Kwandwe Ecca Lodge | Kwandwe Game Reserve
A very comfortable and really well maintained property. There are six rooms.
Totally different area on the Eastern Cape. They have stocked this huge reserve with animals from other areas of Africa so there are animals not indigenous to South Africa. That is what makes this reserve appealing. Very few Impala but lots of oryx and other different antelope. Usually very good cheetah population that you will probably not see in the other Kruger lodges. Ken & Ngaire, Owners of Keene Luxury Travel, have been here three times and always look forward to going back.
Huge rooms, lots of space and nicely decorated with full wraparound decks overlooking the valley and floor to ceiling windows all around. Large bathrooms with double-sinks, a HUGE shower and bathtub and an enclosed toilet. There are three rooms on each side of the lodge so this helps to keep no one from being too far away from the main lodge. There is also a plunge pool on the deck.
Game Viewing & Extra Activities
The Game - The game WAS exciting on Ken & Ngaire's last visit. In just three game drives, they had the following experiences:
- Spent about two hours with two cheetahs that were stalking for a kill and watched their attempt at the kill
- Observed a cheetah family with cubs - saw them two years in a row when they were tiny and then older
- Witnessed a big male lion (Kalahari genes - big boys) and a female lion fighting over a fresh buffalo kill
- Had the most fantastic giraffe sightings were we got closer than we had ever been in years past
- Saw lots of plains animals and ones we are not used to seeing.
Rhino Darting - They have to dart every rhino once a year to notch them for identification and for veterinary care. The lodge will hold on back one of the rhino for the camp visitors that wish to participate in this activity. Ken, Clay, & Ngaire, Owners of Keene Luxury Travel, have participated in this activity. It involves meeting with the vet who shares fascinating information with the group and describes the entire process. Once the rhino is darted and is out they will take you to the rhino. Then they will exam and perform tests on the rhino while the guests watch. While the rhino is out they let the guests touch the rhino's skin and feel it's ears. Sometimes they will allow the guests to inject the rhino with vitamins. It is a really unique experience. The opporunity to be up close to a rhino is pretty fantastic. Normally this activity is limited to just 8 guests, however Keene Luxury Travel typically has permission on our hosted group tours to have 12 guests in the program. The cost is for the "experience" so whether it is just to people or more, the price to participate is the same. A rhino darting experience must be reserved ahead of time.
Fishing - The Great Fish River is where you will fish and the boat and fishing area is in a valley between twho high hills. Ken & Ngaire, of Keene Luxury Travel, looked at this area from the top of one of the hills but did not have time to go and check-out the boat and fishing but thought this looked like fun for those who would want to participate. The ranger is your fishing guide.
Public Rooms, Spa and Dining
The main lodge is very nice. It has an interactive kitchen where things are prepared and also a kitchen in the back. The dining room is off the kitchen and they have a nice library and bar area too. There is a big swimming pool with a wide deck area. The Property Manager was around all the time and the staff were alway smiling and singing softly in the kitchen. Overall there was a happy, relaxed, and comfortable feel.
When we were there the food was very good. In fact, after one Kingklip fish meal, I hugged the chef in the kitchen. They cooked me a rack of lamb as a special order and it was excellent. There were interesting and different breakfast choices, as well. We never had lunch at this camp as we were always out checking the surrounding camps.
There is internet access in the rooms. It can be spotty but at least it is there.
Website: Kwandwe Ecca Lodge