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Game Reserve near Port Elizabeth

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Game Reserve near Port Elizabeth


I would appreciate some help with deciding which Game reserve to book near Port Elizabeth.

I am looking for a romantic, 5*, top end 2 night, 4 safari package, with excellent chance of seeing the Big 5, at a reasonable price. Shamwari Game Reserve looks amazing but it's out of our price range. We are looking at Bush Lodge on Amakhala or perhaps Kaai's Camp on Blaauwbosch (i.e about 3,700 ZAR per night all inclusive)

The problem is all the Reserves receive excellent reviews so it's difficult to decide which one to choose!!!

I would appreciate views on which one to pick between the above two options plus other suggestions if people think there is something better for us to consider.

To clarify, we cannot go to Kruger because we already have flights home booked from Port Elizabeth

Many thanks

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1. Re: Game Reserve near Port Elizabeth

Hi leyschm,

The lodges in the Eastern Cape are all situated in a handful of privately owned reserves, ranging in size from 5,000 hectares to 25,000 hectares. These reserves all operate independently from each other, and each therefore have their own wildlife stock - the larger reserves such as Shamwari can obviously sustain more wildlife in terms of actual physical numbers, but the privilege of this is reflected in the rates, as you have found out!

The smaller reserves such as Amakhala, Lalibela, Pumba and Kariega, which tend to be around the 5,000 - 8,000 hectare size, do have to limit the number of predators - for example, a small reserve can only sustain a few lion, or else they would find their entire buffalo population is wiped out very quickly by hungry lions !

In the smaller reserves you may well come across the fenceline during a game drive - especially in Amakhala, as the lions are kept in a separate 1,000 hectares on one side of the road, so to get between this and the main part of the reserve you do cross under the main N2 road via an underpass - which can detract from the overall feeling of being totally immersed in your bush / safari experience. However, to be forewarned is to be prepared - I had some wonderful sightings when I stayed at Amakhala, which more than compensated for the N2 encounter.

Bush Lodge is a lovely lodge, as is Amakhala Safari Lodge too.

Another lodge that you may want to consider is Kariega River Lodge - I think this is in a lovely location - unsurprisingly, the rooms overlook water ! Kariega is also a 'split' reserve, but you don't go near the N2 at all - however you do cross over a minor road between the 2 parts of the reserve.

Regarding Blaauwbosch, all I would say here is please take this off your list - I understand that there are currently management issues here, and that service levels will leave you bitterly disappointed, although the game viewing is still good.

Edited: 8:52 am, October 06, 2010
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2. Re: Game Reserve near Port Elizabeth

Contrary to what is written above, South African National Parks has a large, world-famous reserve at Addo, which is about a 45 minute drive from Port Elizabeth. I was there in February.

The main camp is not "5-Star", but very nice, inasmuch as one can drive one's own car around at see elephants (the main attractoin), lions, etc. I stayed in a rondavel. They have no TV, but you can sit on the little porch and watch the animals come to the watering hole right nearby. It is quite an experience. You can take your meals in the restaurant. Otherwise, you can stay in more luxurious quarters, but you don't get that "watering hole" experience.


However, sitting on Addo land, just a couple kilometers up the road from the Addo Main Camp entrance, is your truly beautiful "5-Star" lodge. It is the Nguni River Lodge. I stayed here after doing my own thing at Addo, and this experience is a once-in-a-lifetime one.


You have never been sooooooo pampered in all your life. It is worth every penny! And they take you on two game drives per day (one in the early morning and one in the afternoon). The guides are fabulous. Try to get the game drive, which leaves well before dawn. You'll question why you should get up at 4:30am, but it is well worth it! (the other one left right at dawn)

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for South Africa, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
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3. Re: Game Reserve near Port Elizabeth

Kwandwe is a luxury reserve - andbeyondafrica.com/luxury_safari/south_afri… - and has a few 'windows' of Low season rates that MIGHT work for you. When are you traveling? For a mid-price property, I recommend Sibuya - http://www.sibuya.co.za/ - you reach it from Kenton-By-The-Sea.

Dave Patterson - owner - The Africa Safari

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4. Re: Game Reserve near Port Elizabeth

Sibuya is quite small (a bit over 2000 hectares)........ Size counts in game reserves.

Kwandwe, Shamwari and Gorah are the 3 top, top, top end places. If you can swing a special at one of them, then defintely go for it. However, you wont be disappointed with Amakhala Bush Lodge or one of the others in that price range e.g. Pumba, Lalibela, Kariega. Jun-Sep I would chose Amakhala Safari Lodge over Bush Lodge. Nov - Mar I would choose Bush Lodge.

5. Re: Game Reserve near Port Elizabeth

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