwari Game Reserve, Eastern Cape
Shamwari is easily one of the most recognisable game reserve names thanks to a seemingly steady stream of royalty and celebrity visitors over the years. Shamwari’s reputation as a superb game reserve and luxury destination precedes it, and the numerous annual awards the reserve has won over the years give it an edge few others can compete with.
Shamwari has an interesting history, too long to recount here (see the link below) but one that gives insight into what has made this reserve so incredibly successful. In a nutshell – passion for the restoration of an eco-system once teeming with fauna and flora, including herds of elephant, all but destroyed by farming and hunting. This passion and genuine integrity for the environment combined with good old business acumen and an extraordinarily beautiful environment has resulted in a beautiful 25 000ha game reserve – from a farm barely over 1 000ha back in 1990. They say the “god’s” favour those whose hearts are true and Shamwari could be evidence of this favour. The luxury tourism on Shamwari supports the conservation – certainly not a unique characteristic, but Shamwari has been a ground-beaker for similar successful initiatives.
Shamwari has it all now – it teems with game and birds and the Big 5 are back. Where silence once reigned, the roar of lions again disturb the night, and herds of elephant once again roam the interior of the Eastern Cape on Shamwari among other reserves.
There are seven 5-star graded lodges on Shamwari, each distinct in style and offering unique safari lodge experiences and atmospheres. Weddings, events and conferences are catered for, and Shamwari is a very popular wedding destination.
Activities on Shamwari include game drives, guided walks and ‘relaxation retreats’ at four of the seven lodges. There is also a volunteer programme on Shamwari, field guide training and the famous Born Free Big Cat Sanctuaries and Born Free Foundation educational centre on Shamwari.
Website: Shamwari Game Reserve
Getting there: Take the N2 from Grahamstown towards Port Elizabeth, turning right on to the R342 after 58 km. Shamwari is a further 14 km. Follow the signs.
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