Kwandwe Great Fish River

premier Camp | Eastern Cape, South Africa

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Resting on the banks of the Great Fish River, Kwandwe's Great Fish River Lodge offers exclusivity and casual luxury for wildlife enthusiasts. Settle into the intimacy of this nine-suite lodge with Africa's wilderness surrounding you as far as the eye can see. View colossal elephant and rhino, towering giraffe, stealthy predators and graceful birds from custom-built 4x4 vehicles and on foot in the tranquility of this private reserve.

Photo of Lauren Deeley

Our Expert Says

Kwandwe is the ideal destination for those who are passionate about wildlife and conservation, and who also appreciate high-quality accommodations and outstanding service in an intimate setting. While areas like Kruger and Sabi Sand are very well known and draw many travelers, Kwandwe is still a well-kept secret and absolutely remarkable. The reserve is particularly ideal for rhinoceros enthusiasts, as you can book specialist rhino-tracking safaris as well as multi-day conservation-focused safaris where you can play a hands-on role in protecting these majestic giants.

– Lauren Deeley

Photo: The Camp

The Camp

Location: Kwandwe Private Game Reserve, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Number of Suites: 9

Kwandwe Great Fish River Lodge offers nine spacious and luxurious suites in an intimate setting from which to enjoy the surrounding wilderness in comfort. Floor-to-ceiling glass doors fold back so that your living space flows out onto your private wooden deck, where you can observe animals quietly passing through camp or making their way to the river to drink. En suite bathrooms have a tub with a view and both indoor and outdoor showers. A private plunge pool is an added touch of luxury that's welcome on warmer days. The central areas of the lodge are situated beneath high, thatched roofs, with plush sofas and stone fireplaces that set the stage for gathering each evening. A stone-walled boma creates a comfortable outdoor setting for al fresco dinners on clear nights.

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Photo: Facilities & Amenities

Facilities & Amenities

  • En suite bathroom with tub and indoor/outdoor showers
  • Shampoo, soap and lotion
  • Hair dryer
  • Air conditioning
  • Room fan
  • Mini bar
  • Tea/coffee in room
  • 220v charging outlets in room
  • In-room safe
  • Private plunge pool
  • Massage treatments (extra cost)
  • Wi-Fi in room and main area
  • Laundry included
  • Local drinks included (house alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks)
  • Credit cards accepted (Visa, MasterCard, American Express)

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Photo: Wildlife Viewing & Activities

Wildlife Viewing & Activities

Kwandwe Private Game Reserve is a 54,000-acre protected wilderness area in the heart of South Africa's Eastern Cape. The reserve provides a habitat for the Big Five as well as unique species like cheetah, springbok, eland, black wildebeest and red hartebeest. The Great Fish River, for which the lodge is named, runs through the reserve providing 19 miles of exclusive riverfront. A specialty at Kwandwe is the endangered blue crane, and bird watchers will also enjoy seeing fish eagles and other species. Wildlife drives depart at dawn to track Africa's giants and big cats. Along the way, zebra, giraffe and other plains animals are abundant. Late afternoon tea precedes an afternoon drive that may linger beyond dusk seeking nocturnal species such as aardvark and aardwolf. With rhino conservation at the forefront at Kwandwe, rhino tracking drives and safaris focused on microchipping rhinos with a licensed veterinarian can be organized in advance of your arrival at additional cost. Kwandwe is within a malaria-free region, making it an ideal safari destination for families with young children.

The Eastern Cape's most common large mammal and predator sightings are illustrated in the chart below. Because each of the private game reserves of the Eastern Cape is fenced and unique, there may be some variations. Other typical sightings may include warthogs, baboons and monkeys, a variety of birds, and small carnivores such as jackals and caracals. Exact sightings will depend on the actual reserve you are visiting.

Country Park/Reserve
Black Rhino
Gemsbok / Oryx
Greater Kudu
White Rhino
South Africa Eastern Cape

Usually viewed
Frequently viewed
Occasionally viewed
Sporadically viewed
Rarely to never viewed

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Month Max Min Rainfall
January 92° F 60° F 1.9 in
33° C 15° C 48 mm
February 92° F 61° F 2.1 in
33° C 16° C 53 mm
March 87° F 56° F 1.3 in
30° C 13° C 33 mm
April 82° F 51° F 1.0 in
27° C 10° C 25 mm
May 76° F 44° F 0.5 in
24° C 6° C 13 mm
June 72° F 39° F 0.1 in
22° C 3° C 3 mm
July 71° F 39° F 0.4 in
21° C 3° C 10 mm
August 75° F 40° F 1.0 in
23° C 4° C 25 mm
September 78° F 44° F 0.9 in
25° C 6° C 23 mm
October 84° F 50° F 0.6 in
28° C 10° C 15 mm
November 87° F 55° F 1.8 in
30° C 12° C 46 mm
December 91° F 58° F 1.2 in
32° C 14° C 30 mm

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Photo: Conservation


As a private wildlife sanctuary, Kwandwe Private Game Reserve supports thousands of wild animals within a safe, natural habitat in which most are endemic species. Kwandwe has reintroduced some 7,000 wildlife species, many of which were eradicated by farming and hunting during the last centuries. Cheetah were brought back to the area for the first time since 1888, and the reserve is now also a stronghold for the black rhinoceros and disease-free Cape buffalo. These animals are able to roam freely within this vast 54,000-acre privately owned reserve, which was formed by the reclamation and rehabilitation of the farmland that once eradicated them. While harboring a multitue of Africa's greatest animal species, the reserve's 32,000 acres also contain sensitive subtropical thicket vegetation, which in turn provides over half a million tons of carbon storage. Kwandwe is an important breeding habitat for the endangered blue crane, for which it is named—Kwandwe means "place of the blue crane" in the local isiXhosa language.

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