Kariega Game Reserve, Eastern Cape Game Reserves

Eastern Cape Game Reserves

The game reserves of the Eastern Cape are a great choice for a family safari, or the perfect end to a holiday driving the Garden Route in South Africa.

Playing host to the Big Five but crucially malaria-free, reserves like Kwandwe, Shamwari and Samara are tailor-made for children or for anybody not wanting to take anti-malarial medication.

Don’t think for a moment that this means the wildlife is any less impressive. Far from it, with Shamwari having a reputation for exceptional lion and rhino sightings, Addo being famous for its vast elephant herds and Samara renowned for offering cheetah tracking on foot. Throw in the fact that the lodges are some of South Africa’s finest and activities include game drives, walking safaris, horse-riding and river cruises, you can see why the Eastern Cape is a firm favourite with travellers in the know.

Zebra, South Africa
Zebra, Eastern Cape Game Reserves, South Africa

Why visit the Eastern Cape

  • Experience the Big Five on a malaria-free safari, not far from the Garden Route
  • Exceptional lodges with options for family groups travelling together
  • View the large herds of elephants in Addo National Park
  • Private game activities on private reserves
  • Incorporate fishing, cycling, walking, rhino conservation and children’s programs.
Namaqualand, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Namaqualand daisies, South Africa

Holiday Idea

This holiday idea to South Africa can easily be extended or adapted to end with a safari in the game reserves of the Eastern Cape.

11 days

from £3,295 pp

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What do you really love doing? We curate your itinerary especially for you.

Exterior of Great Fish River Lodge, Kwandwe Private Reserve, Eastern Cape, South Africa

Fishing in South Africa

Try your hand at catch and release fishing, either in still reservoir waters or the currents of the Great Fish River in the Eastern Cape Game Reserves.

Suggested Hotel

Cheetah, Kalahari Desert, South Africa

Cheetah Tracking

Get involved in cheetah conservation efforts, tracking these agile felines on foot in the Eastern Cape reserve of Samara.  Learn to track using traditional methods, searching for pug and scratch markings as well as monitoring the movements of collared individuals.

Suggested Lodge

Aardvark, South Africa

Aardvark Safari

Head out on an on-foot aardvark safari at Samara Game Reserve, searching for these fascinating and unusual creatures.

Suggested Lodge

Child with owl, South Africa

Family Activities

Experience fishing, cycling, walking, rhino conservation and children’s programs at the Eastern Cape Game Reserves.

Suggested Hotel

Elephant Silhouette With Red Sunset, South Africa

Addo Elephants

View large herds of elephants in Addo National Park.

Lioness,Nkomazi, Western Kruger, South Africa

Born Free Sanctuary

Visit the Born Free Sanctuary on the Eastern Capes Shamwari Game Reserve, where rescued big cats are rehabilitated after having been freed from captivity.

Where to stay

Some of the wonderful places to stay that we frequently recommended.

Samara Karoo Lodge £££££

  • South Africa
  • Safari and Wildlife Lodge

This lovingly restored farmhouse, Samara Karoo Lodge combines modern comforts with safari. Karoo Lodge offers a warm and inviting space with candlelit dinners on the verandah, a cosy bar area and antiques, family heirlooms and vintage books throughout.

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Kwandwe Great Fish River Lodge £££££

  • South Africa
  • Safari and Wildlife Lodge

Set in Kwandwe Private Game Reserve, on the banks of the Great Fish River, lies Great Fish River Lodge.

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Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Rachael Tallents

Adventure, discovery and my curiosity for people and the natural world is what drives my love of travelling.  I am grateful for my parents’ desire to explore, and from an early age my eyes were open to diverse landscapes, cultures, and underwater worlds.

For the last 16 years, I have worked for a leading luxury tour operator designing incredible journeys for discerning clients and travelled to some magical places. I am excited to have joined Steppes Travel, and to be working for a company with such strong ethical and sustainable values.

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  • 01285 880 980

Illona Cross

Born in a small South African town, I have always followed my passion for nature and discovery. After studying Nature Conservation in Pretoria, I was one of the first women to complete a very tough cadetship in the Natal Parks Board. It was here where I cut my teeth in African wildlife management.

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  • 01285 880 980

Chris Johnston

Chris is the Conde Nast Traveller chosen Specialist for Africa.

25 years ago, my first trip to Africa took on a life of its own. I planned for three months, I stayed for two years. Whilst there, I was mistaken for a priest, attacked by sharks and arrested. Yet the countless, clattering journeys opened my eyes to the beauty of the landscapes and the grace of the people. My recent trips are undoubtedly more comfortable, but the welcome is as warm as ever and the best experiences are still those I never see coming.

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  • 01285 880 980

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge, curiosity and expertise set us apart, driving us to create remarkable holidays and Beautiful Adventures tailored perfectly to you, carefully curated to help protect and conserve our planet.

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