Which reserve should you choose?
When it comes to choosing a reserve for your safari, I think it’s definitely a case of bigger is better! The larger reserves obviously have greater game and predator numbers. They offer a far more authentic safari than those that are very small, where the experience leans more towards a safari park than a game reserve.
So where are my top picks? My first mention definitely goes to Kwandwe, which at 22,000 hectares offers guests a lot of land to explore. The reserve has significant levels of game – my rhino and lion sightings were particularly good here. I was also really impressed with the effort taken to use underground rather than above-ground power lines. The lodges here are stunning and my guides were top notch – I didn’t want to leave!
I would also highly recommend both Shamwari and Kariega, which are 25,000 and 10,000 hectares respectively. Shamwari is a leading figure among its contemporaries in terms of conservation and education, and it too has good numbers of game and a great selection of lodges.
Kariega, while considerably smaller than the other two of my favourites, still offers a solid safari experience – my elephant sightings here were wonderful. The vegetation in Kariega is denser, so game spotting is slightly harder. However, canoeing activities are available here too, which adds some nice variety. Kariega also has a really good range of properties to suit most budgets, so it is possible to enjoy a few days on safari without completely breaking the bank.