Eastern Cape Game Reserves

With lush green mountains landscapes, spectacular rivers and wide open plains populated with magnificent wildlife, the Eastern Cape has become one of the world’s most superior malaria free safari destinations. Eastern Cape game reserves are fenced which provides a more controlled environment with no natural migration of game. Therefore, most reserves can tell you exactly how many animals of each species they have at any given time. Although the Eastern Cape is home to several Big-5 private game reserves, leopard sightings are rare. The Cape Leopard’s are known to be shy and generally retreat to the mountains, however you can expect excellent sightings of the lion, rhino, elephant and buffalo herds, as well as an array of other wildlife.

The game reserves in the Eastern Cape offer guests a diverse selection of accommodation options, from luxury tented camps to restored manor houses. Due to its malaria free region, the Eastern Cape Game reserves are a popular choice among families with children of all ages. Adult only accommodation options are also available in some of South Africa’s finest, award winning safari lodges. The reserves are easily accessible from the Garden Route and with easy access to Port Elizabeth Airport, making it a convenient safari destination.


The Eastern Cape is a malaria-free safari area.


  • The Eastern Cape private reserves are home to the Big-5 (lion, leopards, elephant, buffalo and rhino).
  • Leopard sightings are extremely rare in the Eastern Cape
  • The Eastern Cape is home to one of the largest African elephant populations worldwide.
  • Other wildlife include but are not limited to giraffe, zebra,  hippo, warthog, hyena, wild cat, lynx, jackal, genet, bushpig, warthog, baboon, monkey, aardvark, otter, honey badger, varieties of magnificent antelope and more.
  • Over 400 bird species have been recorded in the region and are particularly drawn to the water sources.

Game Drives:

  • Game drives are taken in open 4×4 safari vehicles and are accompanied by a ranger, who will share a wealth of knowledge about the animals with you.
  • The game drives on a Eastern Cape safari are 3 to 4 hours long and take place twice a day in the morning and afternoon.
  • Morning game drives are complimented by a coffee stop and a sundowner downer stop in the evening a remote location.


  • A collection of malaria free game reserves.
  • World-class safari lodges with diverse accommodation options.
  • Exciting game drives in open 4×4 safari vehicles.
  • Birdwatchers paradise.
  • Remarkable elephant encounters.
  • Ideally located at the end of the Garden Route.
  • An abundance of rivers run through the reserves.
  • Stunning views and landscapes.


Situated on South Africa’s east coast, at the top end of the Garden Route, the Eastern Cape makes for a great ending or starting point when exploring South Africa’s southeast coast.

Getting there:

  • The closest commercial airport is Port Elizabeth (PLZ).
  • Shamari Game Reserve is a 50 minute drive from Port Elizabeth.
  • Flight time from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Flight time from Johannesburg to Port Elizabeth: 1 hour 35 minutes

Special offers:

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Kwandwe - South Africa

Kwandwe Game Reserve

  • 22 000 hectares in size.
  • The biggest private game reserve in the Eastern Cape and boasts one of the highest land-to-guest ratios in South Africa.
  • Two safari lodges and three luxury exclusive-use villas offer adult only and family friendly accommodation options.
  • The Great Fish River is a prominent landmark attracting an array of birdlife.
  • Big-5 reserve and a variety of other wildlife, including cheetah, kudu, springbok, eland, red hartebeest, giraffe, black wildebeest, gemsbok and more.
  • Variety of birdlife including the Fish Eagle and endangered Blue Crane.
  • Located in the Eastern Cape, 2 hours from Port Elizabeth.
Shamwari Game Reserve, Eastern Cape

Shamwari Game Reserve

  • 25 000 hectares in size.
  • Seven 5-star lodges, an Explorer Camp and three wildlife rehabilitation facilities.
  • Bushman’s River is a prominent landmark providing a good water source to the animals.
  • Home to five of South Africa’s eight major biomes providing rich vegetation types for an array of varied wildlife.
  • Big-5 reserve, although leopard sightings are rare. Other wildlife includes giraffe, hippo, zebra and a variety of antelope species to name a few.
  • 275 bird species, including rare birds and birds of prey.
  • Located in the Eastern Cape, 50 minutes from Port Elizabeth.
Pumba Game Reserve

Pumba Game Reserve

  • 6 500 hectares in size.
  • Lake Cariega and a large waterhole are prominent landmarks in the reserve and attract and array of wildlife and birdlife.
  • Two 5 star safari lodges are located around the waterhole and Lake Cariega. Both lodges are family friendly and offer accommodation in secluded chalets with private viewing decks and plunge pools.
  • Big-5 reserve with limited leopard sightings, the reserve is home to the rare White lion.
  • Other wildlife include, but is not limited to hippo, hyena, cheetah, giraffes, various antelope and more than 300 bird species.
  • Located in the Eastern Cape,120 minutes from Port Elizabeth.
Kariega Game Reserve

Kariega Game Reserve

  • 11,500 hectares in size.
  • Two abundant rivers, the Kariega and the Bushman’s rivers are prominent landmarks in the reserve.
  • Rivers run into the sea, which can be accessed by boat.
  • Five safari lodges offering adult only and family friendly accommodation options are scattered around the reserve and strategically positioned.
  • Big-5 reserve with limited leopard sightings. Other wildlife includes zebra, giraffe, hippo, a variety of antelope species, lynx, hyena, jackal, and more.
  • The reserve offers an abundance of birdlife particularly drawn to the rivers.
    Located in the Eastern Cape, 80 minutes from Port Elizabeth toward Graham’s Town.
Eastern Cape Game Reserves-banner

Sibuya Game Reserve

  • 3 000 hectares in size.
  • Three diverse, off the grid, eco-camps offer family friendly and age restricted accommodation options.
  • Kariega River is a prominent landmark attracting a huge bird colony.
  • More navigable river than other reserves in South Africa.
  • This diverse landscape is naturally home to diverse flora and fauna.
  • Big-5 reserve with limited leopard sightings. Other wildlife includes zebra and giraffe, caracals, aardvarks, a variety of antelope species such as the eland, blue duiker, rare oribi and bontebok, and more.
  • Large bird colony with over 400 bird species.
  • Located in the Eastern Cape, 75 minutes from Port Elizabeth.
Amakhala Game Reserve

Amakhala Game Reserve

  • 8 500 hectares in size.
  • A collection of adult only and family friendly accommodation offerings with 3, 4 and 5 star ratings. The accommodation, managed by different brands, is offered in restored country houses, safari lodges and tented camps.
  • The reserve hosts five of South Africa’s seven biomes, from bushveld to savannah.
  • Big-5 reserve with limited leopard sightings. Other wildlife include cheetah, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, various antelope species, hyena, bat eared fox and more.
  • Located in the Eastern Cape, 75 minutes from Port Elizabeth.

Lalibela Game Reserve

  • 10 500 hectares in size.
  • Five safari lodges and one manor house offers adult only and family friendly accommodation options.
  • The predominance of grassland savannah on the reserve supports a higher density of game than any other reserve in the Eastern Cape.
  • High numbers of plains game include zebra, impala, wildebeest, red hartebeest, blesbuck and eland.
  • Big 5 reserve, particularly known for its high density of free-roaming lions, which are particularly supported by the high numbers of plains game.
  • Located in the Eastern Cape, 75 minutes from Port Elizabeth.

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