The Safari Experts
  • f beaufort to kwandwe
  • kwandwe to ghamstn
Fish River Reserves
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Great Fish River Reserves


... is an inland area located around 150km northeast of Port Elizabeth in the Sunshine Coast East area of the Eastern Cape in South Africa.

North of Grahamstown the landscape takes on more of an upland character, with undulating hills separated by steep valleys and a network of rivers and streams.

Kwandwe Reserve ... is a private wildlife area which lies on the western side of the R67 highway and comprises 200 square kilometres of fully rehabilitated farmland with a full range of wildlife and with four excellent high-end accommodation options. It is certainly one of the most alluring of the non-malarial game reserves in the whole of the Cape. The flagship option is Kwandwe River Lodge, with Kwandwe Ecca Lodge being designed for families with younger children. Both Kwandwe Melton Manor and Kwandwe Uplands Homestead are rented in their entirety to larger private groups.

Great Fish River Nature Reserve ... extends over 450 square kilometres of beautiful sweeping landscapes either side of the meandering Fish River. In the past this area was fought over by white settlers and Xhosa tribes and is dotted with forts, fortified farmsteads, barracks and graves. There is a good deal of wildlife here, including elephants, hippos, black rhinos and elands, but no large predators. A number of the old homesteads are offered as self-catering accommodation, largely to a domestic audience.

We tend to most often include the Kwandwe Reserve in trips for more experienced safari travellers, who are more concerned about the general quality of the safari rather than joining the novices in headlong pursuit of the infamous "Big Five". The usual stay duration at Kwandwe is three nights, two is possible, longer is nice.

It is almost always visited as part of a self-drive exploration of the Eastern Cape, often in combination with Western Cape. It combines well with the wildlife reserves of the Cradock and Graaff-Reinet area, which are similarly understated, authentic and high quality.
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Jay Hanson
Jay Hanson, Senior Safari Consultant
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