There are plenty of incredible safari holiday destinations located across the continent and country worthy of a visit. So then why should you choose to have your luxury safari holiday at Shamwari Private Game Reserve? We give you a breakdown of just why your safari holiday at Shamwari will be one of the greatest getaways of your life.

Your Ideal African Safari Vacation 2022 Destination

It’s high time you and your loved ones take a well-deserved break somewhere special – especially after the strange and unusual events of the past year. And what vacation destination could be more idyllic than that of the South African (private) game reserve? Leave the city limits and surround yourself with the beauty of nature. Learn more about the wildlife in the region by enjoying outdoor activities or opt for something more relaxing like going for a rejuvenating spa treatment and lazing around by the pool with a cool drink in hand afterward.

Shamwari Private Game Reserve, situated in the picturesque South African Province of the Eastern Cape, offers all of these things and more. Discover the top 10 reasons why you should book your next safari holiday here.

View of landscape

Gorgeous view of the landscape at Shamwari

Shamwari Meets Strict COVID Precautions

When staying at Shamwari, you can rest assured that your health and safety are top priorities. By working closely alongside key travel and health industry players, we’ve come to develop new safety standards to help prevent the possible spread and contraction of COVID at our facilities.

We have risen to the challenge and spent a great deal of time adapting operations at Shamwari to ensure we continue to offer a combination of uncompromised luxury and safety during our guests’ wilderness retreats.

Accommodation at Shamwari adheres strictly to social distancing. Different lodges are spread out across the reserve and most lodgings consist of self-contained, freestanding suites, as well as luxury tents. Some lodgings are even available for exclusive use.

Our COVID safety protocols are based on tourism regulatory bodies’ guidelines, such as those of the World Travel and Tourism Council and the Tourism Business Council of South Africa. All of our safety protocols have also been reviewed by medical healthcare professionals for total peace of mind.

Learn more by downloading our COVID-19 precautions PDF for more information.

The Region’s Natural Beauty

Did you know that you can see five of the seven biomes found in South Africa at Shamwari? This distinguishes Shamwari from many other game reserves. Where else can you go to see such a diverse landscape all in one place? The reserve is also known for being home to one of the greatest concentrations of wildlife found in both the Eastern and Southern Cape, plus makes up part of a natural extension of the gorgeous Garden Route. This means that there are numerous points of interest for you to explore, not just on the reserve, but off it too.

When you’re keen on exploring the area surrounding the reserve, you can stop by destinations filled with natural wonders, such as the Tsitsikamma Forest, Baviaanskloof Wilderness, and Drakensberg Mountains.

View of Drakensberg Mountains

A stunning view of the Drakensberg Mountains.

An Abundance Of African Wildlife

As mentioned, Shamwari is home to five distinct biomes, each attracting its unique inhabitants.

Animal and nature lovers will have a blast trying to check off as many of our reserve’s creatures, both great and small, as they can during their stay. Look forward to seeing the Big Five, along with plenty of ungulates and over 275 different bird species. Even the tiniest creatures, such as the flightless dung beetle, are something to get excited about.

To see the animals in their natural habitat is one of the most special safari holiday moments imaginable and will stay with you for the rest of your life.

Plenty Of Luxurious Lodgings To Choose From

Stay at some of the finest private game reserve lodgings in South Africa – and possibly even in Africa. Shamwari has seven luxury lodgings for guests to choose from, as well as an Explorer Camp for the adventurous. Each of our unique accommodation options has its characteristics about them, which aim to honour the surrounding landscape and the animals that call the area home. All lodges are also far removed from each other, which gives your travel party plenty of privacy.

Whether your African safari holidays are spent with family, friends, or colleagues, there’s a Shamwari luxury accommodation option to suit your specific needs and desires.

View of luxury bedroom

View of the beautiful Riverdene Family Lodge


  • Sindile Safari Lodge is a luxury tented camp that allows guests to retreat into the wild. It consists of nine free-standing tents, and the camp imitates the leopard’s unique environment.
  • Long Lee Manor, the historic manor house on the private game reserve, transports guests into the romance of a bygone era, while still offering all of the modern luxuries you could want or need.
  • Eagles Crag is an exclusive lodge that lies deep within one of Shamwari’s valleys and is surrounded by majestic mountain cliffs, which make it the ideal romantic getaway destination.
  • Bayethe Safari Lodge allows our guests to immerse themselves fully in the tranquillity of nature while still staying in a luxurious tented lodge. It provides the ultimate experience in seclusion and peace.
  • Explorer Camp opens during the summer season in South Africa. Aimed at the more adventurous guest, it comprises a guided walking safari that allows you to have an intimate experience with nature.
  • Riverdene was designed with family safari holidays in mind as this family-oriented lodge offers a variety of activities for children of all ages to take part in and enjoy.
  • Sarili Private Lodge is the ultimate African safari vacation destination for families and friends looking for an exclusive-use accommodation option; admire the sunset over the Bushman’s River from the deck, with refreshing drinks in hand.

Fun For The Whole Family

Are you hesitant to book a safari holiday on a private game reserve because you’re afraid the kids will feel left out and bored the whole time? Don’t be – at Shamwari Private Game Reserve we value our young guests just as much as the adults. Our reserve is located in a malaria-free zone, which means it’s completely safe for all your loved ones.

