The Eastern Cape remains one of the least developed provinces in South Africa, with high unemployment and social challenges in many areas. In 2002 Kwandwe initiated its own social development arm. Called The Ubunye Foundation, it is the soul of Kwandwe.

The Ubunye Foundation is an independent, non-profit, charitable trust that currently invests in the development of twelve rural communities, two of which are located in the Kwandwe reserve.

Every guest staying at Kwandwe makes a direct contribution to our community developments through the Conservation and Community Levy (funds raised from the collection of this levy are split equally between these two initiatives).


Our Community Initiatives icon

Our Community Initiatives

  • Creation of The Ubunye Foundation to support and empower local communities
  • We employ over 100 people from rural communities, at least half of which are women; this doubles the income of most households
  • We provide a positive health programme to staff, families and 10 surrounding rural villages
  • Kwandwe funded the construction of a formal primary school within 2 km of our Eastern boundary
  • We provide a preschool and aftercare centre on the property for children of staff
  • Co-funded Rhodes University in the construction of a Development Centre
  • Kwandwe donated land for the development of an agri-village
  • Allocated land on the reserve and facilitated the construction of the Mgcamabele Community Centre
  • Over 60 members of staff have been through an accredited leadership programme
  • We provide adult based education and training with an on-property computer training centre

The Soul of Kwandwe  icon

The Soul of Kwandwe

The Eastern Cape is by many measures the poorest province in South Africa with approximately 65% of its population of 7 million people living in rural areas. Few government or NGO services reach these isolated rural villages and the Foundation is the sole NGO operating in most of the areas.  The Foundation initially worked with people living in the two villages of Brandeston and Kransdrift within the boundaries of the Kwandwe reserve. Many of these families have lived on the land for generations and have relatives in neighbouring farms and villages. As word spread about the Foundation, they were invited to expand their work into other communities, which they did by introducing their approach to local leaders and at community meetings. Whilst the relationship with Kwandwe remains very strong, they have expanded their reach beyond the reserve and currently work in ten other communities in the Makana and Ngqushwa Municipal Districts.

Latest News

Communities work together through group savings - blog post image
Community  |  11 October 2017

Communities work together through group savings

This story highlights how mobilisation in communities has brought about individuals and groups to work together through savings groups. Mrs. Nobengazi Ndwayana from Vela community, Ndwayana Village, shares her journey with the Vela Savings and Credit Group (SCG) that started in 2014.

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Launch of the Foundation’s Royal Patronage - blog post image
Community  |  30 October 2017

Launch of the Foundation’s Royal Patronage

2014: The Ubunye Foundation is delighted to announce the Patronage of Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex. The Foundation is a development trust dedicated to unlocking the potential of rural communities through an integrated community development approach focusing on leadership development,...

Read More


Kwandwe Private Game Reserve location map

Big Five Game Viewing

Kwandwe is one of the largest private Big Five game viewing areas in South Africa


With 54 000 acres of private wilderness, accommodating a maximum of 52 guests, making Kwandwe one of the highest land:guest ratios in South Africa

Easy Access

Located perfectly for a self-drive or fly-in safari