What can I say? Time of my life? Best place ever? I think that would be understating it. Let me start with the "rooms". There are 12 luxury tents that are permanent with thatched roofs. Each one is isolated enough that you don't see the others when you're on your deck. The tents are immaculately decorated. There is a wood-burning fireplace, a large tub with nice bath amenities, double sinks, and an outdoor shower. Yes, we were both skeptical at first, but it was quite an experience! They also keep the room stocked with wine and other beverages--all complimentary.
The meals were also incredible. They serve breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner. The best meal I had the entire vacation was here at dinner (Blesbok in a red wine sauce). Every other night, there is a group barbecue (or braai, as they call it). You eat with your ranger and safari group (you are with the same people, typically, for each game drive). This was the most fun we had at any meal--and I am a very shy person! The six of us pretty much "closed down the lodge" that night.
Ben was a fantastic ranger, who went out of his way to show us the most incredible time I've ever had on vacation! We saw four of the "big five" in our three days there (the only we didn't see was the elusive leopard). He was informative, entertaining, and friendly.
I have been missing Shamwari since we left. SO SO glad we chose to go there!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A mere 75 km from Port Elizabeth towards Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, South Africa. Shamwari is the crown jewel of private game reserves situated in the malaria free Eastern Cape, the birth place of Nelson Mandela. This privately owned 25 000 hectares of prime natural terrain has received numerous international awards. Shamwari is an exploration of nature with close encounters of free roaming wildlife and the coveted big five with a choice of unique lodges, an exclusive private villa and the adventurous Explorer Camp. Luxury accommodation is offered in 7 different game lodges on Shamwari Game Reserve, all of which are 5 Star graded. Choose a game lodge that perfectly compliments your ideal African experience. EAGLES CRAG LODGE - Exclusivity, privacy and serenity for the most discerning of travelersBAYETHE TENTED LODGE - The ultimate in luxury tented accommodationSARILI LODGE - A colonial and bush experience. Perfect for families or small partiesLONG LEE MANOR - Refined elegance from a bygone era. RIVERDENE FAMILY LODGE - Colonial Africa in an elegantly restored CHILD FRIENDLY frontier home. VILLA LOBENGULA - Villa Lobengula is a beautiful and tranquil space tucked away in the depths of the valley bushveld. Booked on an exclusive use basis only. EXPLORER CAMP - Camping & walking experience among the Big 5 on the magnificent Shamwari Game Reserve ON SAFARI - Game drives can last up to 3 hours each and are conducted twice a day in open vehicles / Guided walks / Star gazing RELAX - Various treatments can be enjoyed at our Relaxation Retreats which are situated at Eagles Crag, Lobengula Lodge, Bayethe Lodge and Long Lee Manor ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Shamwari Game Reserve Hotel Shamwari Game Reserve