Shamwari Game Reserve - The Ultimate Malaria Free Safari Experience
The African wildlife safari experience is a popular demand from all travellers visiting Africa and rightly so. It’s an incredibly moving experience! This article describes my own experience.
With itchy feet and adventurous hearts, my folks and I set off on our weekend getaway to the award winning Shamwari Game Reserve. Passionate about our African wildlife, we were excited about visiting a Big 5 game reserve again, being surrounded by wild sights, sounds and smells. Of course the added bonus of the luxurious 5 star accommodations we were about to experience within Shamwari had us smiling from ear to ear!
After a pleasant 4-hour journey by road from George we arrived at the large, solid entrance gate to Shamwari Game Reserve. The friendly gate guard welcomed us in and directed us to our lodge where we would stay for the next 2 nights. We pulled up at the front door of Long Lee Manor, friendly faces, hot damp hand towels and refreshing welcome drinks greeted us. Efficiently and with a smile we were assisted to our rooms, our car and luggage taken care of and the daily programme discussed with us.
Long Lee Manor, the largest of 7 lodges at Shamwari, with 18 suites, offers guests a distinctive colonial experience, it’s restored Edwardian Manor House dating back to 1910. Gracious and stylish, it offers refined comfort, congenial service and enticing cuisine. It is situated on a hill overlooking wide-open plains where wildlife grazes unhurriedly under the African sun.
So you may ask what happens at a game lodge? Well, they’re mostly booked on an all-inclusive basis and will run a daily programme, which will include 2 open 4x4 vehicle game drives per day each of approximately 3 hours long and accompanied by a professional experienced game ranger. The game drives take place at dusk and dawn, which are the best times to view game. It’s when they are most active. The game ranger is trained to interpret the African bush to you, discussing everything from trees and plants, to bird life, the Big 5 game species to the smallest of creatures, star gazing and rock and soil types. You see how much time in one day you spend with your game ranger, minimum 6 hours. It is therefore imperative that game lodges choose their rangers carefully, rangers that are qualified and experienced as well as knowing how to communicate their passion – the African bush. Shamwari certainly understands the importance and their rangers are excellent. This of course offers the guests much more depth to their game lodge experience.
Ever dreamed of following in David Attenborough’s footsteps? Well, now you can. SAFARICAM offers wildlife enthusiasts the once in a lifetime opportunity to star in their own documentary at Shamwari Game Reserve. Shamwari allows you to explore this untamed African landscape with interactive game drives in a private 4x4 land rover with your own personal ranger and professional cameraperson. So whilst you’re enjoying your ultimate safari adventure in the wild terrain, the crew will capture your encounters and special memories on film making you a star in your own wildlife documentary. The film footage will then be edited into a 30– 40 minute broadcast quality DVD with high quality music and graphics. It’s the ultimate Safari souvenir that will last a lifetime. You get to experience this unique offering at the additional cost ranging from £950 for a one-to-two night stay at Shamwari, and a separate cost of £200 per additional night stay.
Shamwari Game Reserve has won numerous awards including the World’s Leading Conservation Company and Game Reserve for many consecutive years. One of the big conservation projects was opening the two Born Free Animal Rescue and Environmental Education Centres. Here you will find African big cats getting a second chance at life. All of the animals were rescued from horrific conditions all over the world and are now living in large bush enclosures in their African sanctuary. The latest exciting news is that three leopards from Limassol Zoo, Cyprus, have been relocated to their new home at the Jean Byrd Centre, one of the Born Free Foundation’s sanctuaries in Shamwari Game Reserve. The female leopard named Leda and her two daughters, Roxanne and Rhea, which were previously kept in cramped conditions at the Limassol Zoo are now residing in a 1,25 hectare natural bush enclosure at the centre.
Born Free’s founder Virginia McKenna commented on this relocation, “We are privileged to be deeply involved with the Born Free Foundation at Shamwari and with this specific successful leopard release. Such events reinforce our underlying philosophy of responsible and ecologically sensitive tourism. We aim to make the public more aware, to make them understand the fine balance between humanity, animals and the environment.”
Shamwari truly offers a well-rounded experience, each of its luxurious lodges presenting a different character, world class spa facilities are available at some of the lodges, and there are even lodges specifically catering for families with young children.
Our 2 nights in lavish luxury passed too quickly and we were back on the road to our next destination – Samara Private Game Reserve (next edition). We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and would easily recommend Shamwari Game Reserve for your African wildlife experience.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Africa Tamed is a successful tour operator, based in Cape Town, South Africa offering all-inclusive vacation packages throughout Southern Africa. With over 15 years of first hand travel experience they provide peace of mind to the discerning traveller.