We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Game Reserve - Shamwari alternative?

London, UK
Level Contributor
1,158 posts
19 reviews
Save Topic
Game Reserve - Shamwari alternative?

We have 3 nights at the end of our trip before flying home from PE. I was thinking of splitting this up into 1 night at Addo Elephant Park and 2 nights at a Game Reserve somewhere near PE.

I have two questions:

1) Does it make sense to split the 3 nights and stay in two separate places rather than spend 3 nights in one place?

2) Shmawari looks fantastic but very expensive. Aside from the great reviews I have read about animal sightings there, it seems a lot of the cost is because the accommodation is so good. Are there cheaper alternatives in the area which offer the same level of animal sightings but with more standard accommodation? I have assumed it's better to stay in a reserve so that you are there for the early morning drives which seem to be a better time to see some animals.

Thanks for any help you can offer.

Port Elizabeth
Destination Expert
for South Africa
Level Contributor
6,247 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: Game Reserve - Shamwari alternative?

It is a good idea to split it between 2 reserves and it is better to stay in a game reserve, than outside.


Kwantu - 6000ha (only 1 game drive)


Sibuya - 2300ha



Lalibela - 7500ha


Amakhala - 6000ha


Schotia - ?ha


Blaauwbosch - 5000ha


Busman Sands - 3000ha

Prices are not all inclusive - basic room only rate is R1000+


Kariega 6000 ha


River Bend (17 000 hectare Private Concession area (separate to the main part) of the Addo Elephant National Park)



Pumba Safaris (6000ha) at R4000


Kwandwe (20000ha) at R5000 to R15000


Nguni River Lodge at R3500 (17 000 hectare Private Concession area (separate to the main part) of the Addo Elephant National Park)


Shamwari is 20000 hectares at about R5000


Gorah is a private concession in the main part of Addo National Park at about R5000


Destination Expert
for Cape Town
Level Contributor
3,529 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: Game Reserve - Shamwari alternative?

Just as a matter of interest, on BBC2 at 6pm mon-fri is a programme called Safari School. Whilst the accommodation shown is not what you would stay in, it gives an idea of the terrain and the animals they have on the reserve.

Destination Expert
for Cape Town
Level Contributor
3,529 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: Game Reserve - Shamwari alternative?

Sorry - should have explained, Safari School is shot in Shamwari Game Reserve.

Lacock, United...
Level Contributor
84 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Game Reserve - Shamwari alternative?

I've recently done a trip report in which i wrote about our experiences in staying outside the game lodges and commuting in on day trips to addo and amakhala.

it'll give you an idea of the other side of the coin

4 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: Game Reserve - Shamwari alternative?

I have just booked two nights at Lalibela which is about an hour from Port Elizabeth. I've not been yet so can't give you my personal opinion but I booked it after reading many positive reviews on here. So could be worth a search to find out more.

It's still not exactly cheap however but it in comparison to some it's not bad as the price pretty much includes everything,

Level Contributor
13 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Game Reserve - Shamwari alternative?

Splitting between Addo and ANother is sensible

To keep costs down, at Addo, you can book into the National Parks rest camp where they have a selection of self-catering/camping options - see www.sanparks.org - the web site is fairly comprehensive. The main camp is serviced by a restaurant with simple/passable food. If restaurant/self cater is not to your taste, there are a number of guest houses in the area - the only one I know is Elephant House, which was very pleasant, but Gorah is well known/luxurious/expensive.

To keep costs down on the next leg, you could do day trips into Pumba, Shamwari or Kariega as already suggested.

Most central to Shamwari would be the Bushman Sands Hotel/golf resort, which is run by the same group as Shamwari c R1000 pppn B&B + R650+-odd for game drives.

Alternatively you could also base up in Grahamstown c 1.5 hrs from PE, which is convenient to all three reserves and where there is a wide range of B&B's/guest houses to choose from (budget to expensive - top end would be 7 Worcester owned by/managed by Kwandwe Reserve/Cockhouse also well known).

Lastly, you could base up at Kenton, which is a small holiday town on the coast with great beaches (altho' this is better positioned for a vist to Kariega - Pumba/Shamwari would be a bit of a trek). Kenton also c 1.5 hrs to PE.

As a long shot - a lesser known lodge in the area at which you could base up is Intsomi, great spot for birding, but not much game - it's part of greater Addo - they may be running specials to get on their feet - so you could try them for a special rate, as well. The lodge is at Alexandria c 1 hr +/- from PE - but perhaps a little far from the reserves.

All above should be searchable on web using their names.

London, UK
Level Contributor
1,158 posts
19 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Game Reserve - Shamwari alternative?

Thanks very much for all the replies - they are all really useful.

I'm going to take a look at the links now and see we can find to suit our needs.

Thanks again.

8. Re: Game Reserve - Shamwari alternative?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 2:21 pm, August 18, 2009