Kwandwe Game Reserve is an award-winning reserve on the lush banks of the Great Fish River and offers malaria-free game viewing and luxury accommodation. Kwandwe (meaning ‘place of the Blue crane’ in Xhosa) is vast: 20,000 hectares of wilderness in a fantastic undulating landscape of dense valley bushveld, studded with giant euphorbias and aloes.
On a recent visit, we had excellent sightings of wild dog (there is a research project), black and white rhino, lion, elephant, buffalo, hippo, giraffe, wildebeest, zebra, kudu, impala, etc.
Kwandwe Game Reserve a conservation sucess story, an enormous area of overgrazed farmland was restored to its original state and the game that originally flourished in the area was reintroduced. More than 7000 animals were released in the reserve before it opened in October, 2001, and it is a real tribute that, in August 2003, The Sunday Times Travel Magazine rated Kwandwe the third best game lodge in the world.
That the reserve is a member of ‘Relais & Chateaux’ says enough about its high standards of service and cuisine. Great Fish River Lodge is a traditional luxury thatch and timber lodge set on a steep cliff overlooking the Great Fish River. The main building is furnished with antiques and Africana, large comfortable sofas and a well-stocked shop. There are nine spacious air-conditioned suites, spread along the river cliff, each with a plunge pool and a private thatched viewing deck, and large expanses of window.
Ecca Lodge has a more innovative, stylish and funky design, utilising a range of building materials in an interesting juxtaposition. There are six huge suites, each with private deck and plunge pool. The main lodge area has a comfortable lounge and dining area, a pool, an internet room and an interpretive centre. Uplands Homestead is a 3-bedroomed farmhouse on the reserve that is ideal for the exclusive use of friends or a family. Activities include twice-daily game drives, guided river-walking and hiking, and is great value for groups of 6!
Children at Kwandwe
At Great Fish River Lodge, children are welcome from the age of 12. Ecca Lodge and Uplands Homestead welcome children of all ages. Children under 6 cannot join the regular game drives, or nature walks. Special shortened game drives may be arranged subject to the availability of rangers and vehicles. Children aged 6 – 11 will be permitted on regular game drives at the discretion of the lodge manager or ranger. They are not permitted on nature walks.
Kwandwe is an easy and scenic 2-hour drive from Port Elizabeth, straight along the main N2. Alternatively, there is a daily scheduled air shuttle from Port Elizabeth.
Uplands Homestead & Melton Manor
These houses can be booked exclusively.