In the Shona language, the word ‘Shamwari’ means ‘my friend’. There is an ease to safari life here, perhaps due to the well-organised guiding and the comfortable accommodation. The reserve is also free of malaria, just one reason why it is a great option for families. However, due to the range of properties offered in the Shamwari, there really is something for everyone – couples, groups and honeymooners alike!
What you really need to know
A stay in the Shamwari serves as an excellent introduction to safari. With guides communicating via radio, you are guaranteed great game sightings on every game drive or game walk. However, seasoned travellers might prefer a more adventurous approach. Sometimes, nothing beats the thrill of a leopard slinking suddenly from the grass or a herd of elephant crossing right by the game vehicle, without warning!
That said, the Shamwari does have a mobile camp, the Explorer Camp, which has a more spontaneous feel. Unlike the lodge properties, there is no electric fence around Explorer so big game is able to wander through at any time!
All Big Five animals roam the bushveld of the Shamwari, in addition to abundant antelope, cheetah, zebra, giraffe, wild dog, hyena and hippo! The area is a haven for birdlife too, featuring amazing quantities of raptors, waterbirds, and grasslands species.
The lodges themselves are a brilliant mix of slick, almost hotel-style offerings (Eagles Crag, Villa Lobengula), colonial-inspired grandeur (Long Lee Manor), contemporary chic (Sarili), safari-lux (Bayethe) and play park (Riverdene). Two of these options (Eagles, Long Lee) include corporate facilities, which, for us, detracts a little from the feeling of being on holiday – but if you are hoping to book a conference, for example, we thoroughly recommend both properties!
Couples are well accommodated at all lodges, but if you are after extra privacy we suggest Bayethe. The family-friendly lodges are Riverdene and Sarili – and Sarili is fabulous for a small group. Just check out our accommodation pages for more details!