5 Big-5 game reserves to visit in the Eastern Cape

Winona Griggs

Explore the Majestic Big-5 Game Reserves of the Eastern Cape

When you think of the Eastern Cape, you might picture its rugged coastlines, sprawling hills, and lush green landscapes. But did you know that this region is also home to some incredible game reserves?

These reserves are not only free from malaria but also offer a more intimate and secluded experience compared to the popular ones. No need to worry about hoards of tourists in safari vehicles! And the best part? They all boast the majestic Big 5, giving you a chance to spot the king of the jungle in its natural habitat.

1. Shamwari Private Game Reserve

5 Big-5 game reserves to visit in the Eastern Cape

When I think about Shamwari Private Game Reserve, I am reminded of its noble purpose – to protect the land and all the wildlife that calls it home. This stunning reserve, located in the Eastern Cape, became the first Big 5 game reserve in the region by bringing back large herbivores and majestic big cats between 1992 and 2000. When you visit Shamwari, you have the opportunity to stay in one of its seven luxurious lodges, immersing yourself in the wild beauty of the Eastern Cape.

2. Amakhala Game Reserve

In 1999, something incredible happened as six lodge owners came together to create the Amakhala Game Reserve. This joint conservation venture now boasts ten properties and is renowned as one of the finest game reserves in the Eastern Cape. The reserve serves a vital role in reintroducing wildlife to the area, allowing us to protect and preserve our natural heritage.

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3. Addo Elephant Park

5 Big-5 game reserves to visit in the Eastern Cape

When it comes to game reserves to visit in the Eastern Cape, Addo Elephant Park is a must-see. It’s known for its abundant wildlife and, of course, the magnificent elephants that roam the park. I highly recommend spending some time here to experience the beauty of Africa’s gentle giants.

Whether you prefer camping or staying in more comfortable accommodations like bungalows, huts, cottages, or luxury lodges, Addo Elephant Park has something for everyone. No matter your safari-loving preferences, there are accommodation options to suit your needs.

4. Kariega Game Reserve

5 Big-5 game reserves to visit in the Eastern Cape

Have you seen this amazing photo of a private game reserve along the Garden Route? It’s truly captivating! This place is called Kariega Game Reserve, and it’s a family-owned and operated reserve that covers a vast 11,500 hectares of land. What’s really special about Kariega is that it’s home to two rivers, the Kariega River and the Bushmans River, which flow through the reserve, creating a breathtaking natural landscape.

When you visit Kariega Game Reserve, you’ll have the opportunity to go on an exciting safari adventure and get up close to the Big-5 animals that inhabit the reserve. There are five different safari lodges to choose from, each one offering a unique and intimate connection to the surrounding bush. No matter which lodge you choose, you’ll have a truly remarkable experience.

But Kariega Game Reserve is more than just a wildlife sanctuary. It’s also deeply committed to conservation and making a positive impact on the local community. The reserve works closely with the Kariega Foundation to achieve these goals and ensure that every safari experience at Kariega has a purpose.

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5. Sibuya Game Reserve

Hey there! Let’s kick off your Sibuya Experience with a scenic 45-minute boat ride up the Kariega Estuary. We have three awesome camps to choose from – the Forest Camp, River Camp, and Bush Lodge. This game reserve is famous for its incredible river, which makes for some thrilling and one-of-a-kind game cruises.

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