The Shamwari Game Reserve is a private animal sanctuary on Africa’s Eastern Cape that prides itself on conservation for the animals and luxury for its guests. Visitors to Shamwari have the opportunity to view the animals most sought after by the big game hunters of yesteryear, collectively known as the “Big Five”: elephants, Cape buffalo, rhinoceros, leopards and lions. The nature preserve is located in a malaria-free region and is family-friendly, welcoming children as well as adults. Guests are pampered with luxury spa treatments and comfortable lodging.
The Big Five game animals are easily viewed, as are a number of other wild animals. The game reserve supports a diverse list of wildlife and vegetation thanks to the five ecosystems in the reserve. Long Lee Manor, an Edwardian mansion constructed in 1910, is located on the grounds and can house 38 guests. Accommodations include elegant rooms, champagne from France, wine from South Africa, and cigars from Cuba. Guests can frolic in a pair of swimming pools or in a garden lounge, or tour the land with a ranger. A short drive will take visitors to the nearby Addo Elephant National Park.
Big cats such as lions have a special place at the Shamwari Game Reserve, which constructed two sanctuaries for big cats on the preserve’s grounds. Shamwari has built the Born Free Foundation Animal Rescue and Education Center to rescue cats that are in peril and make sure they receive whatever care they will need during their lifetimes. Visitors can see some of the big cats at the center, which the Shamwari Game Reserve designed together with the Born Free Foundation. The foundation was founded by Virginia McKenna, a conservationist who also starred in Born Free, a film about an orphaned lion, Elsa.
The Shamwari Game Reserve is comprised of 25,000 hectares (61776.34 acres), bordered in part by the Bushman’s River near Port Elizabeth. Much of the protected area has been returned to its natural state where animals can roam freely, following many years of change wrought by farming. The work paid off for the Shamwari Game Reserve in both tourism and international conservation awards. The game reserve also has been showcased on a British television program, Safari School, which taught celebrities to be game reserve rangers.