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Kwandwe Private Game Reserve is spread along the Great Fish River, with the added bonus of being in the malaria free Eastern Cape.
Kwandwe is made up of three safari lodges and one villa for exclusive use, all with different lay outs and designs, suiting a range of guests.
Ecca Lodge brings a contemporary touch to the reserve. Modern prints line the walls of this six suite lodge, and the vibe is relaxed and carefree. Children of all ages are welcome, and there is even a play centre to keep them occupied, as well as a lodge swimming pool. Each suite also has a private plunge pool and large viewing deck, perfect for keeping an eye out for those wandering animals.
Great Fish River Lodge is set along the river banks and provides a more authentic safari experience. The lodge is in keeping with the landscape with earth coloured fabrics and muted tones, and indigenous timber and antique furniture hark back to a bygone era. All of the nine suites are vast and have private plunge pools.
The third lodge is Melton Manor, a villa style lodge with just four suites set around a central courtyard. Its small size means the rooms can be rented out individually, or in its entirity for exclusive use. Each room has a butler hatch for discreet room service, and there is a main swimming pool. This lodge nods towards Ecca's contemporary vibe, yet retains an element of authenticity, and the sweeping views of the Afromontane forests are spectacular.
The fourth property in Kwandwe's repertoire is Uplands Homestead, a converted farmhouse set in the remote and tranquil valley offering an authentic 'Out of Africa' experience. It is a converted farmhouse with just three bedrooms and an outdoor swimming pool, and is only available to rent as a whole. Built in 1905, the interior is inspired by 1820's settlers, and is a far cry from modern Ecca Lodge.
The Big Five can all be found at Kwandwe, as well as cheetah and black rhino. Children's activities are also on offer, and with the area being malaria free it is the perfect choice for families and couples alike.
- As Kwandwe is a private reserve night safaris are the norm, and often result in unusual sightings. Keep your eyes peeled for both the aardwolf and aardvark.
Tom, Original Traveller