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Shamwari Game Reserve

Shamwari Game Reserve

Shamwari Game Reserve is set in over 50,000 acres of verdant bush along the Bushman’s River. The reserve is about half way between Port Elizabeth and Grahamstown in the South Africa’s Eastern Cape region. This area is 1820 settler country, and it is here that the Frontier Wars between the local Xhosa peoples and the white settlers took place. Shamwari is a malaria-free game reserve as well as “Big 5” game viewing territory.

Shamwari is renowned for its conservation efforts. They revolves around the management, development, and rehabilitation of the environment to create a sustainable ecosystem. Shamwari’s conservation department has a highly effective unit consisting of a wildlife manager, ecologist, education unit, and anti-poaching unit. To ensure the lasting sustainability of the reserve as an ecosystem rich in biodiversity, the ecology department strives to protect and, where necessary, to improve the environment. The wildlife department has received the Global Nature Fund Award for Best Conservation Practice, and Dr Johan Joubert, Shamwari's wildlife manager, was voted one of South Africa's top ten conservationists as awarded by the Endangered Wildlife Trust. Furthermore, in partnership with actress/conservationist Virginia McKenna and her Born Free Foundation, Shamwari designed the Conservation and Education Centre, which encompasses a museum and educational facility with the goal of creating awareness of the horrific way in which wildlife is exploited in captivity around the world.

Normally, modern Land Rovers that have been converted into open viewing vehicles take visitors on morning and evening game drives. But closed vehicles are used when venturing through the areas where lions roam. Armed rangers take guests on guided walking safaris in search of rare animals. Often, these hikes are the highlight of an African tour.

Shamwari recently designated 16% of their land, over 7,500 acres, as a “wilderness area,” and in this area they are offering a four-day wilderness trail program. By definition, wilderness areas are large tracts of unmodified or slightly modified land and/or sea which retains its natural character is managed so as to preserve its natural condition. On these new “wilderness trail” programs, two nights are spent in the bush, while the first and last nights are spent in the base camp. Each trail is limited to just eight participants.

Shamwari Game Reserve offers luxury accommodation in seven different lodges all of which are five-star. These lodges aim to provide each visitor with the “safari of a lifetime” and assign a personal game ranger to groups of six guests. Both the game ranger and the lodge manager will design daily programs to suit guest needs.

Built in 1910, Long Lee Manor is a restored Edwardian manor house built. The house overlooks a waterhole and has two pools, lounge, spa, and gym. Its fifteen rooms and suites feature air conditioning, television, telephone, tea and coffee facilities, and en-suite bathroom. Riverdene Lodge is a family friendly colonial-style lodge with nine rooms offering air conditioning, television, telephone, small lounge area, en-suite bathroom, and private patio leading out to the landscaped gardens.

Bayethe Tented Lodge has twelve tents each with air conditioning, en-suite bathroom, private outdoor plunge pool, and private viewing deck. Premier tents have a fireplace, television, and hammocks. Bushmans River Lodge is a Victorian homestead with four luxurious bedrooms. Each bedroom has air conditioning, television, telephone, and tea and coffee facilities. Lobengula Lodge is a classic, tranquil, and ethical African lodge set deep in the valley bushveld. Its six thatched suites have air conditioning, television, telephone, indoor and outdoor shower, min-bar, and tea and coffee facilities.

Eagles Crag offers nine luxurious rooms with contemporary African design. Each room has an en-suite bathroom, indoor and outdoor shower, wall-to-wall glass doors, and private plunge pool and deck with stunning cliff side views. Sarili Lodge’s thatched villa is exclusively for families, encompassing five king size and twin bedrooms that feature air conditioning, telephone, mini-bar, en-suite bathroom, tea and coffee facilities, and private balcony or terrace.

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