Situated along South Africa’s eastern coastline is the Eastern Cape province, renowned for being a world-class, malaria-free safari destination.
In the heart of the Eastern Cape is Kwandwe Private Game Reserve, a conservation victory boasting 22 000 hectares (54 400 acres) of former farmland that has been restored and restocked with wildlife. This pristine wilderness area is home to Africa’s Big Five, and is the perfect start or end to a journey along the breathtakingly beautiful Garden Route.
The Healthy Holiday Company recommends Kwandwe Private Game Reserve not just for it’s extraordinary landscape and abundance of wildlife, but also because of the magnificent selection of accommodation – from private houses to larger camps. All are sublimely luxurious and everything you need is taken care of by the Reserve’s highly experienced and very friendly team. We love this place!
Kwandwe Lodge – luxury private house
Ecca Lodge – small lodge with 6 luxury suites
The Reserve flanks both the north and south banks of the Great Fish River, which meanders for 30 km (19 miles) through this pristine, private wilderness where the Big Five once again roams freely.
Kwandwe’s vast landscape is affected by the ocean, with south-facing slopes capturing moisture from the sea breezes resulting in denser or taller vegetation and brightly coloured lichens. In contrast, the north-facing slopes tend to be drier and more open and feature striking aloes, which flower in spectacular profusion during the winter months (June to August). Forest-like thickets of tree euphorbia grow on the steep, south-facing slopes. These spiny plants are immune to destruction from most animal species (except the black rhino) thanks to the poisonous milky latex they exude.
The wide open spaces and tranquil scenery belie the area’s turbulent history, and relics of the area’s rich historical and cultural legacy can be found both on the reserve and nearby. At an additional cost, guests can spend time with Kwandwe’s resident historian and raconteur, Alan Weyer, and learn all about the history of the Eastern Cape, with insightful visits to ancient San (Bushman) rock art sites and neighbouring forts and military towns, such as Fort Beaufort and Grahamstown. This is the ultimate historic Big Five safari.
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