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Eastern Cape Game Reserves

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The Eastern Cape rich in history, culture and wildlife. home of the big 5, South Africa promises a thrilling wildlife adventure.

Eastern Cape Safaris & Game Reserves

The malaria-free Eastern Cape is home to a number of fantastic game reserves. The majority of them play host to the majestic Big 5 as well as a number of luxury lodges. A world of rustic opulence, superior service and safari wonder await wherever you choose to enjoy your bush adventure. From riverboat safaris, to nocturnal game drives and scenic bushwalks, a stay at one of the Eastern Cape game reserves is the perfect getaway for nature enthusiasts, honeymooners or families with children. Sarili Lodge at Shamwari Private Game Reserve is one of our favourite safari accommodations of the Eastern Cape.

Additionally, the province’s game reserves also offer a variety of different ways to experience this wildlife. Enjoy a river cruise at Kariega Game Reserve or experience a vintage safari in Amakhala Game Reserve – it’s your choice. Whichever experience you choose, personalised staff and sumptuous cuisine is guaranteed. All of the Eastern Cape’s game reserves boast an expert cook who ensures their guests never go hungry. There really is nothing like sitting down for a dinner in an outdoor boma after a successful day of game-viewing.

A stay in an Eastern Cape game reserve would not be complete without the comfort of 5-Star amenities in the bush. In addition to each game reserves accommodation, there are also a number of guest facilities at each lodge. Swimming pools, fully-stocked bars and guest lounges all come standard. Some of the game reserve’s also offer spa treatments and tours of the wildlife rehabilitation centres. The Eastern Cape is home to a number of fine game reserves, all home to the legendary Big 5 and some stellar accommodation. 

elephant paradise

Addo Elephant National Park

Brilliant for a day’s self-drive and on a good day, from the comfort of your own car, you can see 250-300 elephants and the various other animals. The reserve is home to South Africa’s largest elephant population, as well as the other members of the Big 7 (lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino, southern right whale and great white shark). There are several accommodation options in the park and visitors can enjoy self-drive safaris as well as guided game drives. The Greater Addo area also holds many attractions, from relaxation to adrenaline, whatever your taste may be. Addo Elephant National Park isn’t the only place to enjoy the region’s rich wildlife. Game reserves like Lalibela and Shamwari are also nearby, as well as a cheetah breeding project and even safaris on elephant back.

Wildlife Reserve

Amakhala Game Reserve

The Amakhala Game Reserve is a stunning wildlife reserve situated in the malaria-free Eastern Cape. The reserve is renowned for its luxury lodging as well as brilliant wildlife viewings – the area is rich in biodiversity with many animals re-introduced to the bushveld. The reserve is 90km away from the bustling city of Port Elizabeth and is located along the Greater Addo area. Guests will enjoy world-class safari adventure and excellent animal sightings, including big game mammals such as elephants, rhinos, lions and much more. The area is semi-arid and consists of a range of bird and plant life. The accommodation available ranges from ultra-luxurious to rustic and simplistic, perfect for all kinds of tourists including families and couples seeking a romantic getaway! All lodges have standard safari activities that are sure to enthral.

thrillingly unique

Kariega Game Reserve

Kariega Game Reserve has been a stalwart among South African safaris for over 25 years. The family-owned and operated game reserve is set between the Kariega and Bushman’s River. Many travellers choose to wind up their Garden Route adventure with a stay in one of Kariega’s luxury lodges. In addition, the health spa and lodge kitchen will ensure that your down-time between activities is relaxing.

Guests are treated to game drives twice a day, usually in the early morning and late afternoon. However, times are dependent on the season and weather. One of Kariega’s expert rangers will reveal hidden details about the wildlife to ensure that your safari is an educational one. Kariega prides itself on the quality of its game drives and close-up encounters with the likes of lion, elephant and plenty of other wildlife.

