User Reviews – Shamwari GR
50-65 years of age | Experience level: first safari
Magnificent, as an hobby photographer, I couldn't capture it all
From our very first moment entering the Reserve accomodation I was impressed by the reception, personnel and food and as an extra we were also greeted by a young Bull Elephant who broke in inside the compound for a little threat. We didn't see the big 5 as everyone like to bragged about but we saw plenty of animals (lions, rhino, hippo, zebra, giraffe all sort of gazelles and antelopes, elan etc... and a mother chetah hunting down a young wildebeast with her 2 youngs. Fabulous photos. I didn't rate the birding high because birding wasn't my main focus, but I got a few shots of birds and I am sure that it could have been excellent.
Email Roger Cossey | 50-65 years of age | Experience level: first safari
See South Africa's Big Five and have the experience of a lifetime.
Our trip to the Shamwari Game Reserve in June 2007 came as part of a 'once in a lifetime' trip to South Africa. We flew from London to Capetown, spent a few days there and then flew to Port Elizabeth where we picked up our hire car. The drive to Shamwari was far easier than we expected and as we got closer so our excitement increased.
We arrived at our hotel, Riverdene, in the afternoon and settled into our room . A short while later our hosts announced that we were going to go on our first safari and we were introduced to our guide and driver. Along with several other guests we climbed into one of the reserve's Land Rovers and set off into the bush. As most of the tracks we used consist of unmade roads it was quite a bumpy ride but the excitement of seeing elephants and giraffes in the wild soon made up for that. Although much of the tour was on level ground we did go in and out of a lot of gullies so we were able to see how good the Land Rovers was at going down VERY steep slopes and back up the sheer bank the other side.
After a couple of hours we returned to the hotel where we had a shower and joined the other guests for dinner. The food there was excellent with a selection of local wildlife - e.g. Impala - not quite we are used to in UK restaurants. The hotel had lots of facilities that we did not use but there was loads to do when not on Safari.
The following day we were woken at 6am so that we could go on an early morning trek. The nights on the plains get very cold so we were advised to wear warm clothes, a hat and gloves and we were also given blankets and hot water bottles. Not quite what you expect in South Africa but very necessary. The morning treks were, in my opinion, the most exciting as that is when we saw most animals. Over the course of the days we were there we saw lions, elephants, leopards, warthogs, numerous kind of deer, giraffes, hippos (from a long distance - they are reputedly Africa's most dangerous animal) as well as black and white Rhinos.
The resort also has a Born Free Foundation sanctuary where we were able to view rescued lions close-up. This area does some amazing work helping local wildlife and is well worth visiting.
Although this trip was meant to be a one-off trip I am confident that the lure of seeing wild animals in their own environment will bring us back to Africa. Well worth the visit!
Although the Safari was the highlight of the trip we also enjoyed our drive back from Shamwari to Capetown - about two days drive! During that journey we went through Hermanus where we were lucky to go on a whale watching boat trip - if you like wildlife you MUST take that trip!
Email Colin | 65+ years of age | Experience level: first safari
A place for someone who is looking for an excellent safari experience
Our children had been worried when the brochure described the accommodation as "tented". They needn't have been worried, not many tents include a very comfortable double bed, a good side bathroom (though an outside shower was a surprise) and its own plunge pool. The "tent" was extremely private being set in its own wooded area, the only visitors being the nyala and wart hogs which unconcernedly wandered past.
The ranger we had for the game drives was top-notch. He and his fellow rangers obviously kept track of all the animals on the reserve and we saw a good selection on each drive. However he was also very knowledgeable about the environment as well, stopping to show us interesting plants, birds and smaller animals as well as the "big five".
The only downside was the restaurant in the evening, service wasn't all it could have been and the food presented wasn't what I would have expected from somewhere with Shamwari's reputation.
If you want an excellent safari experience then Shamwari is definitely the place to go, but go on the understanding that the restaurant service might not be of the best.
35-50 years of age