Shamwari Private Game Reserve

Shamwari, Eastern Cape

Virgin rating

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

  • Wheelchair access
  • Safari
  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Spa

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 8 different lodges in total: 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.

Explorer's Camp - From October to May, Shamwari Private Game Reserve expands its offering even further by opening the Explorer Camp. The camp is located on a plateau set among the only basalt and granite extrusions on Shamwari, a truly magical setting. This once-in-a-lifetime experience takes guests on a guided walking safari of the surrounding land, allowing you to get up close and personal with nature. These tents feature two single beds, and en suite bathroom with shower, sleeping maximum 2 adults.

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

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Traveller rating

  • Excellent (1248)
  • Very good (78)
  • Average (24)
  • Poor (10)
  • Terrible (4)
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Honeymoon heaven

May 11, 2022 chrisjU9541VV

We stayed in the Sindile Lodge for our honeymoon, and were hugely impressed. All of the staff at the lodge were friendly and wonderful. The service was great. Food was amazing, definitely no risk of going hungry! Our ranger, Mino, really added to the experience, he was accommodating and full of knowledge! 3 days just wasn’t enough! We will… Read more
We stayed in the Sindile Lodge for our honeymoon, and were hugely impressed. All of the staff at the lodge were friendly and wonderful. The service was great. Food was amazing, definitely no risk of going hungry! Our ranger, Mino, really added to the experience, he was accommodating and full of knowledge! 3 days just wasn’t enough! We will definitely be coming back. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Most Amazing and Amazing Game Reserve

May 4, 2022 singhchanprit

While we visited Manor and Bush lodge as well, however we choose to stay at Sindali and it was an amazing experience it offers modern look, heated pool, open shower, amazing staff,best safari (Binoli our host and Raymond, Mino our rangers worked their charm on us with experience that was so personalised and warm that we just didn't want to… Read more
While we visited Manor and Bush lodge as well, however we choose to stay at Sindali and it was an amazing experience it offers modern look, heated pool, open shower, amazing staff,best safari (Binoli our host and Raymond, Mino our rangers worked their charm on us with experience that was so personalised and warm that we just didn't want to leave..... A BIG THANKS FOR MAKING OUR TRIP SO MEMORABLE) Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Once in a Lifetime Trip

Apr 19, 2022 joedorby Clear Lake, Iowa

We had such an amazing time at Shamwari. We were welcomed like family by Bonolo from the moment we arrived at Long Lee Manor. The staff was awesome and very welcoming, from our awesome guide Josh who attempted to pass on all of his knowledge about the flora and fauna. We also were able to spend time at the amazing Sindile with KG and Anele,… Read more
We had such an amazing time at Shamwari. We were welcomed like family by Bonolo from the moment we arrived at Long Lee Manor. The staff was awesome and very welcoming, from our awesome guide Josh who attempted to pass on all of his knowledge about the flora and fauna. We also were able to spend time at the amazing Sindile with KG and Anele, whom we will never forget. They were absolutely wonderful in every way. The entire staff went above and beyond to assist us when we were "stranded" for an additional 4 nights due to Omicron. Couldn't have asked for a better place to be "stuck". After the first couple of days we asked ourselves what more could we see, we had seen all of the animals that we expected. However, every game drive was different, either siting new animals or just seeing the animals in a different situation. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating This is A MUST TRIP to be added you bucketlist! Treated like royalty!

Apr 4, 2022 Escape320873

This was the adventure of a lifetime!  No detail was left undone. There were fairies everywhere. It started with being met at the airport by our driver. Upon arrival at the reserve, we were greeted by Maria and offered tea. She then walked us to our room and explained what was available and when. After settling into our room, we experienced our… Read more
This was the adventure of a lifetime!  No detail was left undone. There were fairies everywhere. It started with being met at the airport by our driver. Upon arrival at the reserve, we were greeted by Maria and offered tea. She then walked us to our room and explained what was available and when. After settling into our room, we experienced our first dining experience. This set the standard for our entire stay - Spectacular!  Next up was meeting Josh, our Guide. Now it was time for the afternoon Safari drive. Our first afternoon drive included two male lions lounging in the shade, followed by monkeys swinging in the trees and a couple of endangered black rhinos. This set the STAGE for the remaining 6 days! Not sure how they did it, but every day was better than the day before! Even though our Guide changed due to regular days off, Sihle was fortunate to take us under his wings. The indepth knowledge shared by both guides was impressive. Sihle secretly  arranged for an afternoon “bush lunch”, which was delicious. We had the opportunity to go on 2 bush walks. WOW! Our room was always serviced without a siting! Communication between staff and all departments was stellar! It seemed as if the staff was always one step ahead of us without being asked. Lisa from the Rehabilitation Center was incredible! Being able to follow the Lion Pride for our stay and understand how they live in the wild was definitely an experience to never be forgotten.Truly 5-Star accommodation and experience! Part of our hearts remain at Shamwari! Nina and Portia, Each and everyone of your staff members must be commended. Back of the house, as well as front of the house, are top of the line in the hospitality industry.   Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating So special!

Mar 26, 2022 Alexandfi

We treated ourselves to 3 nights here at the end of our holiday to South Africa and we could not have asked for more!! What an exquisite experience, from our beautiful room in Long Lee Manor to the delicious food served by friendly, professional and attentive people in a wonderful setting. Our game drives were magnificent and Leon, our ranger, is… Read more
We treated ourselves to 3 nights here at the end of our holiday to South Africa and we could not have asked for more!! What an exquisite experience, from our beautiful room in Long Lee Manor to the delicious food served by friendly, professional and attentive people in a wonderful setting. Our game drives were magnificent and Leon, our ranger, is the best guy to spend time with. His knowledge, professionalism and amazing energy really made our safaris special and we cannot thank him and Shamwari enough! Read less