Shamwari Private Game Reserve

Shamwari, Eastern Cape

The hotel

Home of two Born Free big cat sanctuaries, the Shamwari Private Game Reserve boasts an impressive 25,000 hectares of land, bursting with free roaming wild animals, birdlife and indigenous Flora and Fauna. Game-drives leave twice a day with your specialist Ranger in open 4x4 vehicles, during the morning and early evening with sightings of the ‘Big Five’ plentiful. Guided walks are also a fantastic way to get to grips with your stunning surrounds and make sure you visit the brand new Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre. Accommodation is of the highest standard throughout the seven lodges with Eagles Crag lodge recommended for those who adore privacy and serenity. Families are also more than welcome at Riverdene Family Lodge, offering a range of child-friendly activities to take advantage of (kids aged 4 and over are welcome on family game-drives too). As well as the wildlife, there’s a swimming pool with shallow area just for them, a kids club and outdoor adventure centre. Long Lee Manor offers the feel of a bygone era and Bayethe tented lodge offers a wonderful ‘back to the bush’ experience never to be forgotten. Sarili Lodge offers an intimate experience with only five rooms, perfect for families, groups and friends with a large deck overlooking the Bushman’s River. Meals can be enjoyed in your lodge, the dining room or in the boma, feasting on traditional African dishes from the barbecue.

Amenities

  • Bar
  • Safari
  • Spa
  • Wheelchair access
  • Restaurant

Where is it

On 25,000 hectares of bushveld in the Eastern Cape. Driving time from Port Elizabeth Airport: 1 hour.

Hotel information

There are 7 different lodges in total plus the Explorer Camp: Riverdene - is perfect for families, with a very exciting and complimentary children's programme. This is a wonderful lodge with relaxed loungers, offering the perfect stay for families, with interconnecting rooms, childcare facilities and an exciting new outdoor kids activity centre, child-friendly game-drives for children from the age of 4 years, a child friendly dining room, pool and a place to relax and enjoy the bush. There are only 9 rooms, all with private facilities, air conditioning and TV, sleeping maximum 2 adults and 1 child.

All Inclusive of: meals and selected local beverages. All game-drives and visits to Education Centres and Animal Rehabilitation centre.

Long Lee Manor - has been completely refurbished and has recently re-opened. This colonial building offers a traditional stay in either a room or suite and has amazing views over the open plains with game wandering across throughout the day and night. With a rim-flow pool, a garden lounge and spa* you are sure to feel at home in this gracious manor house. Offering accommodation in 17 beautifully decorated rooms and one 2-bedroom villa with a private pool. All with air-conditioning, TV, heating and en-suite facilities.

Lobengula - this lodge has been designed to reflect a traditional Africa Kraal and and is located in a secluded spot with views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Combining contemporary design with traditional African touches, the lodge offers 6 Junior Suites with a private patio or deck with private plunge pool, sleeping maximum 2 adults. 

Sarili - suitable for older families, couples or small parties. This luxury lodge consists of 5 Luxury Rooms sleeping a maximum of 10 people. Enjoy Bushman's River and plains view on the deck of this African thatch design villa. There are bar/lounge and dining areas and a child friendly swimming pool. Choose from a Luxury Courtyard Room (rooms are interconnecting via a passage so are suitable for a family) or a Luxury River Room, each sleeping maximum 2 adults. From June 2020 this lodge will be available for exclusive use.

Bayethe - recently refurbished, this wonderful and popular tented lodge is nestled along the riverbed and overlooks a busy waterhole, here you can enjoy drinks with the wildlife after dark, and relax in one of the 12 luxury tents. All with en-suite facilities, private outdoor shower, plunge pool and viewing deck.

Eagles Crag - this premium lodge, which has been newly refurbished, is for the traveller who wants to enjoy contemporary and modern African design alongside the traditional chic of the African bush. The upper level offers a great dining area and lounge with individual 'dining pods' that look over cliffs. There is also a spa* for extra relaxation - and with only 9 rooms, you are sure to be spoilt. Secluded by natural vegetation your suite offers privacy and tranquillity, with your own private deck and heated plunge pool, indoor and outdoor shower and luxury en-suite facilities. Sleeping maximum 2 adults.

Sindile - Shamwari’s new, ultra luxurious tented camp offers superior accommodation, all in a a great location. Premier Luxury Tents are elevated high above the bush and feature a private deck with heated plunge pool and lounging area under a pergola. Sleeping maximum 2 adults.

  • Virgin Holidays offer: all Virgin Holidays guests receive a complimentary 45 minute head, back and shoulder massage per person per stay. 

    Valid for stays between 1 May '19-30 Apr '20.

Traditional African bomas. African barbecues. Game-drives take place in the early morning and late afternoon. Guided walks and night drives. Kids on Safari programme. Eagles Crag, Bayethe and Long Lee Manor all have a spa* but spa treatments are available at all lodges. Complimentary WiFi. 2 night Explorer Camp experience*, in dome tented lodges, is also available. Guided walking safari (available Oct-Apr). Born Free and Animal Rehabilitation Centre. New Welcome Lounge (for guests staying at Long Lee Manor, Riverdene, Sarili, Sindile and Explorer camp).

