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 is a private game reserve offering visitors a Big Five wildlife experience while they enjoy top luxury accommodation and food. Wildlife isn’t as habituated yet as in some other private reserves because Kwandwe was established relatively recently. However, this is prime black rhino country and sightings of these very shy animals are common. The adventurous can embark on a four-day safari participating in a rhino-darting and microchipping program.

Best Time to Go May to August (Little rain)
High Season October to December (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. The shy black rhino is more common than the white rhino. 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, although there’s plenty of rain at this time of year, especially in the drizzly October–November period.

Best Time to Visit

The drier months of the year (May to September) present the best wildlife-watching opportunities, even if driving around in open-sided game vehicles early in the morning will test your resistance to cold air. You can still glimpse animals when the rains come, but your explorations of the reserve will be limited when the roads are waterlogged.

Want to Visit Kwandwe GR?

Kwandwe GR Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
Most Helpful Expert Review
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...

Latest User Review
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....