A good option for travellers seeking a luxury lodge within the Eastern Cape, Eagles Crag is often overlooked as Kwandwe Private Game Reserve is similarly priced. Due to the lodge’s minimum age requirement of 12 years, we tend to suggest Shamwari’s Riverdene for families with younger children, but for couples Eagles Crag is hard to beat! The accommodation is booked on a full-board basis, including all meals, a selection of alcoholic and soft drinks, and twice-daily game drives.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
The lodge is accessed via 75 kilometres’ road transfer along the N2 from Port Elizabeth, or via private charter flight. It’s situated in a deep valley among spectacular mountain cliffs within the Shamwari Private Game Reserve.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES AT EAGLES CRAG:
Guest accommodation consists of nine junior suites. Made from glass and stone with a thatch roof, these are spaced well apart for ample privacy. Inside, you’ll find a king-sized bed, bedside stands and lighting, and a separate seating area. Amenities include air conditioning, international dial telephone, Nespresso coffee machine, mini-bar, electronic safe, and hairdryer. The en-suite facilities comprise flush toilet, washbasin, shower, and bathtub. There’s an outdoor shower too! Glass doors lead out onto a deck with a private plunge pool. From here, guests enjoy amazing views of the mountainous cliffs and the wildlife species for which the Shamwari reserve is home.
The communal building at Eagles Crag has two storeys. It’s constructed from stone, wood and thatch, blending beautifully into the landscape. All interiors have a very opulent feel. The structure’s lower level features a comfortable lounge with fireplace, large-screen television, billiards table, and folding glass walls opening onto a delightful deck with dramatic views. There’s another lounge upstairs, which has a lovely adjoining terrace complete with aerial viewing pods and fire-pit. The lodge also boasts indoor and outdoor dining areas, a gift boutique, and a well-equipped fitness centre. Finally, there’s the relaxation retreat, which includes hydro bath, steam room, and sauna. Internet access is available.
ACTIVITIES AT EAGLES CRAG:
Eagles Crag offers a great range of activities. Please note, the age requirement for walks is 16–65 years inclusive. Additionally, pregnant women are not permitted on walks for health and safety reasons.
Expertly guided game drives- Shamwari covers 250 square kilometres of sprawling grasslands, subtropical thicket, and riverine habitat, supporting a real wealth of wildlife. Game drives take place during the mornings and afternoons into the evenings, providing excellent opportunities for safarists to view the residents of the reserve. These include all Big Five – lion, rhino, leopard, elephant, and buffalo! You can also look out for cheetah, hyena, giraffe, zebra, antelopes, and hippo.
Game walks- Also accompanied by a knowledgeable and experienced guide, walks focus on the smaller lives of the reserve – for example, the plants, insects, and birds. Guests enjoy tracking and detailed identification.
Birding- Among Shamwari’s bird populations are astounding quantities of raptors and waterbirds, in addition to species that favour the grasslands, such as hoopoe, oxpeckers, and colourful starlings.
Photographic safaris- Two-day photo safaris are available, led by talented father-and-son duo Iky and Ryan Plakonouris. Guests have use of a special vehicle, as well as enjoying expert photographic tuition and state-of-the-art editing equipment. You can hire photographic equipment too!
Visits to Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre- At the centre, care is provided to young, orphaned, injured, or abandoned animals. Children of all ages can visit, as long as they’re with an adult at all times.
Visits to Born Free Big Cat Sanctuaries- The reserve contains three sanctuaries, all managed by Shamwari in partnership with the Born Free Foundation. Each sanctuary raises awareness of the big cats kept captive in horrific environments worldwide. Two sanctuaries include big cat enclosures, while the third has a focus on education, working with local colleges and schools.