Does it feel as though you haven’t had a proper escape from the realities of everyday life in forever? Have you been feeling restless after months of primarily being stuck at home due to COVID-19? Then it’s high time for you to indulge in a luxurious bush escape to the breathtaking Eastern Cape. Discover why a bush vacation to Shamwari is just the right medicine to heal your tired, restless soul.

All About Bush Vacations at Shamwari Private Game Reserve

Shamwari Private Game Reserve spans 25 000 km2 of restored and rehabilitated wilderness. The grounds are home to a wealth of native fauna and flora and contain six luxurious lodges, each of which has a distinct air about it, as well as an Explorer Camp for our more intrepid guests.

Those who opt to visit the reserve during their great bush escape will undoubtedly have the time of their lives, thanks to the awe-inspiring surroundings, captivating wildlife, 5-star lodgings and genuine South African hospitality. It’ll prove to be an unforgettable holiday in one of the best provinces in the country.

Have a look at our Youtube video for a wonderful overview of the Shamwari experience.

Here follows just some of the reasons why a stay at Shamwari is the perfect cure for what ails you:

View of a misty landscape

A view of the misty landscape at Shamwari


It’s A Bush Vacation Close to Gqeberha (Formerly Port Elizabeth)

Travel can be exhausting, which is why it’s so fortunate that Shamwari is situated under an hour’s drive from Gqeberha via the N2 highway. If you reside in a different province (or country) – don’t worry. Direct flights are available from most of South Africa’s major provinces to the Chief Dawid Stuurman International Airport (formerly the Port Elizabeth International Airport), which is also conveniently located nearby.

Should you opt to fly to Gqeberha, guests can either rent a vehicle at the airport and drive to the reserve themselves or make use of our preferred road transfer service, which is available for an additional fee. Centrally located within the nearby city, the Safari Transfer Company offers transfers to and from Shamwari and is a fully accredited company with all of the necessary liability and insurance in place.

Guests can also request and book charter flights when making their reservation (once again available at an extra cost). Have a look at our road transfer packages here.

Close up view of raptor

Wonderful close-up of a raptor

Experience the Unspoiled Beauty of the Eastern Cape

Surrounding yourself with nature is good for boosting morale, so for a safari experience without equal, you’ll want to book your safari vacation at Shamwari. A great deal of hard work and dedication has gone into – and continues to go into – ensuring that our game and nature reserve is counted amongst the best of the South African game reserves.

Throughout the past 25 years, Shamwari has worked tirelessly to undo the damage done by early farmers and hunters of the region. Today, the land has been returned to its former glory: locally extinct animal species were reintroduced and those that remained were allowed to grow their numbers. Thanks to the continued efforts of the Shamwari Wildlife Department, our private game reserve is home to one of the greatest wildlife concentrations in both the Eastern and Southern Cape.

It’s possible to see all of the members of the Big Five during your safari holiday, as well as plenty of other interesting creatures, such as the flightless dung beetle, red-billed oxpecker, a wide variety of ungulates and more. The South African landscape is a diverse one and at Shamwari, our guests are exposed to five of our country’s seven biomes. This not only makes it one of the most unique game and nature reserves around but also ensures that you get to enjoy a broad spectrum of scenery, all without setting foot off the grounds.

Enjoy an unrivalled bush escape at Shamwari by breathing in the fresh air and appreciating all that nature has to offer.


Close up shot of a beetle

A close-up shot of a beetle

Enjoy Immaculate Accommodation in the Bush

Nothing helps you to unwind quite like treating yourself (and your loved ones) to a stay at a plush lodge. No matter who you’re escaping the city with – family, friends or even colleagues – Shamwari’s lavishly appointed game lodges will ensure all of you have a restful and relaxing stay.

Each of our accommodation options has been designed with careful consideration for the surrounding environment, as well as the wildlife that inhabits it. This has resulted in tasteful designs that respect and are inspired by nature.

We highly recommend making your holiday escape to either the exclusive-use Sarili Private Lodge or the historic Long Lee Manor.

View from Sindile Tented Lodge

Majestic view from Sindile Tented Lodge

Your Comfort and COVID-19

Taking your well-being, as well as that of our staff into consideration, we have temporarily ceased activity at some of our fine lodgings as a COVID-19 precaution. These lodgings are

  • The Explorer Camp
  • Riverdene
  • Bayethe
  • Eagles Crag
  • Sindile

Please be sure to check in with the Shamwari Reservations Department frequently for updates on our luxurious lodges.

Sarili Private Lodge

Those who wish to escape not only the confines of their home and the city but other people as well should opt to make their reservation at Sarili Private Lodge. It offers incredible views over the nearby Bushman’s River, as well as Shamwari’s grassy plains.

With five luxury rooms, sleeping two guests each, this exclusive-use lodge is perfect for families or friends experiencing a serious case of wanderlust. Its modern interior design and the number of exclusive features ensure that your travel party’s wants and needs are exceeded throughout your stay. A supremely comfortable nature escape awaits you.

View of a room at Sarili Private Lodge

Beautiful view of a room at Sarili Private Lodge

Long Lee Manor

Shamwari’s historic manor house offers guests a bush escape they won’t soon forget. During a stay at Long Lee Manor, you’re bound to experience the romance of a bygone era, while still getting to enjoy all of the modern luxuries you’ve come to expect from such a grand lodging.

