Shamwari - Riverdene Famliy Lodge

Game Lodge, Eastern Cape Game Reserves


Ideal for safari virgins or those coming from Cape Town or the Garden Route, malaria-free Shamwari Game Reserve boasts Big Five game and six superb lodges across a 25,000 hectare reserve.  Home to prolific game and exceptional game rangers,  Shamwari is well known for their intense conservation practices, and their ethos is to 'conserve a vanishing way of life' which is apparent at each of their lodges.  

Riverdene Lodge is the most family-friendly of the lodges, with excellent facilities and child-suited safari experiences.  Built in the grand style of a frontier homestead, restored Riverdene stands amid fenced, manicured lawns.


Like hotel rooms in style, Riverdene’s 18 luxurious units are split between nine twin-bedded options sleeping 2-3 and nine able to accommodate two adults and a child with interconnected doors.  All of them have air-conditioning, small lounge areas, writing desks and bathtubs.  Private terraces face the landscaped gardens and lawns.


Inside Riverdene’s handsome lodge you’ll find two finely-furnished lounges full of colonial relics, a dining room and a bar plus humidor.  Outside are gardens lawns and more lawns, as well as a ‘jungle gym’ play-area for children, shaded seating for lunches and, best of all, a large rim-flow pool with a shallow end.  There’s also an al-fresco boma facing the Bushmans River.


Included in your board are 4x4 game drives at dawn and dusk, each lasting 3-4 hours.  You’re very unlikely to see vehicles from Shamwari’s other lodges, but odds-on to spy the Big Five and numerous other beasts.  Also complimentary are guided nature walks and visits to the Rhino Awareness Centre, the Born Free Centre and a Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre and Hospital – where guests can have one-to-one experiences with current patients.  As all this suggests, Shamwari is extremely conservation-minded, scooping regular awards for its efforts.

Child Policy

Those animal-rescue centres are perfectly suited for children, who (all ages) are made extremely welcome at Riverdene.  The evidence for that includes a playhouse in the garden where children can enjoy story telling, bread making and wii and xbox.  There is also a jungle gym, a supervised playroom, children’s menus and extensive babysitting options (additional cost) for young kids.  Those over 4 can join game drives, but these aren’t especially tailored to children. Children stay at 50% of the adult price, regardless of whether they are in their own inter-connecting room.



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