SA Epic Tour: Nothing beats waking up to a kudu outside your door

Elephant herd at Shamwari

The herd of Elephants we encountered at Shamwari

Set to be one of our most exciting stays over the whole trip, we drove the dark and dusty road to Long Lee Manor at Shamwari Private Game Reserve outside Port Elizabeth. We were not sure what to expect as we made our way into the darkness of the Eastern Cape evening. Well, we were pleasently surprised, after entering the animal-proof gates of the reserve we rounded a corner and we warmly met by Matt from the manor.

Staff quickly whisked away our bags and we were led through the darkness to our luxurious colonial style accommodations. Bedrooms are spacious here with massive his and hers bathrooms, even in the standard rooms. After freshening up we went up to the bar to meet our guide, Simon, for a glass of wine and chat.

What’s novel at Shamwari is that there is one guide per party visiting, they drink with you and eat meals with you, discussing your requirements and filling you in on details about Shamwari and sharing their hairy stories of close encounters of the wild kind. Dinner was up at the old barn, a really scrumptuous buffet with traditional African cuisine and of course, some more good wine and conversation!

Waking in the morning brought with it a massive surprise in the form of a “billion” kilo kudu staring right at me, I was so taken aback that I almost didn’t notice the heard of giraffe and waterbuck behind him! That wasn’t the last of the wildlife sightings mind you, after a yummy breakfast we went on a bit of a game drive. How do you describe a game drive and being able to see all those amazing animals? It’s near impossible, check those pics on our Flickr page to see what it looked like! It was simply, WOW! We saw lion, wildebeest, hippo and huge heard of very peacful elephants complete with some very new additions to the family.

We were also afforded the priveledge of visiting a number of the amazing lodges all round the reserve, like the rustic and luxurious Bayete Tented Camp, the fabulously modern and yet African Sarili Lodge and Eagles Crag Lodge where John Travolta himself has stayed! Each of the lodges is unique, some catering for families, others catering for romantic getaways with outdoor showers. These pics are also available on our Flickr page.

After that excitement, our next stop was East London! Watch this space for more!!

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