The elegant manor house boasts incredible views of the plains, a large rim-flow swimming pool and Edwardian-style suites, amongst other features. Each of Long Lee Manor’s 17 luxury rooms can sleep up to two adults. A family suite with two bedrooms is also available, should you be travelling with your little ones.

Get ready to immerse yourself in nature and appreciate the finer things during your stay at Long Lee Manor.

View of the pool at Long Lee Manor

The view of the pool at Long Lee Manor

A Host of Activities to Add to the List of ‘Things to Look Forward To’

While on a bush escape to Shamwari, you’ll be able to relax, while never getting bored. This is true for guests of all ages.

Shamwari offers a host of experiences for guests to enjoy, including safari game drives and bush walks, bird watching and a dedicated Kids on Safari Programme.

Guided Game Drives and Bush Walks

Get closer to nature during a safari experience the likes of which you’ve never had before. Shamwari’s rangers and guides are highly skilled, making for special encounters with the native wildlife during every game drive and bush walk you go on.

Our safari game drives take place twice daily: once in the morning and again in the afternoon. Both drives include a refreshment stop (for coffee/tea and sundowners respectively). Shamwari’s professionally guided bush walks are available upon request, at the time of booking.

View of wildlife at Shamwari

View of wildlife at Shamwari

Bird Watching

Avid bird watchers will bristle with excitement at the mere thought of one of our bush breaks, as more than 275 distinct bird species call the reserve home. Whether it’s fearsome birds of prey you’re interested in or colourful feathered friends, you’re bound to spot plenty in this tranquil region of the Eastern Cape.

Kids on Safari Programme

Your kids will have a blast with our Kids on Safari Programme. It’ll keep your little ones entertained, while also educating them on the value of partaking in nature conservation.

We also offer a childminding service (at an additional cost), for when the adults in your party are looking to indulge in a spa session or spend some quiet time by the pool. At Shamwari, everyone will end up enjoying their escape to the bush.

Have a look at our Youtube video below and realize that you simply cannot leave your little one’s behind!

View of a child captured on safari

View of a child captured on safari

Highlights of a Stay At Shamwari

Bush vacations and getaways hold many benefits. It’s not just about the change of scenery and the lowering of stress levels but also about experiencing the extraordinary with your loved ones beside you. You will undoubtedly enjoy plenty of memorable moments throughout your Shamwari bush escape.

Highlights include:

  • Staying in a 5-star game lodge, where you are treated like royalty.
  • Spectacular game viewing opportunities, either on foot or per vehicle.
  • Going on multiple game drives throughout your stay, where each is unique and stands out for a different reason.
  • Visits to our Born Free Big Cat Sanctuary and Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre.
  • Feasting on fresh, lovingly prepared dishes every breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Experiencing the best of South African hospitality.
  • Entrusting the kids to a qualified childminder to enjoy a spa treatment at one of our Relaxation Retreats or spend some quality time with your significant other.
  • Escaping the confines of the city and taking in the vast beauty of the Eastern Cape.
  • Growing closer to nature and gaining a newfound appreciation for our country’s native wildlife.
  • Leaving for home feeling lighter and far less restless than you have in a long time
View of a room at Riverdene Family Lodge

Gorgeous view of a room at Riverdene Family Lodge

Our Daily Programme

You may be wondering what the daily schedule of a bush escape at Shamwari looks like. The following acts as a guideline for what you can come to expect during the summer and winter months respectively:

Summer Bush Break Schedule (September-April)

  • 05:00 – Guests receive their wake-up calls
  • 05:30 – Pre-morning game drive refreshments are served
  • 06:00 – Guests set off on their morning game drive
  • 09:00 – Guests return from their morning game drive
  • 09:30 – Breakfast is served
  • 11:00 – Check-out time
  • 12:30 – Lunch is served
  • 13:00 – Check-in time
  • 15:30 – Tea time
  • 16:00 – Guests set off on their afternoon game drive
  • 19:00 – Guests return from their afternoon game drive
  • 20:00 – Dinner is served

Winter Bush Break Schedule (May-August)

  • 06:30 – Guests receive their wake-up calls
  • 07:00 – Pre-morning game drive refreshments are served
  • 07:30 – Guests set off on their morning game drive
  • 10:30 – Guests return from their morning game drive
  • (10:00) – Brunch time until 14:00
  • 11:00 – Check-out time
  • 13:00 – Check-in time
  • 14:30 – Tea time
  • 15:00 – Guests set off on their afternoon game drive
  • 18:00 – Guests return from their afternoon game drive
  • 19:30 – Dinner is served

Reserve Your Bush Escape to the Eastern Cape

If you’re a South African national looking for an opportunity to escape your home for a well-deserved break, then there’s no better time than now. Shamwari is running a few South African Residents Specials, at select lodgings including Long Lee Manor and Sarili Private Lodge, for a very limited time only. Guests are urged to make their reservations promptly, as these special accommodation offers are subject to availability.

Make the best decision for your and your loved ones’ well-being by booking your escape with Shamwari today. We can’t wait to help bring peace to your mind, body and soul.