Kwandwe Private Game Reserve

Kwandwe Private Game Reserve

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Located in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa, Kwandwe Private Game Reserve is a magnificent 22 000-hectare reserve that offers visitors an opportunity to explore the beauty of the…

Kwandwe Private Game Reserve

Located in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa, Kwandwe Private Game Reserve is a magnificent 22 000-hectare reserve that offers visitors an opportunity to explore the beauty of the African wilderness. The reserve, which is named after the blue crane, one of South Africa’s most endangered birds, is a protected haven for thousands of animals, including the Big Five – elephant, lion, leopard, rhino and buffalo, as well as cheetah and other threatened species.

Kwandwe is situated near the historic town of Grahamstown, approximately two hours’ drive from the bustling coastal city of Port Elizabeth. The reserve is easily accessible and is located within reach of the famous Garden Route, making it an ideal destination for travelers looking to combine a safari experience with a coastal holiday.

One of the highlights of Kwandwe is the range of accommodation options available to visitors. The reserve has two lodges, a manor and a homestead, each offering a unique and luxurious experience. Visitors can choose between modern, contemporary lodges or traditional, colonial-style homes. Each lodge offers its own private plunge pool and outdoor deck, allowing guests to relax and soak in the breathtaking views of the African bushveld.

The reserve’s rangers are well-informed and passionate about wildlife, providing visitors with an opportunity to learn more about the animals and their habitats. Game drives are conducted in the early morning and evening, when the animals are most active, ensuring that guests have the best possible chance of spotting the Big Five and other wildlife. Guests can also choose to explore the reserve on foot with interpretive bush walks, tracking rhino or fishing, among other activities.

For those interested in history, Kwandwe offers tours to learn more about the Frontier Wars that took place around the area. The reserve is also a birdwatcher’s paradise, with over 300 species of birds found here, including the rare Knysna woodpecker and crowned eagle.

Kwandwe is a malaria-free reserve, making it a safe destination for families with children. Children are welcome, and the reserve offers a range of activities designed specifically for them. Former guests have given rave reviews about the amount of game they are easily able to spot and the professionalism of the staff.

The landscape at Kwandwe is varied, with south-facing slopes covered in denser vegetation and forest-like thickets of Euphorbia trees, while north-facing slopes are drier and more open. This creates a diverse range of habitats, providing visitors with the opportunity to spot a range of animals and plants.

Kwandwe Private Game Reserve offers visitors an array of activities and tourist destinations to explore during their stay. From game drives and bush walks to historical tours and spa treatments, there is something for everyone at this incredible reserve.

Popular Activities and Attractions Near Kwandwe Private Game Reserve

Apart from game drives, bush walks, and rhino tracking, there are several other activities to enjoy in and around Kwandwe Private Game Reserve.

Historical Tours

The Frontier Wars, which took place between the British settlers and the Xhosa people in the 18th and 19th centuries, played a significant role in shaping the history of the Eastern Cape. Visitors can take a historical tour of nearby Grahamstown to learn more about the local history and culture.

Bird Watching

Kwandwe Private Game Reserve is a haven for bird enthusiasts. With over 300 bird species in the reserve, including the Knysna Woodpecker and the crowned eagle, there are plenty of opportunities for bird watching.

Coastal Excursions

Located near the famous Garden Route, Kwandwe Private Game Reserve is within reach of some of the most beautiful coastal destinations in South Africa. Visitors can take a day trip to nearby beaches, including Plettenberg Bay and Jeffreys Bay, or visit the nearby Tsitsikamma National Park, known for its rugged coastline and indigenous forests.

Cultural Tours

The Eastern Cape is known for its rich cultural heritage, and visitors can experience it firsthand by visiting local villages and communities. Guided tours of the nearby townships provide a glimpse into the lives and traditions of the Xhosa people.

Spa Treatments

After a day of game drives and bush walks, visitors can unwind with a relaxing spa treatment. Both of Kwandwe’s lodges offer spa treatments, including massages and facials, to help guests relax and rejuvenate.

