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Eastern Cape Safari

Eastern Cape Safari

Many of our guests would like to add more safari time to their travels in South Africa. A great Safari destination is the malaria-free Eastern Cape. There are several private game reserves in the area, which offer the opportunities to see South Africa’s famous wildlife. Spot animals such as lions, giraffe, African buffalo, hippo and more during your Eastern Cape safari. We have visited each of these reserves personally, and selected our recommended Eastern Cape safari experiences.

Rhinos grazing in the Shamwari Private Game Reserve Eastern Cape Safari

Shamwari Private Game Reserve

Riverdene Family Lodge Bring the kids. This newly renovated family friendly lodge is situated in the famous Shamwari Private Game Reserve. Enjoy beautiful African sunsets while your kids are having fun and being entertained.

  • Closest airport: Port Elizabeth – +- 1.5 hours’ drive – Transfers can be arranged
  • Perfect for: Families – Children of all ages welcome
  • Budget: From ZAR 11 425 per person per night (Children pay 50%)
  • Earthstompers rating: Superior Luxury Lodge
  • Exclusivity: Small lodge- 9 Suites – 6 Guests maximum per game drive

Eagles Crag Lodge This magnificent and secluded lodge is situated in a beautiful valley in the Reserve. The lodge is surrounded by lush vegetation and rocky cliffs. Viewing pods offers great views of surrounding rock faces.

  • Closest airport: Port Elizabeth – +- 1.5 hours’ drive – Transfers can be arranged
  • Perfect for: Families & Couples – Children above 12 years welcome
  • Budget: From ZAR 14 165 per person per night
  • Earthstompers rating: Superior Luxury Lodge 
  • Exclusivity:  Small lodge- 9 tented Suites – 6 Guests maximum per game drive

Sindile Lodge This luxurious tented camp blends in beautifully with the surrounding veld. The lodge offers the ultimate luxurious tented camp with breath-taking views over the bushman’s river and surrounding plains.

  • Closest airport: Port Elizabeth – +- 1.5 hours’ drive – Transfers can be arranged
  • Perfect for:  Couples & Honeymoon – Children above 16 years welcome
  • Budget: From ZAR 15 485 per person per night
  • Earthstompers rating: Superior Luxury Lodge 
  • Exclusivity:  Small lodge- 9 tented Suites – 6 Guests maximum per game drive

Sarili Private Lodge Shamwari’s Exclusive use lodge offers exclusive luxury with family and friends. This 5 bedroom lodge offers great views over the surrounding grassy plains and the Busman’s River. The lodge come with a private chef, ranger and dedicated host.

  • Closest airport: Port Elizabeth – +- 1.5 hours’ drive – Transfers can be arranged
  • Perfect for:  Families & small groups – Children of all ages are welcome
  • Budget: From ZAR 100 750 – exclusive use for 10 guests.
  • Earthstompers rating: Superior Luxury Lodge 
  • Exclusivity:  Small lodge- 5 Suites – Exclusive use only
Lions spotted on a game drive through Kariega Game Reserve

Kariega Private Game Reserve

Main Lodge This beautiful family friendly lodge is situated on the top of a hill in the 10 000 hectare Kariega Private Game Reserve. The lodge is well blended into the environment and offers spectacular views over the valley below from the chalet’s and lodge’s decks.

  • Closest airport: Port Elizabeth – +- 1.5 hours’ drive – Transfers can be arranged
  • Perfect for: Families & big groups– Children of all ages welcome
  • Budget: From ZAR 5 600 per person per night (Children pay 50%)
  • Earthstompers rating: Classic Lodge (4 star)
  • Exclusivity:  Big lodge- 24 Chalets – 9 Guests maximum per game drive

Ukhozi Lodge This newly renovated small, romantic lodge is lodge is modern & stylish. The lodge have breath-taking views over the river valley teaming with wildlife below.

