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Shamwari Private Game Reserve is situated in the Eastern Cape of South Africa, an area that was historically rich in wildlife.

Many species were eradicated by means of hunting or farming practices. During the past 25 years, pristine and agricultural land was consolidated and rehabilitated. Remaining wild animal species were allowed to increase in numbers and species locally extinct were reintroduced.

Shamwari Wildlife Department

It has been a privileged challenge for the wildlife department and its staff to develop degraded old farms into what is today Shamwari Private Game Reserve. An area historically rich in wildlife which was decimated by early hunters and settlers, has over the past two decades been developed into a functioning ecosystem.

The acquisition of land, the arrival of the first animals, the reintroduction of the mega-herbivores and the return of the first large predators in the Eastern Cape since their eradication over a century ago, are some of the highlights for Shamwari.

However, the process is never complete, and the Wildlife Department is continuously looking for innovations to improve, grow and enhance the ecology, the land and the Eastern Cape.

Responsible management and long-term ecological sustainability are a priority

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Experienced staff &
Anti- poaching units

Experienced veterinary staff, qualified ecologists and some of the most advanced anti-poaching units in the country, are responsible for the management of the Shamwari ecosystem.

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Vegetation & Animal Monitoring

Intensive vegetation monitoring is complemented with sophisticated monitoring of threatened animal species such as leopard, black rhino and brown hyena.

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Animal translocation and husbandry facilities

The Shamwari Wildlife Department is well-equipped with animal translocation and husbandry facilities. This ensures successful and humane transfers of excess animals to other reserves, to preserve their genetic biodiversity.


Shamwari is rich in various vegetation types that are suitable for an interesting variety of animal species. Large numbers of ungulates sustain a healthy population of lion, cheetah and the illusive leopard. Grasslands are home to the white rhino and the subtropical thicket provides browsing for the elephant and black rhino. Hippos are found in the riverine habitat.

The reintroduced red billed ox-pecker is a common site on buffalos, rhinos and giraffes. Additionally, the flightless dung beetle, which is unique to the Eastern Cape, is another conservation success story.

Conservation & Community

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Shamwari Conservation Experience

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Born Free Big Cat Sanctuaries

In collaboration with the Born Free Foundation, the Big Cat Rescue and Education Centres aim to draw attention to the plight of wild cats, confined in impoverished, captive environments throughout the world.

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Shamwari Conservation Experience offers volunteers, career break, gap and adventure travel guests the opportunity to partake in several behind the scene wildlife and conservation management projects. Participation also includes champion of locally impoverished communities, which forms part of a greater social responsibility drive to uplift and empower those living in and around Shamwari Private Game Reserve.

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The ethos of our wildlife management is:

Responsible Conservation to Ensure Sustainability – Financially, Ecologically as well as Socially.

Anti Poaching unit

Out of a love for our animals and necessity Shamwari has developed an effective
anti-poaching unit over the years. The unit follows a pro-active approach through intelligence gathering to prevent any incidents while simultaneously actively protecting the fauna and flora of the reserve through a dedicated and passionate team.