Bushbaby Travel: Inspiring travel for life
Elephants at River Bend Lodge

Eastern Cape, South Africa

A safari in the Eastern Cape is a thrilling extension to a holiday in the Garden Route only a few hours drive away. Choose between the Addo Elephant National Park or one of the many Private Game Reserves, all malaria-free, for a unique opportunity to see the Big 5 with your friends and family.

Elephants at River Bend Lodge

Addo Elephant National Park was established in 1931, when only 11 elephants remained in the area. The 164,000 hectare Park is now home to the densest elephant population in the world. Lion have also been recently introduced, living alongside Cape Buffalo and Black Rhino. You can ‘self-drive’ within Addo, although we would recommend staying at River Bend which offers guided tours in an open vehicle, enabling you to see and learn more as well as gaining access to private areas of the Park (no minimum age on the game drive so it's ideal for those travelling with under 5's).

Since 1992, Shamwari has pioneered the return of game to this region after over a century of farming had destroyed the animals and degraded the land. Now also home to the Born Free Foundation, the Reserve has received numerous conservation awards. Shamwari incorporates the Bushmans River and 5 eco-systems enabling the support of many forms of plant, animal and bird life.

One of our favourite private reserves in the region is Kwandwe Private Game Reserve, meaning ‘Place of the Blue Crane’ (South Africa’s highly endangered national bird). This diverse and fascinating 25,000 hectare ‘Big Five’ reserve in the Great Fish River region, was a hotly contested border during the Frontier wars (1779-1878) and the reception building is a fortified homestead from this period.

For those seeking a river-based safari, Sibuya and Kariega offer boating experiences and lodge accommodation options directly on the river banks.

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