About Kwandwe Private Game Reserve
Kwandwe Private Game Reserve lies in the heart of South Africa’s malaria-free Eastern Cape near Grahamstown, and is a natural conclusion to a journey along the world-famous Garden Route. A victory for far-sighted conservation, 25 000 hectares (62 000 acres) of farmland in the Great Fish River region were restored and restocked with African wildlife. Today, thousands of animals including lion, black and white rhino, buffalo and elephant roam this diverse and fascinating reserve.
Kwandwe aptly means Place of the Blue Crane in Xhosa (South Africa’s highly endangered national bird) and is home to a population of these rare birds. It offers an exceptional safari experience in a region steeped in history and culture. The Great Fish River was a hotly contested border during the Frontier Wars of 1779 to 1878 between the Xhosa nation, Dutch farmers and the 1820 Settlers from England. Kwandwe’s reception building is a Frontier War-era fortified homestead, and the Reserve boasts its own intimate chapel. Kwandwe Private Game Reserve features the exclusive Great Fish River Lodge, unique historic Uplands Homestead and Ecca Lodge, all offering world-class sophistication and style in the African bush.
Great Fish River Lodge
Set along the aloe-studded banks of the Great Fish River, nine suites feature private plunge pools and spacious thatched game viewing decks with magnificent views of the wild yet gentle landscape. Beautiful thatched guest areas and expansive viewing decks overlook the river. The Great Fish River Lodge is stylishly furnished in Frontier Settler style, integrating local African culture with colonial settler history. Elegant thatched stone and glass suites feature floor-to-ceiling doors which fold back to reveal uninterrupted wilderness vistas. Guest areas have a large fireplace with massive stone chimney, and a soaring thatched roof with imposing chandeliers. Sophisticated, glass-fronted sitting and dining areas boast expansive viewing decks with breathtaking river views. Delicious Pan-African cuisine is served on the private decks, in the candlelit dining room, or enjoyed in the boma (outdoor dining area). Kwandwe is renowned for its spectacular bush banqueting in surprise settings. Heatherton Towers is the main reception building, which is situated 40 minutes from the Lodge. It is, in fact, a Frontier War-era fortified homestead, complete with dramatic gun turrets and private chapel.
Kwandwe Ecca Lodge
Innovative, stylish and intimate, Kwandwe Ecca Lodge embodies a funk-meets-futuristic-farmhouse ambience, and features just six intimate suites with spacious living areas and en suite bathrooms. Overlooking rolling spekboom valleys, main guest areas include a a spacious sitting room, dining room and bar area, interactive kitchen, sparkling rim-flow lap pool and unique interpretive centre. Innovative safari accommodation: Set in spectacular African wilderness surrounds, this unique safari lodge boasts a revolutionary design – stone-and-mesh gabion walls, sliding glass, timber and gauze doors and corrugated iron roofing. Exquisite guest areas overlook spekboom valleys with a backdrop of the distant cliff-faces of ecca shale. Ideal for family safaris Six intimate suites Air-conditioning and en suite bathrooms Spacious sitting areas Gorgeous rim-flow lap pool Interactive kitchen Unique interpretive centre
Ecca of these Lodges is fun, flamboyant and fabulous, with a funk-meets-futuristic-farmhouse ambience. Nestled into a gently sloping, densely vegetated hillside, the Lodge is airy and open with barely a barrier between indoors and the African bushveld. Each suite features an en suite bathroom with spacious, plate glass-enclosed shower, bath, private w.c and twin hand-basins, as well as a sitting area which can comfortably convert into accommodation for children 11 years and younger. Overlooking rolling spekboom valleys, guest areas comprise a spacious sitting room with fireplace, dining room and bar area and deep veranda with expansive viewing decks. Delicious fresh farm cuisine is prepared in the modern, open-plan kitchen and an interpretive centre provides hours of entertainment for children of all ages. Kwandwe’s unparalleled safari experience: Situated in the historically and culturally rich Eastern Cape in an extraordinary big game wilderness, Ecca Lodge offers various exciting South African safari activities including twice-daily game-drives and guided river walking/hiking.
This gracious homestead is a sensitively restored 1905 farmhouse comprising three spacious en suite bedrooms with private terraces – available for sole use by guests. Uplands Homestead has a large swimming pool and gazebo, and guests enjoy their own private ranger, tracker, chef and open 4x4 safari vehicle. Your private safari villa – This intimate lodge is a sensitively restored 1905 farmhouse set in a remote and tranquil valley, offering the ultimate personal safari in Kwandwe’s extraordinary African wilderness. Three air-conditioned, spacious bedrooms En suite bathrooms and private terraces Exclusive use of 4x4 safari vehicle Private butler, ranger and chef Large swimming pool and gazebo Member of Relais & Chateaux
Perfect for the sole use of a group or family of up to six guests, Uplands Homestead is situated half an hour from Heatherton Towers (Kwandwe’s reception building) and 45 minutes from Main Lodge. Antiques and memorabilia reminiscent of an 1820s Settler home elegantly blend with comfortable, modern finishes. The sitting and dining areas feature high ceilings, wooden floors and beautiful fireplaces. A deep and shady veranda leads out to the large swimming pool and gazebo. In the modernised farm kitchen, Uplands Homestead’s private chef prepares delicious Pan-African cuisine and local specialities. Nothing beats a true bush banquet in a surprise setting under the magical African sky.