Safari Photography

Kwandwe is a photographer’s paradise, with stunning landscapes, diverse wildlife, and incredible light at sunrise and sunset. The reserve offers photographic safaris led by experienced guides who will help you capture the perfect shot.

Addo Elephant National Park

Located approximately three hours’ drive from Kwandwe, Addo Elephant National Park is home to over 600 elephants, as well as a variety of other wildlife, including lions, buffalo, and hyenas. Visitors can take a day trip to the park to experience a different side of South Africa’s wildlife.

Amakhala Game Reserve

If you’re looking for a thrilling day safari experience in the Eastern Cape, the Amakhala Game Reserve is an excellent option. Guided by experienced rangers on open Land Rovers, the reserve offers visitors a chance to see the Big 5 and other wildlife in their natural habitat.

The Amakhala Game Reserve is a 7,500-hectare private game reserve situated in the Eastern Cape. The reserve is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including black wildebeest, cheetah, giraffe, zebra, and numerous antelope species.

The day safari at Amakhala Game Reserve starts at Reed Valley, where visitors receive an orientation and welcome drinks before embarking on a game drive through the reserve. The drive offers spectacular views and descends into the Bushman’s River Valley, providing visitors with a unique perspective of the landscape.

After the game drive, visitors can enjoy an authentic African cuisine buffet, served in the true African way, before departing on a tranquil 45-minute river cruise. The river cruise is a great opportunity to spot wildlife, including hippos and crocodiles, in their natural habitat.

Once the river cruise is over, visitors can continue their adventure with a further game drive through other parts of the reserve before making their way back to Reed Valley.

Children 6 and older are welcome on the day safari, making it a great activity for families to enjoy together.

In addition to the day safari, the Amakhala Game Reserve offers a range of other activities, including bush walks, horseback safaris, and bird watching. Visitors can also stay overnight at one of the reserve’s lodges or tented camps, offering an immersive safari experience.

Located just an hour’s drive from Port Elizabeth, the Amakhala Game Reserve is an easily accessible and exciting destination for those looking to experience South Africa’s wildlife and natural beauty.

Haricots Deli & Bistro

For foodies looking to indulge in some delicious cuisine while visiting Kwandwe Private Game Reserve, Haricots Deli & Bistro is a must-visit destination. This popular eatery is located in the heart of Grahamstown’s French Quarter and offers a range of delectable food options that are sure to tantalize your taste buds.

The emphasis at Haricots is on simple, high-quality food, prepared with care and attention to detail. The bistro serves up a variety of lunch and dinner options, including fresh salads, hearty soups, and delicious mains such as grilled steaks, succulent seafood, and vegetarian dishes. The desserts are equally impressive, with freshly baked breads and cakes available daily in the deli.

In addition to the food, Haricots also boasts one of the most comprehensive and discerning wine lists in Grahamstown, making it a great place to sample some of South Africa’s best wines. Whether you’re looking for a crisp white to pair with your seafood dish or a full-bodied red to accompany your steak, Haricots has you covered.

If you’re looking to bring some of Haricots’ delicious flavors back home with you, the shoppe offers a variety of goodies, including homemade jams, chutneys, and other tasty treats.

Located just a short drive from Kwandwe Private Game Reserve, Haricots Deli & Bistro is a great place to stop for a meal or a snack on your way to or from the reserve. With its focus on high-quality, locally-sourced ingredients, and delicious food and wine, it’s no wonder that Haricots is a favorite among locals and visitors alike.

Albany Museum Complex

For those interested in history and culture, a visit to the Albany Museum Complex is a must-do when in the area. The complex, established in 1855, is the second oldest museum in South Africa and comprises of five museums that document the social and natural environment of the Eastern Cape.

The Natural Science Museum, History Museum, Observatory Museum, Provost Prison, and Fort Selwyn all have unique exhibits that provide insight into the region’s past and present. The Education Department at the museum provides resources and educational programs for those interested in learning more about the cultural studies, history, and natural sciences of the area.