  • Closest airport: Port Elizabeth – +- 1.5 hours’ drive – Transfers can be arranged
  • Perfect for: Families & Couples – Children above 10 years welcome
  • Budget: From ZAR 6 800 per person per night (Children pay 50%)
  • Earthstompers rating: Classic Lodge (4 Star Superior)
  • Exclusivity:  Small lodge- 10 Suites – 6 Guests maximum per game drive

Settlers Drift Lodge This luxurious & unique tented lodge is located in a remote and untouched corner of Kariega Private Game Reserve. The perfectly located tented suites and lodge overlook the bushman’s River and offers great game viewing and views form all the decks.

  • Closest airport: Port Elizabeth – +- 1.5 hours’ drive – Transfers can be arranged
  • Perfect for: Families & Couples – Children above 10 years welcome
  • Budget: From ZAR 9 900 per person per night
  • Earthstompers rating: Superior Luxury Lodge – Tented Camp (5 Star)
  • Exclusivity:  Small lodge- 9 tented Suites – 6 Guests maximum per game drive

The Homestead  Kariega’s exclusive use Lodge is set in a remote part of the reserve.   The 7 bedroom Lodge offers luxury and privacy to small groups & families. The lodge come with a private chef, ranger and dedicated host.

  • Closest airport: Port Elizabeth – +- 1.5 hours’ drive – Transfers can be arranged
  • Perfect for: Families & small groups – Children of all ages are welcome
  • Budget: From ZAR 46 000 per night (For group of 10)
  • Earthstompers rating: Classic Lodge (4 star)
  • Exclusivity:  Small lodge- 7 Suites – Exclusive use only
Game drive in Lalibela Game Reserve with Giraffes

Lalibela Private Game Reserve

Marks Camp Bring the kids. Marks Camp is Lalibela’s family friendly Lodge. The lodge have 8 pan African style stone thatched chalets. Enjoy great views of wildlife coming to the waterhole in front of the lodge.  

  • Closest airport: Port Elizabeth – +- 1.5 hours’ drive – Transfers can be arranged
  • Perfect for: Families – Children of all ages welcome
  • Budget: From ZAR 6 550 per person per night (Children pay 50%)
  • Earthstompers rating: Classic Lodge (4 star)
  • Exclusivity:  Small lodge- 8 Chalets – 9 Guests maximum per game drive

Treetops Safari Lodge This unique and small tented lodge is perched on thatched platforms. The lodge is at tree top level and have great views over the densely forested valley below. Keep your eyes open for the elephant visiting the small watering hole at the lodge.

  • Closest airport: Port Elizabeth – +- 1.5 hours’ drive – Transfers can be arranged
  • Perfect for: Couples & Friends – Children over 16 years welcome
  • Budget: From ZAR 6 950 per person per night (Children pay 50%)
  • Earthstompers rating: Classic Lodge (4 star)
  • Exclusivity:  Small lodge- 5 Luxury tents – 9 Guests maximum per game drive

Kichaka Lodge 5 star Kichaka Lodge is built with stone that makes this lodge blend in beautifully with the surrounding landscape. Enjoy excellent views and wildlife from the lodge’s deck and bar area that overlooks the watering hole.

  • Closest airport: Port Elizabeth – +- 1.5 hours’ drive – Transfers can be arranged
  • Perfect for: Couples & friends – Children above 16 years welcome
  • Budget: From ZAR 8 450 per person per night (Children pay 50%)
  • Earthstompers rating: Superior Luxury Lodge (5 star)
  • Exclusivity:  Small lodge-10 Chalets – 6 Guests maximum per game drive

Inzolo Lodge is Lalibela’s exclusive use Lodge is set in a beautiful part of the reserve. The lodge and chalets are built on a rocky outcrop to make the most of the surrounding views.   The 4 bedroom Lodge offers luxury and privacy to small groups & families. The lodge come with a private chef, ranger and dedicated host.

  • Closest airport: Port Elizabeth – +- 1.5 hours’ drive – Transfers can be arranged
  • Perfect for: Families & small groups – Children older than 12 welcome when booked exclusively.
  • Budget: From ZAR 6 950 per person per night
  • Earthstompers rating: Classic Lodge (4 star)
  • Exclusivity:  Small lodge- 4 chalets – Can be booked for exclusive use
Addo Elephant Nation Park Elephants gather at a waterhole

Addo Elephant National Park

Gorah Elephant Camp This luxurious tented lodge is situated in the only private concession the famous Addo Elephant National Park. Look out for herds of ellies; Addo has the densest population of elephant on earth.

