All of the usual 'big 5' suspects can be found at this malaria free game reserve, lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, black & white rhino, cheetah, hippo, giraffe and more.
Of particular interest is something that can be found only here in the Eastern Cape of South Africa and nowhere else, the flightless dung beetle.
Birdlife is plentiful and you can be treated to sightings of raptors like Black-shouldered Kites, Fish Eagles, Booted Eagles and Secretary Birds. Other species occurring are Red-billed Oxpeckers, Chats, Hoopoes, Bokmakierie and a wide variety of water bird frequenting the dams and rivers.
Shamwari is all about luxury and the accommodation options definitely reflect this. There are a total of six lodges situated away from each other to ensure privacy and exclusivity.
One is surrounded by impressive mountain cliffs, another overlooks the plains, then there is a luxurious tented camp each with a plunge pool and a villa which can be booked for sole use.
Then there is a family lodge that caters to younger children with a supervised playroom, jungle gym and animal skulls garden. And for older children the heated pool and personalised service in the lodge overlooking The Bushmans River is ideal.
Rainfall is something of a luxury in this area with less than 450 mm (17.7 in) falling during the year leading to semi-arid conditions. When it does fall it normally peaks in February - March and October - November but is pretty evenly distributed across the other months too.
Maximum average precipitation per month is 54 mm (2.1 in) in March and the minimum is 23 mm (0.9 in) in June.
Summer (October to March) temperatures are mild in comparison with other reserves in the north reaching an average maximum of 28 °C by day and 16 °C by night.
Winter (May to August) temperatures can be cold dropping to freezing but the average minimum is 6 °C at night and 21 °C during the day.
Size & Distances
Shamwari is situated in the Eastern Cape of South Africa and measures 250 ㎢ (25 000 hectares). It used to be a collection of farms but has now been restored to it's former glory to contain most of the biodiversity that was historically encountered here.
The longest distance from north to south as the crow flies is 22.56 km (14.02 mi) and from east to west is 13.92 km (8.65 mi). The closest city is Port Elizabeth which is 75 km (46.6 mi) away.
Off-road driving is allowed and the guides make use of it to ensure excellent sightings where necessary.
Getting here by air is easy for international and domestic travelers alike by flying to Port Elizabeth Airport (PLZ) and then taking a road transfer to the game reserve from there. International arrivals will have to take a connecting flight to Port Elizabeth from Oliver Tambo (JNB) or Cape Town (CPT) International airports.
There are several airlines that fly domestically to this destination namely South African Airways, SA Airlink, SA Express, Comair Airways, Kulula and Mango.
It's also possible to charter a flight that will fly directly to a private airstrip situated close to Shamwari itself and then take a very short, free game drive transfer to your lodge.