Eastern Cape
Kwandwe Ecca Lodge

Kwandwe Ecca Lodge is nestled on a vast private reserve in the Great Fish River Valley of South Africa’s Eastern Cape. Previously barren farmland has been rehabilitated into pristine bushveld, home to the Big Five.

The lodge’s stylish décor mirrors the vibrant colours of Africa with soft linens in striking, bright and contrasting tones. With just 6 suites, this intimate lodge is ideal for families looking to experience an authentic safari as an extension to their Cape and Garden Route holiday.

Facilities & Activities

The main swimming pool is big enough to swim laps in and has plenty of loungers to soak up the sun and watch game passing by. The library provides the perfect spot to relax and unwind with a good book.

Explore the natural splendour of Kwandwe on early morning and late afternoon/evening game drives in an open 4×4 safari vehicle. In between game drives take a closer look at the bush on a leisurely guided walk (12 years & over) or experience the thrill of tracking big game on foot with a walking safari (16 years & over).

For an additional charge you can enjoy a ‘Save the Rhino Drive’ and spend 3-4 hours tracking rhino with a specialist ranger and tracker team (restrictions apply).

Get In Touch

Feeling inspired? Start planning your next adventure by contacting us today.

Dining

The interactive kitchen serves some impressive food considering the remote location, and expansive decks provide a wonderful spot from which to enjoy a light lunch, coffee or a sundowner!

A children’s menu is available, including fun and nutritious mealtime options such as fish cakes with veggies and homemade chips; vegetable soup and freshly baked bread; DIY pizzas with fun toppings; fresh fruit salad; homemade chocolate brownies and more!

Rooms

The 6 spacious, contemporary-style suites feature wood panelling, stone walls and breath-taking views of the reserve. The bedrooms have air-conditioning, a super king-sized bed and bathrooms with free-standing baths. Glass doors slide back onto wraparound wooden decks, private plunge pools and outdoor showers.

Families with children aged 0 – 16 years are accommodated in one of the lodge’s 3 Family Suites. A maximum of two children plus one infant (aged 0 – 2 years in a cot) can share with two adults.

Included with a Family Suite is a private vehicle, ranger and tracker.

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Family

Families enjoy the use of a private safari vehicle, ranger and tracker at Ecca which enables even children under the age of 6 years to join the game drives.

Children are given a warm welcome at the lodge. On arrival they receive a welcome gift which includes an Eco-nect Guide comprising of animal checklists, themed games and activities, and a pledge to ‘live green’ (‘Junior’ for under 6’s and ‘Senior’ for ages 6 and up), crayons/ pencils, and an age appropriate gift from our gift shop.

Families can participate in the new range of ‘Eco-nect’ fun and adventurous activities on the reserve, including kite building, scavenger hunts and treasure hunts out on the reserve (during a game drive, which will require some basic navigation using a sun-compass and major landscape features in order to find the treasure!).

Children will love the special kids programme, with everything from a ‘Bugs & Bones’ walk (a great way to stretch little legs and learn all about this ecologically diverse reserve whilst searching for insects, bones and skulls and being taught how to identify animal tracks and droppings (yes – really!), to sand art, face painting, making moulds, beading, chocolate fun, Minnow’s fishing trip with a ranger, baking and pizza making with specially designed ‘Chefs in Training’ aprons, DVDs and popcorn, eco educational board games and African bedtime stories. The interactive kitchen also caters for children, with cooking and baking classes between safari activities.

Children are encouraged to offset their own (small!) carbon footprint with the opportunity to plant Spekboom – a prolific type of thicket vegetation, and one of the top five carbon-storing vegetation on the planet. Families can also participate in Kwandwe’s voluntourism activities through the reserve’s Ubunye Foundation, which works with communities living in and surrounding the reserve.

For younger children or after-dark, there is a children’s play room area with games and interactive activities.

In terms of the accommodation options, the lodge has 3 Family Suites which sleep up to 2 children 16 & under on 2 day beds in the spacious sitting room. A cot can also be provided for one infant 2 & under and child minders are available at no additional cost with advance notice.

Please note all suites feature a private plunge pool, safety nets to cover the pool are available on request. The main pool at the lodge is also unfenced.

Sustainability

Kwandwe’s Sustainability Programme is fabulously lengthy:

Kwandwe’s ‘Knit a Bit’ program – where guests can knit squares which are joined to make blankets and given to the Ubunye Foundation that distributes them to the needy communities surrounding Kwandwe.

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

The re-establishment 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

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

The reintroduction of more than 7000 wild animals, including elephant, both species of rhino, hippo, lion, leopard, brown hyena etc

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

Location

Kwandwe is located in the malaria-free Eastern Cape near Grahamstown.

The nearest national Airport is in Port Elizabeth, which lies 160 km (100 miles) from the reserve. There are daily scheduled flights from both Cape Town and Johannesburg International Airports to Port Elizabeth.

A daily scheduled flight operates from Port Elizabeth and Plettenberg Bay directly to the Kwandwe Airstrip or guests can self-drive or opt for a private transfer from the airport. The reserve lies approximately 65 km from the coast and is located in close proximity to the contrasting Garden Route.

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