Why not book your stay at Riverdene Family Lodge? It’ll prove to be a wonderful stay for all members of your travel party. This lodge features a swimming pool, complete with a shallow area for children, plus access to Shamwari’s supervised Kids Club, Kids Adventure Centre, and Toddler Play Area.

Although little ones under the age of four aren’t allowed to attend game drives, there’s still tons of fun to be had! Thanks to our Kids on Safari Adventure Centre, kids of all ages will be able to participate in various outdoor and indoor activities, play with plenty of toys, and join in on just as many games. Simply register your children upon arrival at Riverdene.

Childminding services are also available at an additional fee for when parents would like to enjoy a quiet dinner, guided bush walk, or game drive alone.

Learn more on our Kids on Safari page.

Assisting People Living In Surrounding Rural Communities

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Shamwari began harnessing the power of virtual technology to show off its wildlife, delighting and entertaining housebound audiences worldwide. This initiative has helped to raise funds that go towards relieving the suffering of some of the rural communities surrounding Shamwari in the Eastern Cape.

Because COVID has had a huge impact on the tourism and travel industries, which form the backbone of the region’s economy, plenty of people have been struggling to survive. Our online safaris have made it possible for those unable to vacation at their favourite game reserves to enjoy the wilderness, while also making donations towards much-needed food parcels for those in need, living in the nearby towns of Paterson and Alicedale.

If you would like to donate, please visit our Feeding the Communities page.

A Large Focus On Responsible Conservation Practices

Shamwari has come a long way in the last 30 years. The area which had historically been teeming with wildlife, found itself decimated by early settlers and hunters in the area. Our dedicated wildlife department’s staff has worked tirelessly for over two decades to return degraded old farmland into the healthy, rehabilitated game reserve grounds it is today. The once devastated land is now, once again, a fully-functional ecosystem.

Conservation, however, is a never-ending process. The wildlife department continues to look into ways we can enhance, grow and improve the area’s ecology and the land of the Eastern Cape.

Part of our conservation work is running the Born Free Big Cat Sanctuary and Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre on the reserve. Our Born Free Big Cat Sanctuary aims to educate people about the unfortunate circumstances of wild cats who are held captive in confined and impoverished environments across the globe. At the Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, Shamwari runs a fully registered veterinary care establishment that treats orphaned, abandoned, and young animals in need.

Entrance to both conservation/rehabilitation establishments is free and included in your stay, although donations are always appreciated.

Incredible Bush Walks And Game Drives

When you think of ‘safari vacation, Africa’, your mind is bound to go to exhilarating game drives and bush walks through the unspoiled African wilderness. At Shamwari Private Game Reserve, we don’t disappoint when it comes to offering our guests the opportunity to get up close to nature.

Two game drives are offered to guests daily and take place around sunrise and sunset, the times when the wildlife is most active. Game drives are led by our knowledgeable guides and rangers, so you can expect to leave your drive with a newfound appreciation and insight into the famous South African landscape and all the creatures that call it home.

All our game-viewing vehicles are comfortable and open, ensuring you get to enjoy panoramic views of the Big Five, surrounding landscape, and more. Coffee and sundowner stops are included on the sunrise and sunset drives respectively.

Guests feeling especially adventurous should opt to attend a professionally guided bush walk, which gives you a completely fresh perspective of the fauna and flora of the region. See animal tracks, birds, and dung up close while learning about the area’s rich history.

Visit our Safari Game Drives page for further details on game viewing opportunities.

View of Giraffes

An up-close view of a giraffe tending to her calf.

Traditional South African Food

You and your travel party will never go hungry while staying on this private game reserve. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, plus snacks are readily available throughout your holiday, in the lodging of your choice.

Enjoy a cup of coffee or tea and some snacks before departing on your morning game drive. When you get back to your lodge afterward, muesli, yoghurt, and fresh fruits are also available for any guests who skipped an early breakfast. Made-to-order breakfasts are available as well and range from yummy flapjacks to a full African breakfast.

Lunch and high tea are other culinary experiences to look forward to. Upon arriving back from your sunset game drive, it will be time for dinner, which may consist of a traditional, South African braai, à la carte, or even both, depending on how long you stay.

Close up of food

A delicious close-up of dessert.

Some Of The Friendliest And Most Attentive Staff

Shamwari is the Shona expression for the word ‘friend’ and that’s exactly how you’ll end up feeling by the time you leave your African safari holidays spent at our private game reserve. We’ll welcome you to South Africa and the Eastern Cape with our famous Shamwari hospitality.

Whatever you could desire during your stay, our friendly and attentive staff will go out of their way to make it happen. Simply request it and we’ll go above and beyond to make it a reality. Whether it’s the use of a private game viewing vehicle during your stay, attending to your special dietary requirements, or something else entirely, a stay at Shamwari will be an African safari holiday for the books.

What Are You Waiting For? Book Your Stay At Shamwari In South Africa’s Splendid Eastern Cape Province Today

From the hospitality to the game viewing opportunities, the luxurious accommodation options, and everything in-between, Shamwari is a private game reserve without equal. Book your stay in the lodging of your choice today and start looking forward to your next African safari holiday now.

You can book your stay directly or contact the Shamwari reservations helpdesk to check about availability.

We can’t wait to hear from you and host you on one of the greatest safari holidays of your life.