How does Safari in the Eastern Cape Compare?
Our Senior Travel Specialist Candice has been on many safaris to South Africa. However recently, for the first time, she travelled to the bush and wildlife of the Eastern Cape.
During my recent trip home to South Africa, I was on a mission to experience the wildlife of the Eastern Cape. I have been lucky enough to go on several safaris over the years from the Kruger National Park, Sabi Sands Game Reserve and Madikwe, but was yet to travel to the game reserves in the south-east of the country. When the opportunity arose I was very keen to see how the Eastern Cape game reserves compared.
I was not disappointed and had an amazing time. Due to the warmer climate the beautiful environment was a lot more tropical and verdant, proving once again what a diverse country South Africa is. The lodges here are absolutely wonderful, offering great value for money and a wonderful experience for first time safari goers. The selection includes the delightful six lodges in the Shamwari Game Reserve, the first one to be established in the area, and the 5-star accommodation on the southern side of the 9,000 hectare Amakhala Reserve.
The wildlife, which includes the Big Five, is abundant and incredibly relaxed around safari vehicles. I was lucky enough to see a leopard on my first drive, a rare spot. In the Pumba Private Game Reserve my luck continued with a sighting of the incredibly rare white lions, a breath-taking moment.
It is possible to stay just in the Eastern Cape and still create a varied trip. The game reserves are all relatively close to Port Elizabeth, about a two hour drive, making it easy and convenient to travel. Kariega Game Reserve, a private game reserve in the Kariega River Valley, is only 15 minutes from the stunning ‘Sunshine Coast’ beaches at Kenton-on-Sea for those who fancy seaside relaxation after your safari adventure. Best of all, the area is malaria free.