Fun, flamboyant and fabulous are words that spring to mind when describing the lodges in the expansive Kwandwe Private Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape. Here visitors have a choice of four lodges - Ecca Lodge, Uplands Homestead, Melton Manor and Great Fish River Lodge - all situated within range of the Great Fish River, which flows through the reserve.
The interior design of Ecca Lodge combines clean, contemporary furnishings with venerable, old collectibles from the area, giving an unconventional twist to the traditional. The six suites are airy and open with barely a barrier between the indoors and the surrounding veld. Rooms are spacious with ample places to sit and admire the views across the rolling hills.
Clean, contemporary chic does not mean children are not welcome at Kwandwe Game Reserve. The reserve has an interpretive centre with plenty of activities to entertain both young and old. Twice-daily game drives, night drives and guided river walks and hikes provide an opportunity to see a variety of animals in the wild.
This is a game-rich area where, unusually, both black and white rhino are found, as well as a range of predators including cheetah, wild dog, lion and leopard. Add to this elephant and buffalo and you have your Big Five and more. At the entrance to the reserve is the reception building, known as Heatherton Towers. Complete with two gun turrets at either end of the fortified building, the former homestead dates from the Frontier War era, during which, in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, a series of wars and battles over land were waged between the Khoisan, Xhosa, trekboers and British settlers.
To the south-west of Ecca Lodge is Uplands Homestead. Set in a remote valley, this beautifully restored 1905 farmhouse offers home comforts perfect for the sole use of a family or group of up to six. Antiques and memorabilia blend comfortably with contemporary finishes. Outside, the ultimate modern addition is a swimming pool, set apart from the house.
Along the Garden Route
Part of the &Beyond stable of lodges and reserves, Kwandwe Private Game Reserve is not far from historic Grahamstown and is a good final destination on a Garden Route tour.See Kwandwe Private Game Reserve accommodation