We have compiled the below list of questions and answers that we get on a frequent basis, to help you plan your safari trip:
Are all the lodges fenced?
All three villas are surrounded by a discreet perimeter fence to allow children to play in safety. Of the two lodges, Ecca Lodge is fenced; Great Fish River Lodge is unfenced.
- How do I go about booking my safari?
How do the lodges differ and are they of the same quality?
Kwandwe offers 2 game lodges and 3 sole-use villas, all located in private corners of the reserve. All 5 lodges and villas offer the same level of quality and service, but differ in terms of style, location and lifestyle needs; for example, the villas are ideal for families whereas the lodges are suited to couples (Ecca Lodge does have family suites). View the accommodation options here.
How far is the airport?
Port Elizabeth (PE) has the nearest national airport, located 160 km (100 miles) from the reserve. View the different ways of getting to the reserve here
How old should children be to enjoy a safari?
Although children of all ages are welcome at Kwandwe, the ideal age for children to fully appreciate a safari is generally 5 years and older. View our activities and accommodation options for families here.
Is the tap water drinkable?
We do not recommend drinking the tap water on the reserve; bottled mineral water as well as purified water is provided.
Is there Wi-Fi?
Guest rooms in all lodges and villas offer complimentary Wi-Fi.
What animals can I expect to see?
Although Kwandwe is a ‘Big Five’ safari destination, the idea is perhaps a bit antiquated - the term was coined during the age of safari hunting in the 20th century. While each member of this exclusive group is undeniably impressive, so are the countless other species that live on the reserve. Apart from the Big 5 (black as well as white rhino, elephant, lion, buffalo and leopard), as well as a remarkable variety of predators and general game, including cheetah, kudu, springbok, eland, red hartebeest, giraffe, hippopotamus, black wildebeest and gemsbok, Kwandwe is also home to a diverse number of smaller and more unusual species such as aardwolf, aardvark, caracal, bat-eared fox, porcupine and Cape clawless otter – view the full mammal list here (hyperlink to list). For bird lovers, a total of 306 species has been identified on the reserve – view the full bird list here (hyperlink to list).
What do I need to pack?
View our suggested packing list here (insert hyperlink) – keep it light and avoid bright colours (and bring your camera - you can rent binoculars from us). If you are planning to fly directly to the reserve (there are daily scheduled flights from both Port Elizabeth and Plettenberg Bay on the Garden Route to Kwandwe’s private airstrip), opt for soft luggage as it will be easier to pack in the overhead compartment. We do offer a daily complimentary laundry service, so packing fewer clothes is not a problem.
Dress for game drives in layers as you will want to adjust from cool mornings to midday heat, and bring a waterproof jacket (alternatively you will be able to purchase rain gear from our shop). We suggest packing a waterproof bag for your camera as you will be in an open-top vehicle.
What do the rates include?
All rates include twice daily game drives, nature walks accompanied by an armed ranger, big game walking safari (tracking white rhino, black rhino, elephant and buffalo on foot, accompanied by an armed specialist ranger and tracker team; subject to availability), three meals daily, a selection of South African premium and sparkling wines, local & premium brand spirits, beers, soft drinks, teas & coffees, refreshments on game drives, laundry, emergency medical evacuation insurance, VAT, transfers to and from the reserve’s airstrip and complimentary child-minding.
Excluded from rates are the following: Nightly community & conservation levy applicable to guests aged 12 years and older, in-room massage treatments, telephone calls, safari shop purchases, gratuities, all items of a personal nature, imported champagne, cigars and additional specialised safari activities.
View the full rates here
What is a typical day like on safari?
We adjust our safari schedule seasonally, so in summer months game drives start earlier (at around 5.30 am) and you will be back at the lodge during the heat of the day to relax in your plunge pool, followed by a late afternoon/ evening drive to be back in time for dinner. During winter, game drives depart after breakfast and stay out for the duration of the day, often with lunch out on the reserve, to return before the evening chill sets in.
What is the weather like?
Daytime temperatures in summer (October to March) are high and may soar above 36°C/97°F. Winter (May to August) is known to produce beautiful warm days, though the evenings and early mornings can be quite chilly. We tend to have hot, wet (400 - 550 mm./15 - 21”) summers and cool, dry winters, generally with a rainfall from September to March. The reserve has an altitude range of 250 – 490m/ 820-1574ft above sea level.
What medication, if any, do I need to take?
Kwandwe is located in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa, which is a malaria-free area. No other medication is required.
When is the best time to go on safari?
Game viewing in the Eastern Cape is excellent year round – weather patterns differ to those up north like in the Kruger.
Which credit cards are accepted?
Visa Cards, Master Cards and American Express are all accepted.