Riverdene Lodge is a comfortable and family-friendly option – and certainly the pick of the Shamwari properties for children! Race you to the zebra seesaw!
ACCESS & LOCATION:
Shamwari Riverdene Lodge is a two hour drive from Port Elizabeth and is located in the southern region of Shamwari Game Reserve.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES:
Riverdene resembles an elegant homestead, a cluster of cheerful yellow buildings set in beautifully maintained gardens that are a perfect place for children to play. The communal facilities comprise two comfy lounges, a delightful dining room with highchairs, a sophisticated bar, a gift shop and a supervised playroom. Internet access is available via the business desk. Outside, an additional dining area overlooks Bushman’s River and the lodge’s own spacious rim-flow swimming pool, which has a shallow end and is surrounded by plenty of sunloungers. There is also a playground featuring a jungle gym that includes a fantastic zebra seesaw!
Guest accommodation at Riverdene consists of nine rooms, all suitable for two adults plus one child on a sleeper couch, though this arrangement is subject to the availability of sleeper couches! Seven of the rooms are interleading, to make up a family suite. All are air conditioned and boast lounge area, writing desk, IDD telephone, satellite TV, tea- and coffee-making facilities, mini bar, hairdryer, en-suite bathroom with separate shower, and private patio, which opens into the grounds.
Riverdene offers all the activities common to the Shamwari properties and with the same restrictions for children. So children aged under 4 years are not permitted on the game drives, which take place at sunrise and sunset for three hours. Guests who are allowed to participate in this activity enjoy viewing a vast selection of wildlife – all Big Five animals, plus many antelope species, cheetah, zebra, giraffe, wild dog, hyena and hippo! Shamwari has impressive populations of raptors, waterbirds and grassland species too. It is possible to arrange game walks and nature walks around the area, but, again, children aged under 4 years must remain at the lodge.
However, there are no age restrictions on visits to the Shamwari Rehabilitation Centre, the Dr Ian Player Rhino Awareness Centre and the Born Free Foundation Animal Research & Education Centre, though children aged under 4 years must be accompanied by an adult. Each of these centres presents an opportunity to learn about an aspect of wildlife – respectively, the nurturing back to health of young, orphaned, injured or abandoned animals; the conservation of rhino; and wildlife exploitation in captivity. Children’s activities at the lodge are run by the Children’s Coordinator and consist of arts, sports, and cultural funtime!