Kwandwe

Eastern Cape, South Africa

The hotel

Surrounded by 54,362 acres of exclusive, malaria-free wilderness, Kwandwe is home to the 'Big Five', as well as a variety of other animals and birds, including the comical aardvark and the endangered blue crane. Steeped in culture, there is plenty to explore, with ancient rock paintings and artefacts in the Valley of the Ancient Voices, one of the area's highlights. Accommodation is extremely comfortable and integrates African and colonial decor. Floor-to-ceiling doors can be folded back to reveal uninterrupted wilderness vistas, and delicious pan-African cuisine can be enjoyed on your own private observation deck or in the candlelit dining room.

Amenities

  • Bar
  • Safari
  • Restaurant

Where is it

Overlooking the lush banks of the Great Fish River, the lodges are set in the beautiful and historically rich Eastern Cape. Nearby Grahamstown is well worth a visit to explore its museums and historical homes. Transfer time from Port Elizabeth: 1 hour 45 minutes.

Hotel information

Kwandwe Private Game Reserve comprises of 2 lodges: Great Fish River Lodge and Ecca Lodge, and 3 sole-use villas: Uplands Homestead, Melton Manor and Fort House. Great Fish River Lodge offers 9 luxurious suites. The en-suite bathrooms, complete with bath, indoor and outdoor showers, offer unmatched views of the landscape.

Full Board includes: all meals, twice daily game-drives in open 4x4 safari vehicles, guided river walking/hiking and canoeing, bush sundowners and birdwatching.

Ecca Lodge offers an innovative, stylish and intimate ambience. The 6 suites are extremely spacious, with generously proportioned living rooms, bedrooms and bathrooms.

Large fireplace with massive stone chimney, glass-fronted sitting and dining areas with breathtaking river views, candlelit dining room and boma. These facilities are at Great Fish River Lodge and Kwandwe have four lodges on 54360 acres. Wellness treatments*. Twice daily game drives. Big Game Walking Safari. Fishing. Campfire cooking*. Rhino tracking*.

A 2-night stay is applicable across all lodges and villas.

* Denotes local charge. 

Rating summary

  • Location Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Sleep Quality Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Rooms Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Service Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Value Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Cleanliness Image of the Tripadvisor rating

Traveller rating

  • Excellent (80)
  • Very good (2)
  • Average (0)
  • Poor (0)
  • Terrible (0)
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Outstanding Experience / Wonderful Trackers and Game Guides / Luxurious

Jan 6, 2020 ADavidPAppletree

Just visited in December (2019) with my extended family / friends - there were 15 of us (10 adults and 5 kids) together across several of the lodges - my immediate family and my sister in law's family (9 of us) stayed in the Fort House which was simply gorgeous / immaculate - apparently it was the owner's home prior to the construction of a much… Read more
Just visited in December (2019) with my extended family / friends - there were 15 of us (10 adults and 5 kids) together across several of the lodges - my immediate family and my sister in law's family (9 of us) stayed in the Fort House which was simply gorgeous / immaculate - apparently it was the owner's home prior to the construction of a much larger home close by - the lodge has several large bedrooms, communal areas for cooking/dining/socializing, a pool and outside sitting areas overlooking a lawn and a small watering hole (smallish due to recent drought conditions) which was visited daily by giraffes, rhinos, baboons, warthogs and many, many birds - we stayed for several days with two game drives per day (early and late in the day) as well as a day-time bush walk with one of the guides (Ivan) - I must say we were extraordinarily, and I mean extraordinarily lucky during our stay, to have multiple sightings of lions (including an entire pride), cheetahs and even the elusive leopards - in fact, we saw several kills (I know, it's a little upsetting, but it's the circle of life an all that) which we hear from our guides (Ivan and Ruan) is almost unheard of - we saw many, many animals including all of the big 5 - also hippos, many antelope varieties and zebras - given the time of year, there were a lot of young / babies as well - food was amazing and was cooked by a chef and his team in the Fort House kitchen (with lots of customization and exceptions for all the kids and some strict diet requirements and allergies) - we also had an outside happy / refreshment hour way out on the preserve to watch the sunset one evening and a large farewell dinner at an outside dining / kitchen location - was really just a tremendous and very comfortable / pleasing bucket-list experience for everyone. Highly recommend Kwandwe and want to definitely highlight our fantastic guides, Ivan and Ruan (and his wife), the chef / cooking / staff and guest care team who bent over backwards for all of us and the long time game trackers that provided us with the chance to see / experience so much in such a short period of time. Thank you, KWANDWE ! Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Amazing experience

