Nestled in the heart of South Africa´s unspoilt Eastern Cape province lies Kwandwe Private Game Reserve, one of the largest private game reserves in the Eastern Cape, a world-class Big Five safari experience in 22 000 hectares (54 000 acres) of malaria-free pristine private wilderness, on 30 km of privately owned Great Fish River frontage
The decor is based on 1820’s Settler style with a fresh and contemporary look. The furnishings exemplify rich colours and textures and the original antiques are complemented with glass and crystal lanterns, celadon ceramic lamps and silver candlestick holders to give this laid back luxurious home a comfortable and romantic ambiance.
A restored farmhouse dating back to 1905, this sole-use villa features a contemporary farm style kitchen, three spacious bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms two with a ball and claw bath, one with an oval stone bath,, and private verandas. Uplands can accommodate a maximum of six adults, one child and one infant (in cot).
Morning, afternoon/ evening and night game drives in private open safari vehicle, guided bushwalks, morning visits to the Mgcamabele Community Centre, bush sundowners and picnics on the Reserve, bush breakfasts/ dinners, fishing.
Check in times
Check In: 12h00
Check out: 11h00
Kwandwe is an ideal and stimulating location for children. Not only are there a host of tailor-made activities designed to keep little ones enthralled and entertained, but our malaria-free status and proximity to a range of family and child-friendly activities in the area make this a safari experience without parallel for kids. Children of all ages are welcome at Uplands Homestead. Children receive a ‘Rangers in Training’ backpack and can participate in a myriad of activities on the Reserve. Children of all ages can join a ‘Stripes & Hooves’ adventure, which is a daily one hour morning game drive after breakfast, with or without their parents, to view ‘non-aggressive’ game. A children’s menu is available Child-minders are available with prior arrangement at no additional cost. All child-minders are first-aid trained.
A special children’s menu is presented on arrival at the lodge
Kids are a big focus for us at Kwandwe – activities for children include ‘poo safaris’ and spoor tracking with the ranger and tracker, Minnow’s fishing trip with the ranger, finger painting, making animals from clay, daily treasure hunts, special game drives outside of normal times where available, baking, pizza-making competitions, DVDs and popcorn, chocolate mould making, creature cookie baking and bedtime stories with milk and cookies.
Children receive ‘Rangers in Training’ backpacks with bug collectors, magnifying glass, booklet for identifying wildlife, and a special craft pack made by the community centre – a journal-making kit for the girls, and a door sign making kit for the boys. On the last day, the ranger signs a certificate confirming that the proud child is now a Ranger in Training. Children of all ages are welcome to join a ‘Horns & Stripes’ adventure which is a daily one hour morning game drive after breakfast with or without their parents to view ‘non-aggressive’ game such as giraffe, zebra, monkeys, warthogs etc at no additional cost. Children aged 6 to 11 may also join their parents on game drives at the lodge manager’s discretion. For safety considerations, children 5 years and younger may join game drives only where a sole use vehicle is booked. When available this will be provided at no charge – ideally during the day so as not to clash with scheduled game drives (early morning and evening).
A 50% deposit is required to confirm a reservation. On-line reservations to be paid immediately with credit card when making a reservation. When paying your deposit by EFT (Electronic fund transfer) the deposit is required within 4 days of confirmation.
All reservations must be guaranteed by a valid credit card.
(refundable on terms of cancellation)
Payment of the balance due at 60 days prior to arriva
Cancellations made within 45 - 31 days of arrival 25% of fee payable
Cancellations made within 30 - 16 days of arrival 50% of fee payable
Cancellations made within 15 - 0 days of arrival 100% of fee payable
We suggest that guests are covered by travel insurance in the event of an unforeseen cancellation.
Room Types & Descriptions
3 Bedroom Sole use Villa
Mealtimes at Kwandwe are a celebration of the country’s local cuisine with a contemporary flair, often including a touch of French influence. Dishes incorporate fresh seasonal produce sourced locally, including venison and seafood (Kwandwe is ideally located approx. 65km/ 40 miles from the coast), with fresh herbs and vegetables grown on the reserve.
Executive Chef Quintinn Van Rensburg was born and raised in Graaff Reinet, in the heart of South Africa’s Eastern Cape province, from where he gets his inspiration. Over the years he has developed a unique cooking style of contemporary ‘Karoo cuisine’ with a touch of French flair.
Self Drive Options
The distance from Port Elizabeth to Kwandwe is 160 km (100 miles) and can be comfortably covered by road in 1 hour 45 minutes. On arrival, guests leave their vehicle at the car park at Heatherton Towers (Reception) and will be transferred to their lodge by an open safari vehicle.
From Port Elizabeth to Kwandwe Private Game Reserve
From Port Elizabeth travel eastwards along the N2 towards Grahamstown.
Travel past Grahamstown and the Settlers Monument, ignoring the ‘Beaufort Street’ and ‘R67 Port Alfred’ turn-offs.
A few kilometres past Grahamstown turn left onto the road at the ‘R67 Fort Beaufort’. It should be approx. 10 km’s between the Settlers Monument and the Fort Beaufort Road turnoff.
Wind your way through the Ecca Pass for approximately 19 kms. On your right you will see a large sign indicating ‘The Great Fish River Reserve’. Turn left into the gravel road opposite this sign. There are two smaller signs on the left marked ‘Kwandwe’ and ‘Kranzdrift’.
Travel about 5km to reach the Kwandwe gate, and continue straight along that road for a further 6km
The first house on the left is Heatherton Towers Reception area, where you will check-in and leave your car. You will then be transferred to either Great Fish River Lodge, Ecca Lodge, Uplands Homestead or Melton Manor, which is between 15 – 30 minutes drive away.
From East London to Kwandwe Private Game Reserve
From East London travel along the N2 towards King Williams Town and then on to Grahamstown
Before reaching Grahamstown turn right onto the road at the ‘R67 Fort Beaufort’ Wind your way through the Ecca Pass for approximately 19 kms. On your right you will see a large sign indicating ‘The Great Fish River Reserve’. Turn left into the gravel road opposite this sign. There are two smaller signs on the left marked ‘Kwandwe’ and ‘Kranzdrift’.
Travel about 5km to reach the Kwandwe gate, and continue straight for a further 6km.
The first house on the left is Heatherton Towers Reception area, where you will check-in and leave your car. You will then be transferred to Uplands Homestead, which is 30 minutes drive away
Please be aware, as you approach the Lodge that you are in a wilderness area where predators and high-profile game roam freely. Do not leave your car for any reason. Should you require assistance.
Port Elizabeth Airport, which is 160 km (100 miles) from the Reserve.
Daily Scheduled Flights from Port Elizabeth airport to Kwandwe’s private airstrip: Departs Port Elizabeth 13h15 and arrives at Kwandwe airstrip at 14h00; departs the Kwandwe airstrip at 10h00 and arrives Port Elizabeth at 10h45.
A chauffeur-driven road transfer can be arranged on request.
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