Our Purpose

Conservation at Kwandwe

A  refuge for endangered species

Kwandwe Private Game Reserve is a conservation victory. Comprising just 26 rooms split across two intimate lodges and three villas, the reserve offers one of the highest land-to-guest ratios in South Africa. The successful development of this high yield/ low impact conservation model is key to furthering our numerous conservation initiatives.

The 22,000 hectares (54 000 acres) of pristine wilderness is home to the famous Big 5 as well as a diverse number of smaller and more unusual species. Thousands of animals including lion, black and white rhino, buffalo, elephant and cheetah roam these expansive plains. The Reserve is also sanctuary to numerous other threatened and endangered species.

Our conservation victories
Reclaiming 22,000 hectares (54 000 acres) of farmland and placing it under wildlife conservation
The reintroduction of the endangered black rhinoceros
Returning cheetah to the Great Fish River Valley for the first time since 1888
Providing a refuge for the sensitive sub-tropical thicket vegetation
The reintroduction of more than 7000 wild animals, including elephant, both species of rhino, hippo, lion, leopard, brown hyena etc.
Eleven post graduate research studies conducted on wildlife and vegetation on Kwandwe
Providing a breeding refuge for the Blue Crane.
Reclaiming areas of intense and often damaging agriculture
The reintroduction of small and mostly rare felid species eradicated from the area, such as the Serval, African wildcat and Small Spotted Cat
On average sub-tropical thicket stores 40 tons of carbon per ha. Kwandwe has in excess of 13,000 hectares of sub-tropical thicket, amounting to 520,000 tons of carbon being stored on the property.
The reestablishment of populations of disease-free Cape Buffalo, Cheetah, Lion, White Rhino and Black Rhino on many game reserves in South Africa from Kwandwe’s founding stock

Community at Kwandwe

Empowering people

Kwandwe is committed to making a positive and lasting difference in the rural Eastern Cape, one of South Africa’s least developed provinces. Working through our social development partner, the Ubunye Foundation, we invest in projects that improve lives and create sustainable livelihoods opportunities in marginalised rural communities.

Our community initiatives
The creation of The Ubunye Foundation to support and empower local communities through a holistic community development model.
Over 200 people from rural communities are directly employed, at least half of whom are women. On average every employee supports 5 additional family members.
Housing and services provided for over 400 people.
Allocation of land on the reserve and facilitation of construction of the Mgcamabele Community Centre.
On-site Pre-school and Aftercare services provided for the children of our staff, with meals served daily.
Dedicated Wellness Programme providing primary healthcare support and counselling for staff and families.
Construction and maintenance of a formal primary school and teacher’s accommodation within 2 km of our Eastern boundary.
Leadership and professional development training for staff with an on-site computer training centre.
Donation of land for the development of an agri-village.
Co-funded Rhodes University in the construction of a Development Centre.

The ubunye foundation

The soul of Kwandwe

The Ubunye Foundation was established by the founders of Kwandwe in 2002 as an integral part of their commitment to the local area, and has grown to become an independent non-profit organization with a reputation for work that is innovative and rooted in a genuinely developmental approach. The Eastern Cape is by many measures the poorest province in South Africa with approximately 60% of its population of 7 million people living in rural areas. Ubunye (meaning ‘togetherness’ in isiXhosa) is committed to the idea that our wellbeing as human beings is interconnected and their programmes focus on community leadership; savings and financial education; livelihoods; early childhood development and health. They initially worked with people living within Kwandwe’s boundaries and as word spread they were invited to expand their work into other communities. Whilst the relationship with Kwandwe remains very strong, Ubunye has expanded its reach beyond the reserve and currently works in nearly 30 communities in the Makana and Ngqushwa Municipal Districts.

For every night you spend with us at Kwandwe, you make a difference through your Community & Conservation Levy. Funds are split equally between our conservation and community projects and initatives and the levy applies to all guests 12 years and older.

If you would like to do more, join us in a variety of activities to get to know our people, participate in some of our vital conservation work, and give back to the community which makes the Kwandwe experience possible.

Giving back