Jan 6, 2020 farhannaha Bulli, Australia

Perfect place for a family holiday. Very accommodating of the kids, rooms were perfect for up to 4 ppl. Service was amazing, the staff were most attentive and accommodating. Especially for getting the kids meals ready quickly. The game drives were great, our ranger (Nick) and spotter (sakhi) were great. They adapted according to our family… Read more
Perfect place for a family holiday. Very accommodating of the kids, rooms were perfect for up to 4 ppl. Service was amazing, the staff were most attentive and accommodating. Especially for getting the kids meals ready quickly. The game drives were great, our ranger (Nick) and spotter (sakhi) were great. They adapted according to our family needs, knew when we needed to stop to stretch our legs and have a quick snack. Nic knew when kids were needing something extra to keep them engaged and duly supplied a fast drive with some excitement to lift the spirits! We saw a great variety of animals and the best part was understanding some animal interactions- for example we saw an elephant and rhino face off over food, elephant herd respond to cheetah nearby and so on. Nick explained so much to us and it was great learning for the kids and adults alike. The only negative comment I would have is that the dinner service at ecca lodge was a bit too slow for our kids, who were exhausted after a long day. So sometimes we had to get dinner delivered to our room so we could put kids to bed soon after they ate. But in the scheme of things, it was a minor issue only Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Amazing Family Safari at Kwandwe

Nov 18, 2019 Stella K Cape Town, South Africa

We are a family of 5 and decided to spend a long weekend at Melton Manor with our 3 childre (aged 5,3 and 9 months). We shared the space with another family (friends of ours) and had THE best time. Our ranger was an absolute rockstar with the children - so patient and kind. Melton Manor came with a babysitter for the duration of our stay, so we… Read more
We are a family of 5 and decided to spend a long weekend at Melton Manor with our 3 childre (aged 5,3 and 9 months). We shared the space with another family (friends of ours) and had THE best time. Our ranger was an absolute rockstar with the children - so patient and kind. Melton Manor came with a babysitter for the duration of our stay, so we were able to leave our 9 month old whenever we went on game drives. And our 3 year old decided to stay back quite a bit too. Our 5 year old joined us for nearly every drive because he has 'ranger' in his blood :) The food was delicious and made with love and car. The children were entertained by the wonderful staff. And the space was just wonderful. Such a treat. Thank you Kwandwe for spoiling us and giving us such a wonderful experience. Highly recommend it. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Saved the best to last

Nov 4, 2019 ElizabethBirdee Paphos, Cyprus

I have been travelling in SA with a friend and we have stayed in some beautiful places but Kwandwe is just another level. Every aspect is stunning, we had a lodge with a splash pool, outdoor shower (they have one inside too) large bathroom huge bedroom with a great view. You will see lots of birds, nyala, warthogs and sometimes an elephant outside… Read more
I have been travelling in SA with a friend and we have stayed in some beautiful places but Kwandwe is just another level. Every aspect is stunning, we had a lodge with a splash pool, outdoor shower (they have one inside too) large bathroom huge bedroom with a great view. You will see lots of birds, nyala, warthogs and sometimes an elephant outside your window. The game drives are exciting and the guides and trackers are amazing ours were Nico and Andy. The food is fabulous, if you've never been on safari this is o E of the best and the reserve is stunning. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Totally amazing

Sep 29, 2019 724veenar

We stayed two nights at Ecca Lodge and two nights at Great Fish River Lodge on a friend’s recommendation- it was a completely amazing experience. The staff are incredibly attentive and take care of you from the moment you arrive until the moment you leave. The lodges themselves are beautiful and spacious, with a large comfortable bed as well as… Read more
We stayed two nights at Ecca Lodge and two nights at Great Fish River Lodge on a friend’s recommendation- it was a completely amazing experience. The staff are incredibly attentive and take care of you from the moment you arrive until the moment you leave. The lodges themselves are beautiful and spacious, with a large comfortable bed as well as temperature control. The reserve is absolutely incredible and even though we went on eight game drives it felt like each one was a totally unique experience. The rangers have a ton of experience tracking the game on the reserve and as a result we got to see a huge variety of animals every single day. We had the most wonderful time and would highly recommend a stay to anyone. Read less