Ask any past Shamwari guest about their experience and they are sure to tell you that it was one of the top safari trips they’ve ever had. Read on to discover why Shawmari is famous for its safaris, accommodation and more.
Why Shamwari Is Considered One of the Best Private Game Reserves in South Africa
“In recent decades, a number of malaria-free private game reserves have popped up all over the Eastern Cape, rehabilitating a wide variety of big game that had previously been eradicated from this region by hunting and heavy-farming. Shamwari has been around longer than most and remains the undisputed top of the pile as far as I am concerned.” – Christopher Clark, SafariBookings
If you want to enjoy a Big 5 safari in South Africa, then look no further than Shamwari Private Game Reserve. Situated in the heart of the picturesque Eastern Cape Province, this is the safari destination to visit. Guests are given the opportunity to coexist in harmony with nature. Diverse plant and wildlife are abundant throughout the grounds and guests are treated to exciting sights and scenery every day of their stay.
One of the most impressive features of the reserve is that you can find five of South Africa’s seven biomes within its boarders. This is why Shamwari can not only sustain a varied collection of fauna and flora but see them thrive.
The Albany Thicket is the area’s dominant vegetation type and is home to animals like elephants, kudus, monkeys, black rhinos and bushbucks. Smaller creatures of interest native to the region include the Addo flightless dung beetle and Albany adder. Spike thorn trees and spekboom make up some of this biome’s plant life.
For those looking to experience a South African safari unlike any other, Shamwari is the destination to go. Guests travel from far and wide to see South African wildlife staples, including the Big Five.
A Private Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape With an Ongoing Commitment Towards Conservation and Rehabilitation
“All in all we can’t fault any aspect of Shamwari. Their dedication to conservation and preservation of wildlife in an ethical way is what makes this a [truly] special reserve. We had the trip of a lifetime and never wanted to leave this magical place or our ‘Shamwari family.’ We hope to return as soon as possible and will be telling everyone we can about Shamwari in the meantime!!!” – Elaine and Megan, Tripadvisor
Shamwari’s story begins 31 years ago with the purchase of a 1 200-hectare farm. Not long afterwards, a combination of financial difficulties and drought led to numerous neighbouring farms going up for sale. The bordering farmlands were also acquired and the property grew to 7 000 hectares.
Ever since then, Shamwari has been committed to restoring the region’s fauna and flora population by eradicating alien plant life and creating an environment wherein nature can prosper. Due to our dedication to conservation, Shamwari has officially been awarded the status of Protected Environment.
Our private reserve is home to two distinct rehabilitation and education facilities. The land, as well as the buildings within Shamwari’s borders, have been restored to their former glory and now cover 25 000 hectares. Guests can take in the breath-taking sights of the province’s flourishing fauna and flora once more.
Be sure to visit the Shamwari conservation page for more information on our rehabilitation and conservation efforts.
Shamwari Is One of the Most Densely Populated Game Reserves in the Province
“Our ranger Mino ‘The Indian Ranger’ took us out on three tours, we saw lions, rhinos, buffaloes, elephants along with beautiful giraffes and many other animals and birds in a truly wild setting. We learnt about the animals and the huge efforts the Shamwari Team went to to conserve these beautiful wild animals.” – Max C, Tripadvisor
At Shamwari, we enjoy one of the highest concentrations of wildlife found in both the Eastern and Southern Cape. This means our guests are treated to amazing game viewing and birding opportunities. Our game rangers and guides are usually able to locate various species of interest without much difficulty, allowing guests to catch a glimpse of their favourite animals in their natural habitat.
Our reserve is not only home to the members of the Big Five but to plenty of other fascinating creatures that call the African continent home. This includes over 275 unique bird species.
Attend a Shamwari Guided Bush Walk or Game Drive to Experience One of the Best Safari Tours in South Africa
“We have experienced the [E]xplorer [C]amp for 2 days with both game drives and game walks, it was one of the most amazing experiences of our life! I travel a lot and still, I rarely find myself so fascinated.” – Mathilde Mzns, Google Reviews
Shamwari’s guests get to attend both safari game drives and professionally guided bush walks during their stay. There’s a way for every guest to explore one of South Africa’s most majestic private reserves, no matter how adventurous they’re feeling.
