When you think of a game reserve, it conjures so many images of wild animals, jeeps, safaris and a landscape as vast as the eye can see.
But when you step foot into Shamwari Game Reserve, all this is true along with the intense love and passion of the workers and volunteers who show pride for the land, makes you realise how precious and important this reserve is.
Shamwari is extremely popular and this is due to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre that protects and rehabilitates many of our wildlife friends including baby elephants, rhinos and giraffes. Sooooo cute.
The excitement builds as you fly into Port Elizabeth to meet your transfer driver who will take you to the Game Reserve. In under 90 minutes and through rough terrain, you jump off the transfer van and into the Shamwari jeep. Here is where your adventure begins.
To fatham the size of this reserve is impossible but they estimate it to be over 45,000 acres with the Big 5 animals roaming around the land.
WHERE TO STAY
If you want luxury then look no further than the breath taking Eagles Crag Lodge.
If the views don’t captivate you then your room will tick all your boxes. The property offers game drives, walking safari’s, a visit to the animal rehabilitation centre and Born Free Big Cat Sanctuary.
So much choice today but I fell in love with the Lobengula Lodge. It’s quite removes and boasts only 6 suites so you must book in advance as this place is a gem. The team that run the lodge are insightful, hillarious and ensure your stay is one to remember. With a stunning communal inground pool, cocktail bar, fitness room, relaxation retreat and the fact that the entire perimerter has an electric fence, allows you to sleep well at night and to walk the area safely. Some rooms even have their own pludge pool and balcony with remarkable views.
WHAT TO EXPECT
You are pretty much guaranteed to see the wild elephants and depending on the time of year you visit, they will have babies that add that extra cuteness to the trip.
If your ranger is keen on an adventure, you may be asked to get out of the jeep and walk into the bushes to find yourself surrounded by the local Giraffes. This is an experience not to be missed. They even peer down at you to check you out. Amazing.
From watching Lions to following the trail of a cheetah, you are always seeing some type of animal through the trek and learning about the history of the land. The great thing is, the guides are so experienced they can answer any questions including the exact population of South Africa and who our prime minister is.
WILDLIFE REHABILITION CENTRE
The highlight of the day is the animal reserve. This place get’s you involved and you suddendly learn about the work of Julie Ward and how curcial this place is in protecting the animals while educating travellers. Known for the scientific rehabilitation and conservation work, you can’t help but want to be invovled so take plenty of pictures and post on social media to help raise awareness.
Phase one is in play with the new private dining pods that are elevated above the forest canopy with the lodges being refurbished is estimated to cost US$25 million.
The dining experiences have just tipped to another level as you can now gain these kind of views of the divine landscape in the comfort of your Pod.
To book your South African experience, please contact your local Travel Agent who have access to some spectacular rates and will know the best time to visit the reserve.
For more information visit www.southafrica.net/au/en/travel