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Boesmans River

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... is a section of the Sunshine Coast that lies around 150km east of Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape region of South Africa.

The 75km of coastline that lies to the west of Port Alfred is amongst the most alluring in the country, with wild and rural landscapes backing broad sand-dune beaches between glorious river mouths and estuaries.

Inland from the coast lie a number of private safari reserves, all of which are easily accessible from the main N2 highway from Port Elizabeth.

The upsides of safari in these reserves is that the area is non-malarial safari, the landscapes are attractive, the wildlife viewing is easy, there is a wide range of accommodation options, many of which are particularly child-friendly. Most offer the renowned "Big Five" experience. The lodges here also tend to be relatively well priced compared with most safari areas across the continent.

The potential downsides are that safari here can be relatively tame. Most of these reserves are on reclaimed farmland, are close to the main road and close to human habitation. All of them are fenced and stocked with animals.

We consider these negatives to be so significant that none of the lodges in this area are rated at higher than around 8/10. For higher rated safari lodges it is necessary to head at least a thousand kilometres north.

Sibuya Reserve ... is an interesting place, a safari area which can be accessed by boat from the coastal settlement of Kenton-on-Sea. Sibuya Forest Camp and Sibuya River Camp are both pretty decent options.

Kariega Reserve ... is a more substantial conservation area with free-roaming elephants, rhinos and lions. The best accommodation here is the quaint Kariega Homestead, backed up by the more substantial Kariega River Lodge and Kariega Ukhozi Lodge.

Sebumo Tude ... is a rural retreat a little further west, which can function as a good lower cost base for day trips along the coast.

Kenton-on-Sea ... is a pretty seaside village with a modest range of beach accommodation, notably including River Roost and Oyster Box.
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