Big game, once driven out by settler farmers, has returned to the east of South Africa providing the perfect opportunity for a safari after exploring Cape Town and the Western Cape. The private game reserves support an impressive array of wildlife in a convenient malaria free area. From the hundreds of elephants in The Addo Elephant Park to the Big Five of the Kariega Game Reserve, these areas are ideal for a wonderful family friendly adventure made all the more favourable by being malaria free.

Addo Elephant Park was established in 1931 to preserve the 11 surviving Eastern Cape Elephant from extinction. Today, its thick, dry bush is home to over 230 elephant and other game, including black rhino, buffalo, kudu, eland and red hartebeest. More than 185 species of bird are found here.

East of Addo, several game reserves protect a wide variety of game, including the Big Five – elephant, rhino, lion, buffalo and leopard – though your chances of seeing leopard in this area are slim. They keep out of sight since, even today, many farmers are still inclined to shoot a leopard on sight. There are six major private reserves for you to choose from.

Two are very upmarket - Shamwari, which was the first in the area, and Kwandwe, run by &Beyond. Both are huge reserves with plenty of professional know-how behind them. Lalibela and Kariega are mid-price and professionally run. Amakhala is a little different as the reserve is the creation of five land-owners, all descendants of the 19th century British settlers, who run the different lodges individually; and there is a range of prices to suit most budgets. Finally, Inkwenkwezi is on its own, further to the east, and offers a different experience altogether.

All of these reserves cater for children, often in particularly family-friendly lodges, and there are also more secluded options for honeymooners or those wanting to get away from it all.

Shelley Phillips

Travel Specialist

I'm here to tailor-make your perfect holiday. Give me a call and I'll use my expertise to create your personalised experience.
Total results: 18
Sort by:

Why Choose Us?

Passionate travel experts

  • We've been leading wildlife travel since our first South Africa tours over 25 years ago
  • Our Travel Specialists have lived in their specialist area for years
  • We work with local guides to immerse you deeper in our diverse range of experiences

Personal & tailor-made

  • You'll speak to your own expert who'll share their first-hand knowledge
  • We'll make your itinerary seamless with 24/7 emergency contact available
  • Your Travel Specialist will listen to ensure you have the best chance of seeing the wildlife you love

Responsible by nature

  • We take care to actively contribute to the conservation of environments we visit
  • For select countries, we make a charitable donation on your behalf when you make your booking
  • We've partnered with conservation experts and NGOs to curate responsible tours
British Travel Awards Crest
ATOL Protected ABTA Protected IATA Protected
Trust Pilot LATA Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

For the latest travel advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office check

Stay in Touch

Subscribe for our newsletter and to hear about exciting offers and experiences

By clicking ‘accept’, you consent to our use of cookies to improve our website experience. See our privacy policy for full information.