  • Closest airport: Port Elizabeth – +- 1.5 hours’ drive – Transfers can be arranged
  • Perfect for: Families & Couples – Children above 10 years welcome
  • Budget: From ZAR 12 425 per person per night (Kids 10-14 Pays R 6 213)
  • Earthstompers rating: Superior Luxury Lodge 
  • Exclusivity:  Medium sized lodge- 11 tented Suites – 6 Guests maximum per game drive
Camping in Amakhala Private Game Reserve

Amakhala Private Game Reserve

Quartermains Safari Camp Enjoy a genuine bush experience in this rustic, small and intimate family run“1920’s “safari camp. The camp is in a remote and quiet corner of Amakhala Private Game Reserve.

  • Closest airport: Port Elizabeth – +- 1.5 hours’ drive – Transfers can be arranged
  • Perfect for: Families, friends & Couples – Children above 12 years welcome
  • Budget: From ZAR 3830 per person per night
  • Earthstompers rating: Rustic Lodge (3 star)
  • Exclusivity:  Small lodge- 6 rustic tents – 9 Guests maximum per game drive

Woodbury tented Camp  is a rustic family run tented lodge in Amakhala Private Game Reserve. Enjoy beautiful views over the Busman’s river flood plains from your tent’s private deck or the lodge’s pool area and deck.

  • Closest airport: Port Elizabeth – +- 1.5 hours’ drive – Transfers can be arranged
  • Perfect for: Families, friends & Couples – Children above 6 years welcome
  • Budget: From ZAR 4220 per person per night
  • Earthstompers rating: Rustic Lodge (3 star)
  • Exclusivity:  Small lodge- 10 rustic tents – 9 Guests maximum per game drive
Eastern Cape Safari rich wildlife experience

Safari on foot

Shamwari Explorers Camp Safari on foot. Get very close to nature and enjoy an eye opening encounter with nature & wildlife with a walking safari in the famous Shamwari Private Game Reserve.

  • Closest airport: Port Elizabeth – +- 1.5 hours’ drive – Transfers can be arranged
  • Perfect for: Friends & Couples – Children above 16 years welcome
  • Budget: From ZAR 7300 per person per night
  • Earthstompers rating: Rustic tented bush camp (3 star)
  • Exclusivity:  Small lodge- 3 rustic tents – 6 Guests maximum per walk

We can arrange private transfers to any of these lodges if you would like to do a safari extension after our 5 Day Garden Route group tour. We can also include any of these lodges as part of our private tour packages.

Fly in Safaris: These lodges can also be reached by flying into Port Elizabeth and we can arrange a transfer to these lodges from the airport. The lodges are all about 1-1.5 hours’ drive east of Port Elizabeth. There are daily scheduled flights between Cape Town and Johannesburg to Port Elizabeth Airport operated by Airlink and FlySafair.

These lodges are nearly all 3, 4 & 5-star rated and many lodges choose not to be rated. It can be difficult to understand the level of the lodge and experience, especially since they are so unique.  We have therefore rated them according to personal experience.

  • Rustic: No star rating or 3 star (basic & rustic lodges)
  • Classic: No star rating or 4 star
  • Luxury:  5 star
  • Superior Luxury:  5 star +
  • Premium:  5 star ++

This schedule varies by season and by lodge, but a general idea of what to expect is:

Arrival day:

  • 13:00: arrival at the lodge
  • 13:30: lunch served
  • 15:00: high tea and snacks; time to meet your ranger
  • 15:30: depart on afternoon game drive
  • 19:00: return from game drive, and dinner served

Following day

  • 5:00: wakeup call
  • 5:15: Coffee/tea and greet your ranger
  • 5:30: depart on morning game drive
  • 9:00: return from morning game drive; breakfast served
  • 9:30: time to relax and enjoy the lodge

Continue with lunch and afternoon schedule

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