Wheelchair adapted rooms with partially accessible amenities or facilities available on request (Riverdene and Long Lee Manor). Please note that these rooms are subject to availability and may be restricted to specific room categories and bedding arrangements. Rooms and facilities vary between hotels so please check at the time of booking. For more information and contact details please check out our Special Assistance page

2 nights between 1 May-20 Apr.

* 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
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  • Cleanliness Image of the Tripadvisor rating

Traveller rating

  • Excellent (1223)
  • Very good (78)
  • Average (24)
  • Poor (10)
  • Terrible (4)
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Another amazing visit to Shamwari

Mar 11, 2020 JaneEth124

We visited 2 years ago and loved Shamwari, so wanted to return with our son and daughter, this time to sarilli lodge, requesting if it was possible for our first ranger Mino to guide us and show his passion and knowledge to all the family. We were not disappointed, thank to all, Mino, the lodge and the animals. Amazing food and service too and a… Read more
We visited 2 years ago and loved Shamwari, so wanted to return with our son and daughter, this time to sarilli lodge, requesting if it was possible for our first ranger Mino to guide us and show his passion and knowledge to all the family. We were not disappointed, thank to all, Mino, the lodge and the animals. Amazing food and service too and a great family experience from which we have learnt so much and appreciate the conservation that is going on especially with the Born Free Trust and rehabilitation centre. We now cannot wait to return. Thank you again Mino Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Bucket List!!!

Mar 5, 2020 RuthHereward

Myself and my husband stayed here for one night of our honeymoon in the Bayete Tent. It was exceptional from start to finish - the hospitality is out of this world!!! The food is top class and go hungry! You really felt the 5 star quality in the details and service. Our ranger was Siya, who was genuinely interested in the game drives and his… Read more
Myself and my husband stayed here for one night of our honeymoon in the Bayete Tent. It was exceptional from start to finish - the hospitality is out of this world!!! The food is top class and go hungry! You really felt the 5 star quality in the details and service. Our ranger was Siya, who was genuinely interested in the game drives and his enthusiasm/knowledge shone through the experience. He didnt chase animals and was very respectful and gave everything it's time and really tried his best for us to see as many animals as possible. Would definitely go back in a heartbeat. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Wonderful

Feb 25, 2020 margaretd305 Derbyshire, United Kingdom

Absolutely fantastic stay at Lobengula Shamwari Game Reserve, the whole experience start to finish was just amazing. Our rooms were beautiful as was the food and the way we were looked after - everything geared to ensuring we had a memorable time. Staff were all amazing and our game driver Timothy was very knowledgeable - we saw all the big five… Read more
Absolutely fantastic stay at Lobengula Shamwari Game Reserve, the whole experience start to finish was just amazing. Our rooms were beautiful as was the food and the way we were looked after - everything geared to ensuring we had a memorable time. Staff were all amazing and our game driver Timothy was very knowledgeable - we saw all the big five plus many other animals and birds. Thank you all so much. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Shamwari 5 star ++

Feb 19, 2020 Whirlyone Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Our 4th visit to Shamwari and it just seems to get better each time. For us it was more about the Game drives than the Lodges experience but both were exceptional. We stayed for 5 nights and can't thank Jess (our Ranger) enough for each and every one of our 9 game drives. There was so much to experience in this vast area, the memories of which… Read more
Our 4th visit to Shamwari and it just seems to get better each time. For us it was more about the Game drives than the Lodges experience but both were exceptional. We stayed for 5 nights and can't thank Jess (our Ranger) enough for each and every one of our 9 game drives. There was so much to experience in this vast area, the memories of which will stay with us forever. These are long days starting with the first drive just before 6am and the second one finishing late into the evening but time passes so quickly. It would be difficult not to get excited by each turn of the corner, never knowing what's coming next. We were very fortunate to see the 'Big 5' this time but also just as happy to see the smaller creatures and birds in their natural habitat. We stayed at the newly refurbished Long Lee Manor and very pleased to say it has retained the warm friendly hospitality which had always drawn us back in the past. Our Plains Room had amazing views of the Game Reserve, with everything you could possible need always seems to be to hand. The food is exceptional from breakfast through to dinner although it did sometimes feel too much (not a bad complaint!). Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Best trip ever!

Feb 4, 2020 GH1773

I highly recommend visiting Shamwari Private Game Reserve. I stayed at the Explorer camp and it was similar to glamping with the facilities- clean and simple. The food, wine and snacks are delicious, you will definitely not go hungry. There’s so many opportunities to see wildlife. I can’t fault the fantastic service, and the rangers are so… Read more
I highly recommend visiting Shamwari Private Game Reserve. I stayed at the Explorer camp and it was similar to glamping with the facilities- clean and simple. The food, wine and snacks are delicious, you will definitely not go hungry. There’s so many opportunities to see wildlife. I can’t fault the fantastic service, and the rangers are so accommodating and will go out of their way to make your stay wonderful. Mino and JB made the trip very memorable and a lot of fun. If you only do one thing in South Africa, then let it be a trip to Shamwari. Read less