If you are considering a stay in Shamwari and you want to have an adventure, Shamwari Explorer Camp is for you! Highly recommended by the team at YZ. The camp operates throughout the summer months – the first trail is at the beginning of October and the last trail is at the end of April. Each trail is two nights, starting every Friday, though it is possible to add Sunday night on request.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
The experience begins at Eagles Crag Lodge. Guests arrive at midday and enjoy lunch with the specialist guide who will be their guide at Explorer Camp. After lunch, everyone hops into an open game-viewing vehicle and transfers to the camp. It is set up on a plateau among the only granite and basalt extrusions in all Shamwari. As it is totally unfenced, wild animals are able to pass through the area.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES:
The camp has three mobile canvas tents, each sleeping a maximum of two persons. The tents are spaced fairly close together yet sufficiently apart to allow for privacy. Each has two fold-out aluminium stretchers with duvets and pillows, a small cupboard and an LED light to use at night-time. Just outside, there is a handbasin (warm water on request or as soon as the sun rises) and a hammock among basalt rocks and fig trees. Guests receive complimentary towels, toilet paper, tissues, sanitary bags, shampoo, shower gel and insect repellent. All meals are prepared and taken in the open air. There are two outdoor showers and one flush toilet.
Once guests have arrived at camp, the specialist guide provides a thorough orientation. This is followed by an afternoon walk, to get to know the area. Shamwari Game Reserve is chock-full of wildlife – all Big Five animals plus outstanding quantities of antelope species plus cheetah, zebra, giraffe, wild dog, hyena and hippo! There is plenty of birdlife too – impressive populations of raptors and waterbirds as well as species for whom the grasslands are home, such as hoopoe, oxpeckers and colourful starlings. After the first walk, the guide and guests return to camp for sundowner snacks and drinks and an evening meal around the campfire.
Day 2 begins with a hearty breakfast, just the job before setting out on a morning walk lasting up to four hours! After bush brunch, guests are accompanied back to camp to relax until it is time to head off into the bush again to experience an afternoon in the Shamwari. Then it is back to camp for snacks, drinks and evening meal. The final morning (unless guests have opted to have an additional night) is spent enjoying breakfast in the bush, with the option to take one more walk before the end of the adventure.
The quality of guiding from Explorer Camp is absolutely first rate. Guides share their knowledge not only of the wildlife in the Shamwari but also of the cultural and natural history of the game reserve.