Overview – Kwandwe GR

Philip Briggs
Expert
By Philip Briggs

Philip lives in South Africa and is the author many guidebooks to African destinations, including the Bradt and Insight guide to South Africa.

Philip lives in South Africa and is the author many Africa guidebooks, including the Bradt and Insight guide to South Africa.

Philip is the author of many Africa guidebooks, including the Bradt and Insight guides to South Africa.

Philip is the author of the Bradt and Insight guides to South Africa.

Kwandwe ranks among the best and most exclusive private game reserves in the Eastern Cape or for that matter anywhere in South Africa. The sense of exclusivity here is linked to a very low guest to land ratio, with the two lodges and three villas that scatter its 220km²/85mi². A superb Big Five wildlife experience is complimented by luxury accommodation and word-class food.

Best Time to Go January to December (All year)
High Season October to April (High season rates)
Size 220km² / 85mi²
Altitude 250-490m / 820-1,608ft

Pros & Cons

  • Good wildlife viewing
  • Stunning scenery
  • Easy add-on at the end of the popular Garden Route
  • Top guides and off-road driving in open vehicles
  • Excellent nocturnal viewing
  • Malaria-free
  • Only fully inclusive, expensive packages, no budget options

Kwandwe GR Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding

Wildlife

Kwandwe is home to all the big safari animals including the Big Five. Wildlife is slightly less habituated than it is in some other private reserves, but it is prime black rhino country and sightings of these very shy animals are relatively common. White rhino and cheetah sightings are also excellent. Night drives are particularly rewarding with regular sightings of aardvark, aardwolf and porcupine.

Scenery

The scenic Great Fish River meanders for 30km/19 mi through Kwandwe GR. The vast rolling landscape seems to go on forever, and forest-like thickets of Euphorbia trees grow on the steep slopes. This habitat is prime black rhino country.

Weather & Climate

Temperatures get pretty cold at Kwandwe in winter (May to September), especially at night and early in the morning. This is accompanied by lots of clear-sky days. The summer months (October to April) are warmer by far, but there’s also more rain at this time of year, especially in the wettest months of October and November.

Best Time to Visit

The drier months of the year (May to September) present the best wildlife-watching opportunities, though being driven around in an open-sided game vehicle early in the morning will test your resistance to cold air. Rainfall is slightly higher in summer (October to April), but not to such an extent that it is likely to inhibit game viewing.

Want to Visit Kwandwe GR?

Kwandwe GR Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
Most Helpful Expert Review
Expert
Stephen Cunliffe  –  
South Africa ZA

Stephen is a travel writer and avid conservationist whose work appears in prestigious magazines such as Africa Geographic and Travel Africa.

Best Safari Experience in the Eastern Cape
4/5

Eastern Cape game reserves have long been considered ‘soft safari options’ by many, but in recent times the Eastern Cape has finally evolved into a genuine safari destination, boasting top quality, malaria-free, wildlife-viewing without...

Full Review

Latest User Review
PyLb29  –  
France FR
Reviewed: Sep 25, 2017
5/5

My favorite safari, no complaints. Full immersion in the bush in a 4x4, accompanied by experienced Rangers (a driver and a tracker). The feeling of seeing animals every 500 meters, and especially the joy of seeing the Big Five in one day....

Full Review