Kwandwe Private Game Reserve
Grahamstown, South Africa
This hotel says...
Kwandwe Private Game Reserve is a renowned conservation and community success story in its own right, assuring a sophisticated experience for the conscientious traveller. It comprises just 22 rooms split accross four small Relais & Chateaux accredited lodges, providing understated luxury and one of the highest land to guest ratios in South Africa, guaranteeing true exclusivity. The 22,000 hectares of pristine wilderness is home to the famous Big 5 as well as a diverse number of smaller and more unusual species, including an abundance of birdlife. In addition to a wide variety of safari activities including game drives and bush walks, picnic lunches and dinners alfresco, sundowners on the dam's pontoon and boat excursions, Kwandwe has introduced a number of 'active participation' activities that invite guests to get involved in the conservation and communityinitiatives being carried out on the reserve. These include the not-for-profit Rhino Conservation Safari that invites guests to help preserve these endangered species working alongside the vets and wildlife managers to track, dart, notch and tag rhinos, providing a very hands involvement in this essential – and thrilling – task, as well as Community Voluntourism programme that enable guests to add value to the community projects being run on the reserve. Guests are invited to impart their skills and expertise through the donation of their time during their safari - from just a couple of hours to a half day - assisting with gardening projects, training community centre staff in computer skills or health and fitness; participate in local arts and craft activities including bead and doll making at the day care centre simply spending an afternoon to enjoy playtime at the pre-school.
- 24 Hour Security
Air Conditioned/Climate Control
Babysitting or Child Care
Bath: Outdoor Shower (Private for the Room)
Bath: Tub with a View
Beds: Views from the Bed
Complimentary Bottled Water
Dining: Restaurant On Property
Fax Machine Available For Guests
Fireplace to Enjoy on Property
Internet: Free Wireless
Laundry/ Dry Cleaning Service
Local Shuttle Service
No TV in the Room
Parking: Self Parking (Covered)
Private Pool (Private Pool with the Room)
Room Service (Limited)
Room Type: Stand Alone Single Unit
- Room Type: Thatched Roof Cottages
Room Type: Villa
Safe: In-Room Safe
Small Plane Access
Spa/Massage on Property
Swimming Pool: Outdoor Pool
Swimming Pool: Poolside Food & Drink Service
Telephone in Room
Uniformed Security on Site
View: Rooms with River View
Views: Rooms with Panoramic Views
Windows: Floor to Ceiling Windows
Windows: Windows Open in the Room
Guided Nature Walk
- Kids Activites/Club
Small Plane Excursion
Swimming: In a Pool
- Wildlife - Birds
Wildlife - Elephants
- Relais & Chateau
- Safari Lodges
Pets are not allowed
Free WiFi throughout at all the lodges
Kwandwe Private Game Reserve is a highly respected, world-renowned eco-tourism destination with an exceptional conservation track record and a reputation for sustainable community upliftment. Kwandwe has successfully managed to maintain a sustainable high yield/ low impact conservation model. The 22,000 hectares (54,000 acres) of rehabilitated wilderness stretches either side of the Great Fish River and comprises only four small luxury safari lodges, according it one of the highest acre to guest ratios in South Africa. The successful development of this conservation model is key to furthering Kwandwe’s numerous conservation initiatives. ENVIRONMENT: Reclaiming 20,000 hectares of farmland and placing it under wildlife conservation. Providing a refuge for the sensitive sub-tropical thicket vegetation. Reclaiming areas of intense agriculture . On average sub-tropical thicket stores 40 tons of carbon per ha; Kwandwe has in the region of 13,000 hectares of sub-tropical thicket, amounting to 520,000 tons of carbon being stored on the property.WILDLIFE & CONSERVATION: The reintroduction of the endangered black rhinoceros. Returning cheetah to the Great Fish River Valley for the first time since 1888 The reintroduction of small feline species, mostly rare, absent from the area Serval, African wildcat and Small Spotted Cat The reintroduction of some 7 000 wild animals, including elephant, both species of rhino, hippo, lion, leopard, brown hyena etc Eleven postgraduate research studies conducted on wildlife and vegetation on Kwandwe The reestablishment of populations of disease-free Cape Buffalo, Cheetah, Lion, White Rhino and Black Rhino on many game reserves in South Africa from Kwandwe’s founding stock Providing a breeding refuge for the Blue Crane Conducting a leopard population census along with a drive to relieve farmer-leopard conflict in the immediate area A new conservation focus of studying the Brown hyena’s diet to gain a better understanding of the general biology of these animals as part of the greater ecological system on the reserve
Kwandwe is proud of its contribution to the development of thriving, empowered communities both within and surrounding the reserve through the numerous ongoing initiatives of the Angus Gillis Foundation. Kwandwe has been involved in the following initiatives: Creation of the Angus Gillis Foundation, a registered non-profit organisation that works with communities both within and neighbouring the reserve Employment of over 200 people from rural communities, of which at least 50% are women, doubling the income of most households Providing a positive health programme for staff, families and 11 surrounding rural villages Funded the construction of a formal primary school within 2 km of the reserve’s Eastern boundary Providing a preschool and after-care centre on the reserve for staff’s children Co-funded Rhodes University in the construction of the Development Centre Donated land for the development of an agri-village Allocated land on Kwandwe and facilitated the construction of the Mgcamabele Community Centre Over 60 members of staff have been through an accredited leadership programme Providing adult based education and training with an on-property computer training centre
For guests who prefer to self-drive to the reserve, undercover parking is provided free of charge. Upon arrival at the main gate, guests will continue straight along the road for a further 6km and turn in at the building on their left, Heatherton Towers Reception area, where they check in and leave their car. Guests 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.
Breakfast is included, consisting of a full buffet as well as choices from an a la carte menu for hot breakfast options
Kwandwe Ecco Lodge and Kwandwe Great Fish River Lodge each has a communal dining area in the main lodge, or on the main deck overlooking the reserve. Alternatively each suite has its own private deck ideal for private in-room/ al fresco dining. Kwandwe Melton Manor and Kwandwe Uplands Homestead, the two sole-use villas, have dining rooms as well as outdoor spaces for feasting under the stars. Guests are encouraged to get involved and try their hand at combining flavours under the friendly guidance of their expert personal chef, or simply to watch as meals or snacks are expertly prepared.
1. Flights · There is a daily scheduled flight from Port Elizabeth directly to the Kwandwe airstrip. It departs at 13h15 and takes approximately 45 minutes. The return scheduled flight departs Kwandwe at 10h00. Charter flights can also be organised. For both options please note that luggage is generally limited to 12 kg per person in soft travel bags.
2. Road Transfers · The distance from Port Elizabeth to Kwandwe is 160 km (100 miles) and can be comfortably covered by road in an hour and 45 minutes. Numerous car rental agencies are located at Port Elizabeth Airport, however should guests prefer a chauffeured transfer we will gladly organise this at an additional cost. Please enquire upon making your accommodation reservation. Guests who self-drive will leave their vehicle at our car park at Heatherton Towers and will be transferred to their lodge by open safari vehicle.
As Kwandwe is a game reserve the terrain in general can be rough, however the lodges (with the exception of Great Fish River Lodge) are accessible with assistance.