Situated at the heart of the malaria-free Eastern Cape province, Kwandwe is within easy reach of South Africa’s spectacular coastline and provides the perfect beginning or ending to a journey along the famed Garden Route. The wide open spaces and tranquil scenery belie the area's turbulent history, and relics of the area's rich historical and cultural legacy can be found both on the reserve and nearby. Kwandwe itself consists of 22 000 hectares (54 400 acres) of a hauntingly beautiful but previously neglected part of the African continent where the area’s natural wildlife has been painstakingly restored.
A conservation victory, Kwandwe is home to thousands of animals, including lion, black and white rhino, buffalo, elephant and cheetah, as well as Africa’s famous Big Five. Meaning “Place of the Blue Crane” in Xhosa, Kwandwe is a haven for a population of these rare, vulnerable birds (South Africa’s national bird). The Reserve also provides sanctuary for other threatened species, such as the Knysna woodpecker, black wildebeest, martial eagle, serval and brown hyena, critically endangered species such as the crowned eagle and black rhino and other vulnerable species such as the cheetah, black footed cat, elephant, lion, springhare and the black harrier. A biological melting pot of various vegetation types, the Reserve boasts a spectacular display of winter flowering aloes from June to August. Kwandwe flanks both the north and south banks of the Great Fish River, which meanders for 30 km (19 miles) through this pristine, private wilderness.
Luxury Hotel Accommodation
Kwandwe Ecca Lodge - A safari lodge with an attitude, Kwandwe’s Ecca Lodge is one of a kind. Pagoda-style corrugated iron roofs playfully top wooden panelled walls interspersed with mesh-covered stone gabions. Minimalist chic flows from spacious living areas in the guest suites to bedroom and bathroom.
Kwandwe Great Fish River Lodge - Kwandwe’s Great Fish River Lodge lies along the lush banks of the Great Fish River, studded with euphorbia and aloe. Thatched roofs soar above guest areas and expansive viewing decks welcome in the vastness of Africa.
Kwandwe Melton Manor - A sole-use safari villa for larger families or groups, Kwandwe’s Melton Manor’s four ensuite bedrooms look out onto sweeping views of the afromontane forests. This contemporary farmhouse creates humorous warmth, with handmade clay chandeliers and Nguni cow hides that mingle comfortably with painted vintage ball and claw armoires.
Kwandwe Uplands Homestead - Available only for sole use by a group or family of up to six, Kwandwe’s Uplands Homestead is a restored 1905 farmhouse with an Out of Africa character and three spacious ensuite bedrooms with separate balconies. Set in a remote and tranquil valley, Uplands creates authentic frontier comfort with its antiques and memorabilia from centuries past.
Morning, afternoon/evening and night game drives in private open safari vehicle, guided bush walks, bush sundowners and picnics on the Reserve, fishing, rhino capture and research, archaeological, battlefield and historical tours to Grahamstown and surroundings. Bush breakfasts/dinners. Scenic coastal flights and Specialist Safaris - Frontiers at Kwandwe, Carnivore Research at Kwandwe and Photographic Safaris - all at additional cost.
Includes three meals daily. Each suite has air conditioning, room fans, seperate w.c, in-room safes, personal bars, telephones, hairdryers. Laundry included. Childminding, in-room massage at an extra cost.
Kwandwe is a 2-hour drive from Port Elizabeth Airport (chauffeur service available). Kwandwe is also perfect for selfdrive guests due to excellent roads. Kwandwe is easily accessible by private charters into Kwandwe airstrip.