Shamwari Game Reserve South African Safari Holidays

Photo of Long Lee Manor at Shamwari Game Reserve Photo of two leopards at Shamwari


General Enquiries & Bookings

Luxury Lodges

Click on the links below to view the lodges and make a booking enquiry:

Bayethe Tented Lodge

Photo of Bayethe Tented Lodge

Eagles Crag Lodge

Photo of Eagles Crag Lodge

Explorer Camp

Explorer Camp

Long Lee Manor

Photo of Long Lee Manor

Shamwari Game Reserve in South Africa

Shamwari Private Game Reserve is situated in the Eastern Cape of South Africa and is home to vast numbers of wildlife and birdlife. Shamwari is a leader in conservation activities and offers 5-star safari holidays in luxury lodges. With its incredible ecological diversity and 5 of South Africa’s 7 biomes found here, it is truly a place to visit for an exceptional wildlife safari holiday.

Like Madikwe Game Reserve in Northwest Province and Phinda Game reserve in Kwazulu-Natal, Shamwari also started off with virtually none of the larger wildlife remaining after years of the land being farmed. The first farm that was bought in 1990 was only 1,200 hectares big, but several farms became available and was bought until it created a unit of 25,000 hectares, which is still the size today.

Early research showed that the Eastern Cape used to be one of the wildlife areas in Africa with the richest and most diverse wildlife. Wildlife historians refer to the Cape Buffalo, Cape Leopard, Cape Lion and Cape Hunting Dog (Wild Dog) in their historical travel documents. However, due to over hunting, over farming and drought most of these species did not survive the 19th century.

The new owners started the process to return the land to its once pristine condition. By sharing their vision with a committed team, they worked and planned until today they have an award-winning Shamwari Game Reserve. In order to make the whole idea sustainable, they had to make it profitable as well. That they did by building their beautifully designed and decorated lodges and training and motivating staff to deliver a superior world-class wildlife safari experience. Then, in 1992 Shamwari Game Reserve came into existence with a small, passionate staff of seven, and grew to the point where they now have seven 5-star safari lodges to choose from.

While they systematically and scientifically rehabilitated the land, they also, with the same care, started the process of restocking the wildlife to its original splendour. An on-going process of acquiring and exchanging animals to prevent inbreeding of the species.

On 15th October 1992, Shamwari was officially opened for guests at the original Manor house, Long Lee manor. Two 1820 Settler cottages, Highfield and Carn Ingly, were also lovingly restored and opened to guests.

Seven years later, the animal rescue and educational programme was launched and the Julie Ward Centre was opened in September 1999, where African cats are cared for. By the year 2000, the reserve had enough space and stock to support large predators. In October 2000, the first lions were reintroduced to the Eastern Cape at Shamwari in fulfillment of a dream.

Currently, the 25,000 hectares of land comprises 6 luxury 5-star safari lodges, an Explorer Camp, 3 different education and rehabilitation facilities and employs about 325 local staff. The land has been restored to its original state with the wonderful Eastern Cape flora and fauna of yesteryear, teeming with free-roaming wildlife. You are welcome to come and witness Shamwari and what has been accomplished here while you enjoy an unforgettable African wildlife safari holiday.

Book your Shamwari Safari Vacations and Safari Lodges with us