“We are passionate about conserving a vanishing way of life and aim to translate this through the ethos of our conservation principles.” Shamwari Game Reserve
Multi-award winning Shamwari Game Reserve is a private reserve located in the Eastern Cape that guarantees visitors an unforgettable indigenous wildlife adventure. Shamwari offers a malaria-free safari experience with abundance of up close wildlife interaction from the safety of the open top jeeps with competent and knowledgeable rangers who are respectful to the animals. The big five roam free, if you are really lucky you might even see a rare sighted leopard, we didn’t but it wasn’t for the lack of trying.
The experience was a once in a lifetime opportunity with game drives across the vast plains from sunrise to sunset. Two daily drives are offered, one in the morning (with a very early wake-up cal) when the animals are most active and and an afternoon expedition where you get to enjoy sunset too. We were lucky to have head ranger Patrick and see four of the five coveted big five as well as lion cubs with their pride on several occasions and witness a cheetah stalking, catching and then losing its newborn pray – see previous post HERE
There’s a choice of six fully inclusive five-star private lodges each with their own unique style of accommodation and one luxury tented explorer camp. We stayed at the secluded Lobengula Lodge in the bushveld that’s inspired by a traditional African kraal (traditional African village). Each of spacious suites offers a king size bed or twins, plenty of storage, a large ensuite bathroom with indoor and outdoor showers and a private terrace (some with plunge pools). The suite was comfortable but could the decor could benefit from a refurb as quite dated. We had daily visits from monkeys and some deer, our friends had a mouse in their room that liked to hide in their clothes and we had elephants just outside the reception building.
Along with the two daily game drives breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner are also included in the rates at Shamwari Lobengula. In addition pre-drive tea, coffee and snacks are provided on the sunrise drives and sundowners served in the reserve for the sunset drives. The menu offered African cuisine paired with local wines. We also enjoyed a posh picnic at one of the sites on the reserve that had its own bar and staff, luckily no animals were encounter when leaving the vehicle or enjoying our food. Rangers join guests for dinner every evening which is a bonus as you get to discuss your drives and interact with fellow guests.
There’s a fitness room, steam and sauna facilities in the relaxation area and spa treatments are also offered, we all had massages (at an additional cost) but they were disappointing. Guests can relax in the African inspired shared lounge with its open fire and TV, free wifi is provided in the lodge and rooms. This was a luxury experience in an intimate resort where your every need is taken care of, the staff are friendly and attentive without being overbearing. Children under 12 are not permitted at this lodge. The games drives exceeded my expectations, again every little detail was well thought out and we felt safe with our (armed) ranger who was not only knowledgeable but also great fun.
Shamwari has been voted the World’s Leading Safari and Game Reserve and Conservation Company for consecutive years. Known as a staunch promoter of nature and tourist conservation in South Africa, Shamwari is also home to two Born-free sanctuaries where we saw leopards in captivity and rescued lions.
The Nitty Gritty
Lobengula Lodge, Shamwari Private Game Reserve, Paterson, 6130, South Africa
Telephone: +27 (0) 42 203 1111
Incredible wildlife drives
Knowledgeable and competent rangers
Authentic African cuisine and wine
No children under 12
The Not so Good…..
Spa treatments were poor
Remote location so you need a car or organise transport
Rooms need some tlc
Read more about South Africa in my previous posts In Pictures | A Postcard From South Africa, Discover South Africa | Cape Town, Tsala Treetop Lodge and In Pictures | A Postcard From Shamwari Game Reserve
The views in this post are all my own based on my experience. Unless otherwise stated all photos © Jo Brett 2017. All rights reserved.