Kwandwe is a 22 000 hectare game reserve two hours’ drive to the north of Port Elizabeth. This is a great malaria free safari option to combine with an itinerary featuring Cape Town and the Garden Route. This is a big 5 game reserve, but is particularly good for viewing the rarer aardwolf and aardvark.
Kwandwe - The Details
In and around the area of Port Elizabeth are a number of different game reserves, however most are like over-sized zoos. Kwandwe is the only reserve that keeps that true safari experience for guests due to the huge area it covers and the variety of game it has.
If you're thinking of self-driving the garden route or looking for an easy safari option from Cape Town, then Kwandwe is perfect for this. The high level of service, hopsitality and guiding here makes going on safari very special and its accessibility means that if you're planning to be in the vicinity, you can't say no to visiting!
There are four small luxury lodges across the reserve on both sides of the privately owned Great Fish River which runs through it. Kwandwe has much to recommend it as a safari destination.
Once farmland, today its plains are now well stocked with wildlife including lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino (black and white) as well as abundant antelope, giraffe, wildebeest, hyena, hippo, plus predators such as cheetah.
The Great Fish River and Ecca Lodges are both have an understated crisp luxury feel, the River Lodge being down on the Fish River itself and Ecca higher up in the hills with stunning views.
Kwandwe also has two sole use villas, Uplands Homestead and Melton Manor. Both offer a private pool, safari vehicle, butler, chef and ranger/tracker team allowing you to tailor your days to how you want them. The villas are perfect for bigger families or groups who want that exclusive element.
On top of the twice daily games drives, there are a number of other activities including big game walking and rhino conservation safaris which make a perfect addition to your stay.
Kwandwe's location makes it perfect for those not wanting to stray too far from Cape Town or are embarking on the Garden Route. The reserve is easily accessible by road, but can also be accessed by internal flights.
It also makes for a great combination with a safari in the Sabi Sands or at Tswalu. The differing landscapes and wildlife that are on offer will ensure you have a brilliant all-round trip.
Sandwiching a trip to Cape Town in between two safari destinations is no bad idea either. With a plethora of different activities to do and sights to be seen, Cape Town is one of South Africa's main attractions. If you have time then venturing into the surrounding winelands for a couple of nights should also be on the agenda. Here you can indulge in some of the worlds finest cuisine and sample some of the best wine that has ever been produced.