Kwandwe Uplands Homestead
Eastern Cape Game Reserves, Eastern Cape, South Africa
At a Glance
Three bedroom private home in the bush
Private 4×4 safari vehicle, butler, chef, and ranger and tracker team
Contemporary farm style kitchen
Great service and food
Total flexibility of timing for game activities and meal times
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
Game viewing is excellent all year round. Summers (October to March) are hot and wet, whereas winters (May to August) are cool and dry. Daytime temperatures in summer are high and may soar above 36°C/97°F. Winter is known to produce beautiful warm days, though the evenings and early mornings can be quite chilly.
Call us on to start planning your vacation to Kwandwe Uplands Homestead or take a look at our itineraries to Eastern Cape
Uplands Homestead is a sensitively restored 1905 Cape Dutch farmhouse, situated in the heart of Kwandwe Private Game Reserve. Comprising three spacious en-suite bedrooms, Uplands is available for sole use by small groups and families.
Kwandwe Private Game Reserve stretches along 42 kms of the Great Fish River and the 22,200 hectare reserve is set on the edge of the former Karoo Basin, where several of Africa’s vegetation zones converge and biodiversity is extremely rich. The Kwandwe landscape is dominated by valley bushveld on open plains and rolling hills, with succulent euphorbias, aloes and spekboom among the characteristic plants. Thousands of animals, including the ‘big five’ (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo) have been reintroduced to roam the reserve, which is also a haven for endangered animals and birds and numerous programs to support them have been introduced.
Uplands Homestead is perfect for those for whom privacy is paramount. It is ideal for a group or family of six people. The 1905 Cape Dutch farmhouse combines modern touches with classic architecture and the private balconies and full size swimming pool with large lawn with gazebo ensure a comfortably luxurious stay.
In the modernised farm kitchen, Uplands Homestead’s private chef prepares delicious Pan-African cuisine and local specialties. Nothing beats a bush banquet in a surprise setting under the magical African sky.
Kwandwe Uplands Homestead offers guests three suites furnished with beautiful authentic antiques and claw-foot tubs in the bathrooms, along with yellowwood chests and wardrobes in the bedrooms. Amenities include air-conditioning and in-room safes. Each suite has its own veranda with wonderful outlooks.
There are just 3 spacious suites offering a large double bedroom with en-suite bathroom. All the suites have a private veranda.
Children are welcome to come and stay at Uplands Homestead. However, the recommended minimum age is 6 years. They can arrange for baby sitting for younger children while the rest of the family goes out on a game drive.
There is a myriad of exciting activities on offer for children of all ages at Kwandwe. Through the Blue CraneConservation Club, the Reserve teaches young guests about green living in a fun way, and encourages them to start their own initiatives once back home.
Children receive a welcome gift on arrival which includes a Blue Crane Conservation Guide comprising animal checklists, themed games and activities, and a pledge to ‘live green’ (‘Junior’ for under 6’s and ‘Senior’ for ages6 and up), crayons/ pencils, a BPA free water bottle and a ‘Frolicking Rhino’ range of bath products including shampoo, body lotion and bubble bath (Kwandwe supports the Bespoke Amenities Co., who created thisange in support of their efforts to eradicate rhino poaching).
Activities for children include a ‘Bugs & Bones’ walk (a great way to stretch little legs and learn all about this ecologically diverse reserve whilst searching for insects, bones and skulls and being taught how to identify animal tracks and droppings), sand art, face painting, making moulds from Plaster of Paris, beading, chocolate fun (making spider webs and insects from chocolate), Minnow’s fishing trip with a ranger, special game drives outside of normal times where available, baking and pizza making with specially designed ‘Chefs in Training’aprons and toques, DVDs and popcorn, eco educational board games (learning about recycling and the how to care for our planet in a fun way), chocolate mould making, creature cookie baking, and African bedtime stories.
Giving back: children have the opportunity to plant Spekboom, a type of thicket vegetation that is native to the Eastern Cape and prolific on the reserve, and one of the top five carbon-storing vegetations on the planet.In this way they are encouraged to offset their (own small!) carbon footprint. Families can also participate inKwandwe’s voluntourism activities through the reserve’s Angus Gillis Foundation, which works with communities living in and surrounding the reserve. Activities are tailored according to individual and family interests andskillsets. For young guests this includes assisting with gardening projects at the local Mgcamabele Community;participating in arts and craft activities; and toddlers are invited to join in playtime at the pre-school. Children Are also welcome to participate in Kwandwe’s ‘Knit a Bit’ program
Facilities at the Uplands include an inviting, large swimming pool, open verandas and an extensive lawn. The dining and sitting areas feature lovely high ceilings, wooden floors and beautiful fireplaces.
Game drives, guided walks, fishing, canoeing, bush picnics and rhino tracking are all included in room rates, however archaeological drives are charged additionally.
Camilla Smith (Staff)
A lovely private home set in the middle of the gorgeous scenic Kwandwe Reserve. It is a 3 bedroomed house with a dining and sitting area, garden and private pool. It is perfect for a family or group of friends wanting to have the privacy and exclusivity of a private house with your own private guide, vehicle and chef. All meals are in the privacy of your home or set up in the bush!
The property is run by an extremely efficient and friendly team of staff with superb guides. The guides are particularly brilliant with children making it a very enjoyable and educational experience for them. Everything is completely flexible, so you can choose the times for your game activities and meals.
Kwandwe has superb game and the big 5 in great numbers, for a fantastic safari experience in the Eastern Cape it is a great option!
1 and 2 day Photographic Workshops
Kwandwe offer private photographic safaris with award-winning professional photographer Mike Dexter. This experience is private and customized, each safari is provided with a private vehicle and safari guide.
Children's Activities at Kwandwe
Kwandwe have a fantastic range of activities specifically tailored to children to ensure that their first safari experience is educational, engaging and unforgettable.
Interpretive Bush Walks
Hop out of the vehicle during game drives, or take a walk from camp to have a closer look at the details of the surrounding bush.
Private photographic safaris and tutorials are offered by local award-winning photographer Mike Dexter. A private safari vehicle with ranger and tracker is provided to tailor-make each experience.
Private Safari at Kwandwe
Ensure exclusivity, privacy and flexibility by organising a private guide and vehicle for one or more days of your stay at Kwandwe.
Rhino Conservation Safari
This is one of the most exciting and educational activities we know of in South Africa, a chance to join the team at Kwandwe in the darting of their rhino for conservation and preservation purposes is unmatchable.
Save the Rhino Monitoring Drive
An incredible opportunity to witness at first hand the dedicated work of Kwandwe's rhino monitoring team.
Twice Daily Game Drives
Guests at Kwandwe enjoy twice daily game drives in open safari vehicles. This is a fantastic way to explore the vast and varied environment of the reserve.
Location & directions
Eastern Cape Game Reserves, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Nestled in the heart of South Africa's unspoiled Eastern Cape province lies Kwandwe Private Game Reserve, a world-class Big Five safari experience in 22 000 hectares (54 000 acres) of pristine private wilderness and featuring 30 km of privately owned river frontage of the Great Fish River.
How to get there
Guests are advised to fly to Port Elizabeth and proceed to Kwandwe by road or air transfer. A flight from Johannesburg to Port Elizabeth takes about 1 hour 45 mins. The distance from Port Elizabeth to Kwandwe is 160km (100 miles) and can be comfortably covered by road in 2 - 2 1/2 hours. A flight from Port Elizabeth directly to the Kwandwe Airstrip takes approximately 45 minutes. Transfers to the Lodge from the airstrip or Port Elizabeth can be arranged by Kwandwe.