“We had been to Shamwari Game Reserve and joined 3 safaris with ranger Syia, who was a fantastic guide and made all the difference to make [our] trip very [s]pecial! Besides that, all the employees of Shamwari are very polite and generous.” – Anna Rocha, Tripadvisor
Guests at Shamwari get to attend two game drives per day. One trip is held around sunrise and the other around sunset. Game drives are scheduled during these times for a good reason: this is when the animals are most active.
All of our game viewing vehicles are comfortable, as well as open, which makes for incredible panoramic views of the surrounding area. Guests with a specific area of interest are invited to speak to their guide before departure. The designated guide will then do their utmost to include these particular interest along the way.
Guides will be sure to point out wildlife, including the Big 5, during game drives. The exciting thing about a safari game drive at Shamwari is that each trip will stand out for a different reason. Today guests might spot every member of the Big 5, while tomorrow they get to appreciate some of the more ‘low key’ wildlife, such as a herd of zebra, some nesting birds of prey or a Cape cobra.
There’s never a dull moment at the best safari near Port Elizabeth.
“We spent 2 nights at the Explorer [C]amp, which surpassed our expectations in all respects. Our rangers Mino and Dylan were fantastic, incredibly knowledgeable, experienced, and enthusiastic. We had amazing walks and drives with them, highlights being close up experiences with a herd of 40 elephants and a pride of 10 lions on a hunt.” – martin413, Tripadvisor
Guests with a particularly adventurous spirit can opt to attend one of our professionally guided bush walks. During these on-foot safari tours, our rangers will share their deep knowledge of the reserve, along with their personal insights. This wealth of information, accompanied by the magnificent sights and scenes guests get to witness, make every natural encounter a special event.
Our skilled guides draw guests’ attention to numerous points of interest along the way. Get ready to get a closer look at animal dung and tracks found along the way, as well as admire the reserve’s wildlife in an entirely different way.
Those interested in a truly immersive walking safari getaway should opt to book their stay at our Explorer Camp. Here, the focus shifts from game drives to bush walks.
Stay at Some of the Best Safari Lodges in South Africa
“The [m]alaria-free Shamwari Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape has all the ‘bells and whistles’ of a 5-[s]tar [r]eserve; but what really sets them apart is their 6-[s]tar [s]ervice! I was fortunate to have visited Shamwari last week with my entire family of 15 where every need from the youngest (5-year-old) to the oldest (76-year-old) [was] perfectly met.” – Hennie Albertse, Tripadvisor
Shamwari offers guests some of the best safari lodges in South Africa. Seven luxurious accommodation options are spread out across the reserve, along with the aforementioned Explorer Camp. Each lodging has a distinct essence and energy.
Due to COVID, we have scaled down the number of safari lodges guests can stay at for the time being. This decision was made with the health and safety of both our guests and staff in mind.
Long Lee Manor: Experience Gracious Living Inspired by Nature
If you’ve always wanted to stay in the historic manor house of a private reserve in South Africa, then this is the safari lodging for you. Long Lee Manor overlooks the reserve’s gorgeous plains, where gentle giants roam.
It’s the perfect blend of old meets new, with its Edwardian-style suites and modern rim-flow pool. From the shared facilities to the private, in-room amenities, Long Lee Manor is fully equipped with everything that will ensure a memorable stay.
Visit the Long Lee Manor page to learn more about this exquisite safari accommodation option.
Sarili Private Lodge: Indulge in Contemporary Comfort Inspired by Nature
Guests who stay at this exclusive oasis are treated to views of both the Bushman’s River and grassy plains. The combination of modern interiors and elegant amenities means that comfort can be found around every corner.
This safari lodge is ideal for guests looking to experience an exclusive-use wilderness retreat with family and friends.
Learn more about this incredible accommodation option on the Sarili Private Lodge page.
Sindile: Enjoy Tranquility Inspired by Nature
Newly built in 2019, our latest luxury tented camp offers a grand getaway destination, hidden deep within the veld. Each of Sindile’s luxury tents is elevated above the encircling bush, which provides guests with some of Africa’s most striking views – unspoilt by light pollution or other man-made constructions.
Sindile is designed to be a harmonious and intimate escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. To learn more about this exclusive safari lodge, visit the Sindile page.
At Which of the Safari Lodges in the Reserve Will You Choose to Stay?
When you ask around about or do a quick online search for the ‘best safari in Eastern Cape’, Shamwari is bound to show up amongst the top private game reserve options. To make a reservation, please get in touch with the Shamwari Reservations Department or book directly via NightsBridge.
For a top safari in South Africa, come to Shamwari Private Game Reserve.