Eastern Cape safaris
Did you know?
Kwandwe means 'Place of the Blue Crane' in isiXhosa. The Blue Crane is South Africa’s national bird.
The Kruger National Park and the Lowveld region are the traditional home of Big 5 safaris, but now there’s also a choice of malaria-free Eastern Cape safaris.
Choose between a national park, such as the Addo Elephant National Park, or a host of private game reserves.
It seems hard to believe that the fate of the Addo elephants once hung by a thread. Intensive hunting of the 'pests', as they were known, in the early 20th century almost annihilated them. Thanks to committed conservationists, however, the elephants were saved and are now in abundance, along with black rhino, kudu, eland, bushbuck and other antelopes. Keep your eye out for the rare flightless dung beetle – an Addo Elephant National Park special. Signs warn you not to drive over them.
Shamwari Game Reserve, a favourite haunt of international celebs, is the largest private reserve in the Eastern Cape. It has the Big 5, a couple of Born Free centres where rescued animals from all over the world are rehabilitated, and lots of luxury accommodation.
Kwandwe Game Reserve, just 20 minutes from Grahamstown, covers 22 000 hectares (54 000 acres) of rolling plains, high hills and rocky slopes. Look out for lion, white and black rhino, buffalo, elephant and cheetah.
Pumba Private Game Reserve, also near Grahamstown, is home to 1 of the only 2 free-ranging populations of white lion in southern Africa. At the moment 1 pure white male and 1 white lioness hunt only part of the five biomes of the reserve because their gene pool must remain pure and not mix with their tawny cousins. In 2011 they produced 2 white cubs – a remarkable breeding achievement.
These are but a few of the many Eastern Cape safari options on offer.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Shamwari Game Reserve
Tel: +27 (0) 42 203 1111
Kwandwe Private Game Reserve
Tel: +27 (0) 46 622 7897
Pumba Private Game Reserve
Tel: +27 (0) 46 603 2000