The malaria-free reserve

Kwandwe Private Game Reserve

Kwande Private Game Reserve is set in the malaria-free Eastern Cape where the dense bushland is virtually untouched, promising a unique bush holiday. The Big 5 reserve has the Great Fish River running through the diverse landscape, with only five safari lodges available to guests, ensuring a secluded, private and tranquil stay. The luxurious safari accommodations blend in seamlessly with the natural surrounds, existing perfectly with nature. The area is home to brilliant wildlife, and, with a range of safari activities on offer, guests are ensured some amazing wildlife sighting opportunities.

Travellers who are looking for safari adventure have come to the right place! Kwandwe offers guests two game drives daily, early morning as well as late afternoon, with trained guides in an open land rover. Plenty of wildlife can be seen including the Big 5 (elephant, lion, rhino, buffalo, and leopard) as well as giraffe, antelope, zebra, aardvark, aardwolf, bat-eared fox and porcupine.

ultimate in luxury

Lalibela Game Reserve

Lalibela Game Reserve is a private game reserve in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. The 10,500-hectare expanse offers Big 5 adventures and luxury accommodation for all its guests. In addition to its safari adventures, a stay at Lalibela is also the perfect way to round up a Garden Route adventure.

Game drives are a treat at Lalibela Game Reserve. An expert ranger escorts guests through the Eastern Cape vastness as they search for the Big 5 through plains, acacia forests and lush valleys. Additionally, antelope, giraffe and a plethora of other animals also roam the reserve. Besides conventional wildlife, Lalibela plays host to a range of birdlife, perfect for birdwatchers. Game drives are offered early in the morning and in the late afternoon, when wildlife is most active.

world renowned

Shamwari Private Game Reserve

Set in the malaria-free Eastern Cape and stretching over five of the seven biomes in South Africa, Shamwari Private Game Reserve is a popular and stunning safari getaway. The reserve is one of the leading private conservation initiatives in South Africa and provides travellers with excellent wildlife viewing opportunities, including the renowned Big 5. Shamwari offers a range of luxury 5-Star lodging including Eagles Crag, where travellers will experience some of the best mountainous views, Long Lee Manor, a large Edwardian manor house and Bayethe Tented Lodge, for a rustic, yet comfortable safari experience. Shamwari prides itself in looking after the environment and ensuring future generations share the same love for the natural world – this is why the reserve also offers family-friendly accommodation at Riverdene Family Lodge and Sarili Lodge.

The Eastern Cape is a coastal province in South Africa which includes the wonderful and unique cities of Port Elizabeth and East London These cities are relatively small in comparison to the likes of the captivating Cape Town and jaunty Johannesburg. What makes Eastern Cape safaris even more appealing is that it is a malaria-free region.

The Eastern Cape’s most celebrated attraction is the Addo Elephant National Park. Situated just 30 minutes outside of Port Elizabeth, this large park was started in 1931 to fight the dwindling number of elephants, and has taken that number from just 11 elephants to over 600.

Seeing these magnificently gentle giants up close is the experience of a lifetime, especially if you are lucky enough to catch the herd together at the watering hole.

There are different ways to go about your safari here at Addo. There is the classic game drive safari, the self-drive safari, and also a horseback safari trail. For those doing more than just a day trip, there are camps, cottages, and luxury lodges.

Other Eastern Cape safari options, game reserves, and lodges widen the scope of the wild animals to look out for. Some, like Pumba Private Game Reserve, even have the rare white lion. Others, like Samara Private Game Lodge, have more cheetahs.

Shamwari Game Reserve takes pride in its responsible tourism and conservation. An example of this is its wildlife rehabilitation centre, where a professional veterinary team cares for the animals in need before releasing them back into their natural habitat.

This malaria-free province allows for an easy-to-plan getaway that is good for nature-lovers, adventure-seekers, holiday-makers, families, couples, and everyone in between. What is guaranteed at an Eastern Cape safari is an escape from reality out in the bushes, be that up close and on the ground or from the comforts of a luxury lodge.