Situated at the heart of the malaria-free Eastern Cape province, Kwandwe is within easy reach of South Africa’s spectacular coastline and provides the perfect beginning or ending to a journey along the famed Garden Route. The wide open spaces and tranquil scenery belie the area's turbulent history, and relics of the area's rich historical and cultural legacy can be found both on the reserve and nearby. Kwandwe itself consists of 22 000 hectares (54 400 acres) of a hauntingly beautiful but previously neglected part of the African continent where the area’s natural wildlife has been painstakingly restored.
A conservation victory, Kwandwe is home to thousands of animals, including lion, black and white rhino, buffalo, elephant and cheetah, as well as Africa’s famous Big Five. Meaning “Place of the Blue Crane” in Xhosa, Kwandwe is a haven for a population of these rare, highly endangered birds (South Africa’s national bird). The Reserve also provides sanctuary for other threatened species, such as the Knysna woodpecker, Cape grysbok, black wildebeest, crowned eagle and black-footed cat. A biological melting pot of various vegetation types, the Reserve boasts a spectacular display of winter flowering aloes from June to August. Kwandwe flanks both the north and south banks of the Great Fish River, which meanders for 30 km (19 miles) through this pristine, private wilderness.
Set high up on a steep bank of the Great Fish River, the Lodge overlooks a majestic vista that stretches far into the horizon. With expansive viewing decks, every moment offers an opportunity to explore more of the wonders of the bush – a majestic kudu picking its way to the water’s edge or a pair of Cape clawless otters cavorting in the river. The rugged landscape is reflected in the materials and frontier style of the lodge, while the gleaming antiques and warm rugs of the interior mirror the magnificence of the scenery. Floor to ceiling glass doors give onto private balconies and offer a splendid vista from every corner of each of the nine suites. Even a soak in the bathtub lets you take in the view across the river, complete with wildlife coming down to drink. A private pathway leads toward the water, ending in an exclusive plunge pool for every suite. CUISINE: Meal times are arranged to surprise, with thoughtful delicacies served on the viewing decks, in the dining room, by lantern light in the cosy walled boma or in any of a number of unexpected locations. Soaring ceilings and huge stone chimneys dominate the guest areas, creating imposing spaces filled with comfort and light. But not everything is arranged to impose, with cosy spaces created from the warm rock walls, dark leather armchairs and deep coloured rugs.
One of the greatest luxuries Africa can offer is the sense of space. At Great Fish River Lodge, the vastness of this wild continent is all around you, from the spectacular views from the lodge’s decks to the huge windows that let a sense of grandeur right into your very bedroom. Stone walls, thatch roofs and long wooden walkways bring natural materials into the interiors, blurring the distinction between inside and outside. Everything takes place on a grander scale, imbuing the rugged landscape with the power to take your breath away.
Luxury Walking Adventures Indulge in an up close and personal glimpse of the African bush on a thrilling walking safari through the diverse habitats of Kwandwe. Private, tailormade walking safaris for a maximum of just six guests provide exceptional encounters with the smaller inhabitants of the wild. Our professionally trained walking guides cater to guests' preferences and fitness levels to create an outstanding wilderness walking experience. Whether you wish to walk for a couple of hours a day or spend all day in the bush, we can create the ideal experience for you. Start out at the crack of dawn or begin the day after a leisurely lie-in, the choice is yours. Explore the wilderness on foot in the company of our expert rangers, taking the time to observe the small wonders of the bush, from spiders and ant lions to dung beetles. A surprise awaits along the way, as an al fresco lunch is set out in the shade of massive bushveld trees, followed by a peaceful siesta in a gently swinging hammock. Return to your lodge (or to another of Kwandwe's lodges) at night to be greeted with a warm and soothing bubble bath or choose to spend an adventurous night in the wilderness and have a sleepout beneath the stars. If sleeping out, a sumptuous bush dinner is served under a twinkling night sky before you fall asleep to the enchanting night sounds of Africa. In addition to nightly accommodation costs, our tailormade walking adventures are priced at ZAR 6 120 per group per night, based on a minimum two-night stay. Bush sleepouts are charged the nightly lodge accommodation rates. Regrettably, walking safaris are not suitable for children under 16 years of age.
From R 3600.00 per person sharing per night
Children over 12 years are welcome