Eastern Cape Game ReservesPreviously farmland, vast expanses of the EasternCape have been returned to the wild, withsuperb conservation initiatives restocking the landwith indigenous wildlife. These national parks andprivate game reserves are conveniently close tothe Garden Route, as well as being malaria-free,making them a popular choice for safari-goers.Amakhala Game ReserveThis beautiful reserve covers 18,000 hectares ofopen plains dissected by the Bushman's River andits surrounding cliffs. Safaris take place in open-sided 4x4s, seeking out the Big Five, or on boattrips along the river which are particularly lovelyat sunset. Antelope species are prevalent on thereserve, and elephant sightings are a real highlight. WOODBURYLODGE, AMAKHALAGAMERESERVEWoodbury Lodge is made up of six stone andthatch chalets, dotted along the hillside. Each hasan en suite bathroom and a private balconywhere you can sit and watch the wildlife. Themain lodge has a very traditional African feel andguests gather around the outdoor fire pit beforedinner each evening. A swimming pool and deckare the perfect place to unwind and enjoy viewsdown the Bushman's River Valley.GREATFISHRIVERLODGE,KWANDWEGAMERESERVEThe lodge sits high on the banks of the Great FishRiver, offering sweeping vistas. Nine thatched suitessit along the cliff edge, with glass doors affordingwonderful valley views both from your suite andoutside in your private plunge pool. The mainlodge is homely and luxurious,and candlelit dinnersare served in a different location each night. 26White rhino, Eastern CapeSafari Lodge, Amakhala Game ReserveGreat Fish River Lodge, Kwandwe Game ReserveWoodbury Lodge, Amakhala Game ReserveKwandwe Game ReserveKwandwe is named after the highly endangeredblue crane, South Africa's national bird, whichthrives here. Explore the 22,000 hectare reserve on game drives and bush walks withknowledgeable rangers. The Big Five are all foundhere, including black and white rhino, as well ascheetah. The reserve is managed by andBeyondwhich works closely with the local community,many of whom are staff at the lodges.SAFARILODGE, AMAKHALAGAMERESERVEThis romantic lodge has 11 luxurious suites withthatch roofs and canvas blinds which roll up toprovide views over the waterhole. Each has abalcony with private plunge pool as well as an en suite bathroom with double bath and doubleoutdoor shower. Meals are served alfresco in theboma and the campfire is a popular spot afterdinner to relax with a drink.
www.audleytravel.com/southafrica ?01993 838 550 ?The Garden Route & Eastern Cape27Sundowner drinks from Long Lee ManorThe Elephant House, Greater Addo National ParkShamwari Game ReserveShamwari is one of the best known of the EasternCape private game reserves, and one of thelargest in the country, measuring 25,000 hectares.The varied habitats are home to a vast array ofwildlife, including the Big Five and cheetah. Thereserve's antelopes are well habituated tovehicles, allowing you to get within only a fewmetres of impala and springbok. There are sevenlodges on the reserve, all offering a differentexperience. Shamwari has received numerousinternational awards for its conservation work and interested travellers can visit the Born FreeFoundation's rescue centre as part of their safari. Lilac-breasted rollersCheetah, Kwandwe Game ReserveZebra, Shamwari Game ReserveTrackers searching for prints, Eastern CapeElephant, Greater Addo National ParkLONGLEEMANOR, SHAMWARIGAMERESERVEDating back to 1910, this beautifully restoredEdwardian Manor is full of colonial grandeur.There are open fireplaces, dark wood furnishingsand original detailing. The 15 luxurious rooms areall stylishly designed, in keeping with the charm ofthe manor. Between game drives, guests can relaxon the immaculate lawn, swim in one of the twopools or enjoy spa treatments. Dinners are servedunder the pepper tree, around a roaring fire inthe barn annexe, by a riverside boma or in theelegant dining room. Greater Addo National ParkThe Greater Addo National Park comprises the former Addo Elephant National Park, andnewer tracts of land along the coast. Best knownfor its large herds of elephants, Addo boasts asuperb array of other game including buffalo,black rhino, leopard, lion, cheetah and spottedhyena. Your safari can take the form of gamedrives, horse rides or elephant-back excursions as well as visits to the coast to view marine lifesuch as southern right whales and great whitesharks. Addo is a good place to self-drive, offeringa more independent option for your safari.THEELEPHANTHOUSE, GREATERADDONATIONALPARKAntique furniture, African art and familyphotographs add to the colonial charm of theElephant House. There are nine elegantbedrooms with king-sized beds, air-conditioningand private terraces. Guests can relax by the twoswimming pools or lounge in a comfy armchair inthe shady courtyard after a day on safari. Lightlunches are served in the tropical gardens andthree-course dinners make the most of localproduce. You can choose from self-driving orbook a guided game drive with the lodge'sknowledgeable rangers.