In addition, the Mobile Museum service offers portable exhibits, resource packs, and objects for curriculum-based studies. The museum also provides identification services, public lectures, film shows, open days, walking tours, and special events throughout the year.

Whether you’re interested in the flora and fauna of the area, the history of the region, or want to learn more about the people who have lived here, the Albany Museum Complex has something for everyone. Visitors can request a yearly education program, which outlines the various activities and events happening at the museum. Don’t miss out on the chance to experience this unique and informative cultural destination.

Provost Prison

In addition to the Kwandwe Private Game Reserve, the Eastern Cape region of South Africa offers many interesting destinations and attractions for visitors to explore. One such attraction is the Albany Museum Complex, which is located in Grahamstown and comprises five museums. Established in 1855, the Albany Museum Complex is the second oldest museum in South Africa and is a testament to the region’s rich history and natural beauty.

One of the museums in the complex is the Provost Prison, which was built in 1838 as a military prison on the Drostdy grounds. The prison was designed based on Jeremy Bentham’s panopticon prison system of the 18th century, which allowed constant surveillance of the prisoners from the guards through the windows of the tower. The outer circle of the building housed the cells and exercise yard and surrounded the two-story guard house.

The prison was deemed a national monument in 1937 and has since been restored and is now under the watch of the Albany Museum Complex. Visitors can explore the prison’s history and learn about the conditions that prisoners endured during their time there.

Interestingly, during the National Arts Festival, visitors can rent out the cells as their Grahamstown accommodation for the festival. It is an opportunity to experience the history of the prison in a unique way while also participating in the cultural festivities of the festival.

Other attractions near Kwandwe Private Game Reserve include Haricots Deli & Bistro in Grahamstown, which offers delicious food and an extensive wine list, and the Amakhala Game Reserve, which offers day safaris with experienced rangers on open Land Rovers to see diverse wildlife such as the Big 5, Black Wildebeest, Cheetah, Giraffe, Zebra, and numerous other antelope. The day safari includes a tranquil 45-minute river cruise and an authentic African cuisine buffet served in the true African way. Children aged 6 and older are welcome to join the safari.

In conclusion, the Eastern Cape region of South Africa has plenty of activities and tourist destinations to offer visitors. From exploring the history of the Provost Prison at the Albany Museum Complex to enjoying a day safari at the Amakhala Game Reserve, visitors will have plenty to see and do in this beautiful part of the world.

Makana Botanical Gardens

Located in the heart of Grahamstown, the Makana Botanical Gardens is a popular tourist destination for nature lovers. The gardens cover an area of 10 hectares and are home to a diverse range of plant and bird species. Visitors can enter the gardens through Rhodes University’s Eden Grove, and it’s best to visit on a weekday morning when there are fewer people around.

The Makana Botanical Gardens are a birdwatcher’s paradise, with a variety of bird species to spot, including Cape weavers, greater double-collared sunbirds, red-winged starlings, yellow-fronted canaries, bronze mannikins, rock kestrels, grey sunbirds, olive woodpeckers, and southern black flycatchers. The gardens are also home to the African harrier hawk, lesser honeyguide, and Klaas’s cuckoo.

Apart from birdwatching, visitors can also take a leisurely stroll through the gardens, which are home to a wide range of plant species, including succulents, ferns, and cycads. There are also several walking trails and picnic spots for visitors to enjoy. The gardens also have a tea garden, where visitors can relax and enjoy refreshments while taking in the beautiful surroundings.

The Makana Botanical Gardens were established in 1853 and were initially used as an experimental garden for growing plants for medicinal and economic purposes. Today, the gardens are a popular attraction in Grahamstown and are open to the public year-round.

Grahamstown Cathedral

The Grahamstown Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of St Michael and St George, is a beautiful landmark that has stood in the city since the 1800s. The cathedral first opened its doors in 1830 and has since undergone renovations and restorations. The current tower and spire were designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott and completed in 1879.

