Shamwari Private Game Reserve | Safari Lodges | Jumbari Family Safaris
2021 Africa bucket list for the eco-conscious family
Dec 14, 2020

Big 5 safaris at Shamwari Private Game Reserve

Our General Manager of Marketing and Product, Lisa Nel, traveled to Shamwari Private Game Reserve in Eastern Cape, South Africa for a Big Five safari experience. As one the country’s malaria-free safari destinations, Shamwari is the perfect safari getaway for families traveling to South Africa. 

See our South Africa family safari trips here.

About Shamwari Private Game Reserve

 

Guided walking safari at Shamwari

Shamwari Private Game Reserve boasts 25,000 hectares of pristine wilderness and is home to Africa’s Big 5 – lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo. Opened in 1992, the private reserve features seven 5-star lodges as well as an Explorer Camp and three education and rehabilitation facilities. Your safari experience begins on arrival at the Shamwari gates and game sightings are in abundance. On my first game drive at Shamwari we encountered a herd of elephants about 200 meters from the lodge – I knew I was in for an incredible safari experience.

Getting to Shamwari Private Game Reserve

 

 

Shamwari Private Game Reserve is located in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province. It is easily accessible by short-haul flight into Port Elizabeth Airport from OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, Cape Town International Airport and King Shaka International Airport in Durban. 

An alternative and more environmentally conscious option is to complete a Garden Route road trip at Shamwari Private Game Reserve, a short and scenic 70km/43 miles drive from Port Elizabeth. 

We suggest spending one or two nights in Port Elizabeth before or after your safari experience, at Singa Lodge or Boardwalk Hotel, giving you time to explore this vibrant city and its many beaches.

What wildlife to expect

 

Elephant sighting on a game drive at Shamwari

The reserve is home to eight biomes that host a variety of fauna and flora. During our stay, we were able to see all of the Big 5 animals, as well as a herd of 24 giraffes. A highlight of my wildlife experience and Shamwari was spotting two Cheetahs. Some of the more rare wildlife found on the reserve include Aardvark, Honey Badger, Serval Cat and Waterbuck.

Properties on Shamwari Private Game Reserve

Eagles Crag

 

Main lodge at Eagles Crag
  • 9 sophisticated Junior Suites with private heated plunge pools
  • Features fitness centre, spa and gift boutique
  • Wi-Fi is available on the property 
  • Main lodge features upstairs lounge with bar, fireplace and open deck with aerial pods
  • No children under 12

Sindile

 

Main lodge overlooking the wilderness at Sindile lodge
  • 9 luxury free-standing tents elevated above the bush with private heated plunge pool
  • Features spa, boma, firepit, bar, lounge and gift boutique
  • Wi-Fi is available on the property 
  • No children under 16 years old

Bayethe Tented Lodge

 

Exterior of Bayethe Tented Lodge
  • 12 tented suites with in-room fireplace and private heated plunge pool
  • Features spa, gift boutique, in-and outdoor dining facilities
  • Wi-Fi is available on the property 
  • No children under 12 years old

Long Lee Manor

 

Swimming pool area at Long Lee Manor
  • 17 luxury suites and 1 two bedroom suite with private deck
  • Main lodge features large rim-flow swimming pool 
  • Relaxation retreat where guests can enjoy spa treatments
  • Features fitness centre, in-and outdoor dining facilities, boma overlooking the waterhole and gift boutique. 
  • Wi-Fi is available on the property

Riverdene Lodge

 

Kids Adventure Centre at Riverdene Lodge
  • Child-friendly lodge 
  • 9 inter-leading luxury rooms
  • Main lodge features a swimming pool with shallow area for children
  • Features in-and outdoor dining facilities, boma overlooking the river and gift boutique. 
  • Wi-Fi is available on the property 
  • Supervised Kids Club, Toddler Play Area and Kids Adventure Centre

Lobengula

 

Fire pit at Lonbengula
  • 6 suites  with private patio or deck with plunge pool
  • Main lodge features a swimming pool, spa and sauna and fitness room 
  • Wi-Fi is available on the property 
  • No children under 12 years old

Sarili Private Lodge

 

Lounge area at the exclusive-use Sarili Private Lodge
  • 5 bedroom exclusive use safari lodge 
  • Tailor-made experience with personal staff including House Manager, Private Chef and Dedicated Ranger
  • In-room spa treatments are available
  • Features pool with shallow area for children
  • Minimum 2 night stay
  • Wi-Fi is available on the property

Explorer Camp

 

Tented suite at Shamwari Explorer Camp
  • For the adventurous traveler the Explorer Camp consists of a 3 night trail walking safari 
  • 3 tents with viewing deck
  • Plunge pool available
  • Ages between 16 and 65 years old 
  • Campfire dining experience

Our tips on staying at Shamwari Private Game Reserve:

 

Kids on safari at Shamwari
  • The lodges at Shamwari Private Game Reserve are ideal for travelers seeking a luxury safari experience.
  • If you are between the age of 16 and 65, I recommend booking a guided bush walk where you can experience up-close encounters with South Africa’s fauna and flora and a leisurely pace.
  • If you are interested in a classic safari experience, I recommend staying at Bayethe Tented Lodge. The property also boasts spectacular views of the African bush. 
  • If you are traveling with children, I recommend staying at Riverdene Lodge or the exclusive-use Sarili Private Lodge.

 

Lions at the Born Free Big Cat Sanctuary
  • I highly recommend visiting the reserve’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre and the Born Free Big Cat Sanctuary where you can learn more about wildlife conservation.
  • Riverdene Lodge offers a Kids on Safari program. The lodge features an Adventure Centre where children can learn about wildlife conservation and participate in exciting activities. Activities include pizza making, cookie decoration, kids’ library, zip-line, rock climbing walls, tree houses and an adventure slide.

 

Photography safari vehicles at Shamwari

Our safari experience at Shamwari would not have been what it was without the people we met along the way. I would like to thank our Game Ranger Minolan who was passionate about the reserve and took great care of us over the 3 days that we were there. 


If you are interested in experiencing a safari at Shamwari Private Game Reserve with Jumbari Family Safari, get in touch with our travel experts who will help curate an itinerary just for you.