Shamwari Game Reserve – Garden Route Part III

Hello again my dear readers,

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Our Garden Route adventure continues. Just to bring you up to date: after two heavenly days at Plettenberg Bay Hotel and Spa we headed off to Shamwari Game Park.

Shamwari (meaning My Friend) Private Game Reserve is in one of the malaria free zones in South Africa situated in the East Cape Province. Stretching 25,000 hectares over a malaria free landscape, it offers an award-winning nature experience and is one of the largest private conservation initiatives in Southern Africa.

After a few hours drive from Plettenberg Bay, we arrived at the park on time for lunch. We were escorted to a circular shaped large green lawn where in the centre of it were placed wrought iron dining tables and chairs overlooking the pool. As we sat down, we had a good look around. The reserve’s grounds were stretched all around us as far as you can see and if you strained your eyes hard enough, you were able to spot some animals grazing in the distance under the blazing South African sun. The setting was stunning, the lunch – sumptuous and the service – immaculate – a winning trifecta.

After lunch one of the hotel staff showed us to our lodge. It looked amazing. All the rooms looked very comfortable and elegant with a reflection of colonial style coupled with the latest electronic equipment. Every window has a lovely view over the savannah. And thus our safari adventure had begun.

There are two drives each day – early morning and late afternoon. The main object of each drive is to spot The Big Five – elephant, leopard, cape buffalo, lion and rhinoceros. The visitors are driven in open jeeps equipped with a rifle, bottles of drinking water, blankets and delicious food for a morning tea or sundowners, depending on the time of day. The driver of the vehicle is your tour guide whose fascinating and extensive knowledge of the park if very helpful. He reads the land like an open book and he will make every effort to make sure that you have seen all of The Big Five. He will find you a perfect spot on the top of the hill to see the sunset and while you are busy taking photographs, he will spread a magic carpet with canapés and drinks helping to break the ice with the other passengers who share the jeep with you and together you toast the setting sun and new friendship.

Upon your return to the camp after the night ride, a sumptuous dinner is all set up for you in the beautifully furnished dining room. On an alternative night, you are invited to share in a traditional African food in the boma.

After two most exciting days at the Park, it was time to return to Cape Town. Our suitcases loaded into our car, we said goodbye to the friendly staff, exchanged phone numbers with the lovely people with whom we had shared the jeep and feeling refreshed and recharged we went back on the road. As we were reminiscing about the highlights of the last two days, we knew that we would never forget what a unique experience it was. And if anyone asks me what should they do while in South Africa – my answer is always the same “Go to a game park”.

Our itinerary included one last stop on our way back – at The Wilderness but that is for another post

Until then…..

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