Visitors to the cathedral may notice that some of the memorial plaques are covered. This is because many of the plaques are in commemoration of the fallen soldiers during the conflict between the original Xhosa residents and the European settlers, and some of them do not reflect the diversity of the Anglican Church of South Africa today.

Apart from its historical significance, the cathedral also houses numerous memorial tablets that tell the story of Grahamstown as a frontier post. These can be found at the lectern, pulpit, road screen, and organ.

One interesting feature of the cathedral is its belfry, which holds a part of African history. It was the first to house the heaviest and first full ring of 8 bells on the continent. These bells were cast in London in 1878 and are made up of metal from the 3 bells that hung in the original tower.

If you’re interested in visiting the Grahamstown Cathedral, it is open to visitors during the day and offers guided tours upon request. It’s a great way to learn more about the history and architecture of the city.

Cory Library For Historical Research

Aside from its impressive collection, the Cory Library also offers several services and programs to visitors. For instance, visitors can attend seminars, workshops and lectures on various historical and cultural topics. The library also has a reading room that can accommodate up to 20 people at a time, making it an ideal place for scholars and researchers to study and work.

The library is open to the public on weekdays, except during public holidays and university vacations. Visitors can apply for membership, which is renewable annually, and they will be able to access the library’s resources and services. The library also offers a reproduction service, where visitors can obtain copies of documents and other materials for research purposes.

The Cory Library is not only a valuable resource for academics and researchers, but also for anyone interested in the rich history and culture of South Africa. With its extensive collection, friendly staff, and various programs, it is definitely worth a visit for anyone interested in delving deeper into the country’s past.

1820 Settlers National Monument

In addition to its significance as a monument to the English settlers of South Africa, the 1820 Settlers National Monument offers stunning views of the city of Grahamstown and its surrounding landscape. Visitors can climb to the top of the monument’s tower for a panoramic vista of the area.

Inside the monument, visitors can explore exhibits on the history of the 1820 Settlers and their impact on the Eastern Cape region. The monument also hosts a variety of cultural events and activities, including concerts, art exhibitions, and educational programs.

During the National Arts Festival, the monument becomes a hub of activity, with multiple venues hosting performances and exhibitions. In addition to its own programming, the monument serves as a central meeting place for festival-goers and a place to relax and take in the festival atmosphere.

Outside the monument, visitors can explore the surrounding Settlers’ Monument Nature Reserve, which offers hiking trails and opportunities for bird-watching and wildlife spotting. The reserve is home to a variety of indigenous flora and fauna, including the rare cycad plant and the elusive Cape leopard.

The 1820 Settlers National Monument is a must-see destination for visitors to Grahamstown and the Eastern Cape region, offering both historical and natural attractions and a rich cultural experience.

Oldest Official Letterbox In South Africa

The oldest official letterbox in South Africa is a must-see for visitors to Grahamstown. While sending a letter or postcard may seem outdated in today’s electronic world, there’s something special about receiving a physical piece of mail. You can find the letterbox on St. Andrew’s College corner, where Worcester Street intersects with Somerset Street.

Painted in the traditional red of post office letterboxes, this box is believed to have been manufactured between 1857 and 1859. While it no longer displays the letters “V.R” denoting the monarch, Queen Victoria, this box is steeped in history.

It’s not known exactly when the box arrived in South Africa or when it was erected in Grahamstown, but it’s thought to have been between 1859 and 1860. Although it may not be the oldest letterbox in the world, it ranks among the top twenty.

Posting a letter from this box is a unique experience as it receives a special frank. So, take a step back in time and send a letter or postcard from this historic letterbox.

A visit to Kwandwe Private Game Reserve is an unforgettable experience, offering visitors an opportunity to explore the African bushveld, view incredible wildlife, and enjoy luxurious accommodation. Whether you’re traveling with family or friends, a trip to Kwandwe will leave you with memories that will last a lifetime.






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