The Eastern Cape is an absolute haven for those wanting to travel to South Africa, without having to take malaria tablets. The area is very wild and absolutely beautiful and we’re not surprised that many of our clients return year after year. It’s a very civilized part of South Africa with some of the best restaurants in the world, stunning mountainous scenery and fantastic game viewing. The Eastern Cape is often driven to from Cape Town or you can simply fly in via Johannesburg. Safaris here are wonderful with easy access to big game viewing, some of the most luxurious lodges and some of the best guides. Here are three of our favorite properties, which make the Eastern Cape and the Garden Route so popular:
SHAMWARI GAME RESERVE – Home of The Born Free Foundation
Luxury accommodation is offered in six different lodges at Shamwari Game Reserve, all of which are 5* graded. The Eagles Crag Lodge has nine detached suites that can sleep a maximum of two adults, all include a private plunge pool with a deck. Villa Lobengula has six suites which can have a maximum of two adults in them – they include their own private patio with a mini bar. Long Lee Manor has 15 bedrooms that can sleep a maximum of two adults, it also include its own two private swimming pools, conference facility for up to 35 people, and relaxation retreat with two therapy rooms, steam room and sauna, and a wonderful wine cellar. Bayethe Lodge has 12 detached tents that can sleep a maximum of two adults each, they also include their own plunge pool. Riverdene Lodge has nine luxury rooms each sharing with one child and finally, Sarili Lodge has four rooms and one suite that can accommodate two adults each. Shamwari offers a range of activities including game drives, reading, spa treatments, swimming, enjoying delicious food or a game walk, you can visit one of the two Born Free Big Cat Sanctuaries, the Ian Player Rhino Awareness Centre or The Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre.
Tsala has 10 private treetop suites that are tucked into the forest canopy. They are constructed of stone, wood and glass. Each room has a fireplace and a spacious bathroom. The suites have a private deck and their own infinity pool extending into the forest, so it is the ultimate place for privacy. Tsala also has six treetop villas that accommodate a maximum of two people. They are built high above the ground with views of the forest below. Each suite has indoor and outdoor showers, and a large lounge with a fireplace and dining area. They also come with a private deck and an infinity pool, perfect for a family holiday.
Hog Hollow has sixteen suites, all of which are situated in the gardens surrounding the main house. The beds are king size and the suites have a well-stocked mini bar. You can sit out on your private wooden deck enveloped in the warmth of the African sun. The main house has a large dining room table where guests plan their daily activities over breakfast and then later on they can unwind in the evening around the Boma, which is a place for festive occasions and where you can end the day on a pile of comfy cushions with a fire on nearby, and your favourite drink in hand. The lodge offers many activities such as walking from the lodge through the forest to Monkeyland Primate Sancutary or The Birds of Eden, or The Elephant Sanctuary. Or you can go and see the wild cats at Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Centre, and a Snake and Crocodile sanctuary. A little further up the road there is the highest bungee jump in the world and the Treetops Canopy tours. About 20km from the lodge is the local town, which is close to the warm Indian Ocean with Robberg Peninsula as a backdrop, here you will find many things to interest you such as a boat-based whale and dolphin trip around the bay with Ocean Blue Adventures.