Luxury Lodges in the Eastern Cape of South Africa have taken off in recent years as the region has become a destination for a wonderful, authentic safari experience.
The Eastern Cape has a huge number of privately owned game reserves in the province along with the world famous Addo Elephant National Park. Between them all, they offer incredible wildlife viewing in a malaria-free zone with many 5-star luxury lodges to choose from.
Award-winning reserves Kwandwe and Shamwari have welcomed Hollywood celebrities such as John Travolta, heads of state and international sports stars the likes of Tiger Woods.
The Eastern Cape is considered to be a highly biodiverse area with the dominant biome being the thicket but smaller areas of grassland, fynbos and forest also being present. Due to the huge variety of habitats found in the region, a high number of different bird, insect and mammal species have a home in the Eastern Cape. Many of these are actually endemic to this area.
Accessing the Eastern Cape is easy and affordable, either as starting or ending a Garden Route adventure. It merits a standalone visit as well, with numerous flights each day between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth and Port Elizabeth-Johannesburg for connecting international flights.
Gorah Elephant Camp
This exclusive lodge recaptures the romantic mystique of authentic safaris from centuries past. Experience the breathtaking natural world of Africa merged with colonial nostalgia and modern sophistication, to deliver an unforgettably unique 5-star adventure. Gorah is the only private concession and Camp situated in the middle of the famous Addo Elephant National Park, home to the densest population of elephants on earth.
Shamwari Private Game Reserve
Shamwari Game Reserve is one of the most successful private conservation initiatives in Southern Africa coupled with responsible tourism and the most luxurious means of experiencing an African safari adventure. There’s a total of 6 different lodges at Shamwari and between them all, they have something for everyone including kids, honeymoon couples and groups.
Shamwari covers a total of 25,000 hectares of land and is actually the largest privately-owned game reserve in the Eastern Cape. Covering such a huge area of protected land allows for them to have a massive diversity of animals on the property, including the famous big 5, incredible bird species and smaller mammals.
From a conservation perspective, Shamwari has become famous all around the world for its contributions to protecting some of the threatened species found in the area. On the property they have 3 centres that specialize in this, these include the Ian Player Rhino Centre, the Born Free Big Cat Sanctuary and Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre.
Located in South Africa’s scenic Eastern Cape province, Kwandwe includes 22,000 hectares of pristine wilderness and is home to the famous Big Five as well as a diverse number of smaller and more unusual species. The 30km of private Great Fish River frontage is a unique feature of this reserve and attracts many additional species from birds such as the African Fish Eagle and Comerant to fish and frogs. As if the fantastic wildlife viewing isn’t enough Kwandwe also boasts 5 very unique lodges for you to stay in. Three of these are sole use private villas, perfect for families or large groups. The other 2 are intimate and tranquil lodges with individual stand-alone suites which offer privacy during your stay in the bush.