Members Recommend
Excellent 1285 Reviews
Jetsetter Verified
This Hotel meets our standards
Our editors have been here and it has met our standards

What We Love

  • All meals, game drives, soft drinks and local beer and wine are included in the Jetsetter rate

  • Two three-to-four hour game drives per day are also included with your stay
  • Varied accommodations
 keep families and couples separate
  • Knowledgeable guides mean there's an excellent chance of spotting all of the Big Five
  • The conservation angle: staying here means contributing to animal welfare

  • Dinner in the boma under the African stars

  • Sundowners in the bush on the sunset game drive
  • The blend-into-nature landscaping and lavish but down-to-earth decor

What To Know

  • Arrive in time for lunch on your first day so you don’t miss the afternoon game drive

  • There's a 5:30 a.m. wake-up call for your day’s first game drive, so don’t stay up too late

  • Dinner alternates between the indoor and outdoor dining rooms and between barbecue and a set menu
  • Hard alcohol and some juices are not included in the daily rate
  • Shamwari is malaria-free, but some nearby parts of South Africa are not; ask your doctor about necessary vaccinations

  • If you do not have at least two blank pages in the back of your passport, you will not be allowed to enter South Africa; customs is very strict about this


  •  Babysitting
  •  Bar
  •  Eco-Friendly
  •  Free WiFi
  •  Gym
  •  Handicap Accessible
  •  Kids Club
  •  Parking On Site
  •  Pool
  •  Restaurant
  •  Spa
Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.
living room outdoor structure home house


The Review

The guestbook at the 49,000-acre Shamwari Game Reserve showcases a review from Brad Pitt: “The people are as fantastic as the animals majestic. Enjoyed the food chain. Many thanks.” Everyone who stays at this magical place – A list or not – leaves behind an equally glowing review.

Established by Adrian Gardiner in 1992 as a conservation effort to reclaim oversettled and poached land, today the 49,000-acre Shamwari is a testament to his dream, home to all of the Big Five (elephant, rhino, lion, leopard and buffalo), as well as the elusive cheetah.

{“type”:”img-inline”,”src”:”/static/images/product/properties/editorialreviews/9745/pgal-81006-1287607684-full.jpg”,”width”:”275″,”caption”:”Get close to the Big Five during twice-daily game drives; cheetah sightings are also possible.”}Two safaris per day are included in the rate: one before sunrise and one at sunset (the best times to spot animals). There’s nothing like getting up before first light, stumbling into an open-air jeep, wrapping a blanket around yourself and watching the sun rise as the lions, hyenas, giraffes and cheetahs come out to play, eat and drink.

Shamwari’s guides make the experience even more pleasurable by using their tracking skills to increase the chance of a close encounter with big cats or rare birds. And while it is never guaranteed, you’ll likely spot all of the Big Five, as well as cheetahs — a rare treat in South Africa.

Once you’ve experienced the Shamwari blend of Old World elegance and responsible tourism, you’ll know why the property consistently wins so many awards, both for luxury travel and conservation. There are several stylish and unique five-star lodges to choose from on the property, and each has a totally different style, from stately manor to rustic lodge. Families and couples are placed in different parts of the property, and that generally keeps all kinds of travelers happy.

Shamwari is a true throwback to the golden era of safaris. Genteel and elegant, it personifies the romantic African holiday ideal. But even more important, a visit to Shamwari gives guests the chance to give back to Africa, to the animals themselves. Think of it as tipping the lion for posing in the perfect photo op.

How to Get There

Shamwari Game Reserve
N2 Between Port Elizabeth & Grahamstown
Paterson, 6000 South Africa


5.0 Excellent 1285 Reviews
Unforgettable experience!
Reviewed 6 days ago

We stayed at Eagles Crag Lodge for 3 nights with 2 other couples. From the instant we walked through the doors, it felt like we entered another world. The staff were so warm and accommodating. Portia answered all our questions and even gave us a late impromptu lunch as we hadn't eaten (Dining room wasn't still open) and were ready to go on a 3 hour safari. Our ranger, Dave, was spectacular. He knew how to safely maneuver around the animals so we could see them and all would be safe (humans and animals). He knew so much about the animals, the land, his country, etc that we learned much more than I expected. I felt like I was dreaming!

The food and accommodations were magnificent. Every meal was gourmet with lots of great options. The guest rooms and public rooms were comfortable and had everything you could possibly imagine needing. Eagles Crag was over the top! We were truly spoiled.

Experience of a lifetime
Reviewed 1 week ago

We stayed at Eagles Crag Lodge for 3 nights on our honeymoon at the start of June and had an unforgettable time.

Our ranger, Mino, was brilliant and ensured we had an amazing time. The drives surpassed our expectations and seeing the animals so close was wonderful. We saw everything we wanted, from lions, leopard and cheetahs to giraffes, elephants and rhinos. Each drive was amazing, seeing a number of animals.

Mino also organised us to have a 'picnic' in the bush on one of our days. Picnic is an understatement and more like an a la carte lunch!

Eagles Crag was a brilliant place to stay on Shamwari - the food, room and staff all meant our stay was amazing.

If you are thinking about booking Shamwari, do it! We would love to come back.

the best place to enjoy the animals safe
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

we had 4 nights at the eagls crag lodge, and we had an excellent ranger Mino.
He tried us to show all the best from his game reserves, was very experienced and kind. We had excellent moments with the lions and her 8 children.
The personal in the lodge was very nice, the food excellent.
You are really with the most interesting animals and are absolute safe with a comfort of a 5 star hotel. We can only recommend it for everybody who likes the nature.
They have a new recreation center for the wild animals it is also worth a visit, what they do is absolut fantastic, the only bed thing is, that they are financed only from subsidy, Shamwari pay from every income a part to this foundation

Best experience
Reviewed 1 month ago

My and my wife stayed at the Eagle Crag resort. The team at the resort was great, from Portia's welcome to all of the team members, nothing was ever too much trouble. They were ready to accommodate all our requests.
We also had special treatments for our honeymoon.
And then the safari. It was the best experience we have ever had on holiday. Our guide, Mino, is who made the difference. He not only showed us the big 5 in 3 days, but he personalised the drives and passed us his passion for the animals and their life.
It was simply amazing and we wouldn't recommend any other safari. We certainly wouldn't go anywhere else.

Thank you.

Reviewed 2 months ago

We were lucky to be staying at Bayethe Lodges, when I booked I was fortunate to get the last room for our desired visit time.

We spent three full days (4nights) at the reserve and were fortunate to enjoy 6 game drives in total, two per day.

The ranger assigned to us for our whole trip was Timothy who was an amazing ranger and host which I thank him personally for his time and efforts. On each drive he was focussed on us seeing as many animals as possible, his knowledge of the animals, and the area was immense.

We appreciate your efforts and endeavours in ensuring that we saw the 'big 5' including the leopards was the highlight of our trip.

The lodges themselves were comfortable and clean, the food was excellent nothing was too much trouble for the excellent staff at these lodges.

This is a very friendly location and we soon got to know all of the guests and had three very sociable evenings as a bonus to the fantastic animals and landscape that we had the privilege to see.

It is expensive but worth every penny for the experience and highly recommend visiting if you can.