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Ecca Lodge

Ecca Lodge

Kwandwe Ecca Lodge is located in malaria-free Kwandwe Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape region of South Africa. Along this stretch of the Great Fish River, the famous battle between the 1820 settlers and the indigenous black population was fought. Kwandwe means “place of the blue crane” in the local Xhosa language.

Ecca is a 5-star luxury lodge with contemporary and stylish décor yet decidedly African. Giant Warhol-like prints, retro light fittings, pagoda-style corrugated iron roofs, and mesh-covered stone gabions blend exquisitely with natural textures and hues of burnt orange, rust, and olive. Minimalist chic flows from spacious living areas, and glass doors slide back to welcome the surrounding bushveld.

Kwandwe Private Game Reserve runs over 22,000 hectares on the edge of the former Karoo Basin, where several of Africa’s vegetation zones converge, and biodiversity is extremely rich. The landscape is dominated by bushveld on open plains and rolling hills, with succulent euphorbias, aloes, and spekboom among the characteristic plants. Thousands of animals, including Africa’s “big five” (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and buffalo) have been reintroduced to the reserve. And it also serves as a haven for endangered animals and birds. Numerous support programs ensure that the repatriated animals are thriving.

Facilities at the Ecca Lodge include private plunge pools, computer room, children's playroom, and a guest area dominated by an open interactive kitchen, a gorgeous infinity lap pool lined with shaded decks and teak loungers, and a library. A mere fifteen-minute drive brings guests to historic Heatherton Towers, which has a well-stocked safari shop.

Meals and refreshment at Ecca are perfectly timed to suit the activities. Tea, coffee, and biscuits are on offer prior to the morning game drive, a continental buffet or cooked breakfast awaits returning guests, a tasty light lunch is appropriate before the afternoon siesta in the heat of the day, and afternoon tea is served before the evening game drive. A dedicated chef prepares delicious local classics in the interactive kitchen.

Accommodation is in six stylish suites, each with a spacious en-suite bathroom, indoor and outdoor shower, and wood-panelled walls. Glass doors slide back to provide access to wrap-around wooden decks, private plunge pools, and breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. Furnishings have clean lines that combine well with local collectables from the area’s colonial past.

The primary activity at Kwandwe Ecca Lodge is the daily game drives. These take place in specialized vehicles and are led by experienced guides. Guided walks allow guests to experience the terrain at a slower pace. Fishing and canoeing on the Great Fish River are a special treat. Guests also enjoy rhino tracking, archaeological drives, photographic safaris, helicopter flights, and visits to the local communities.

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