Shamwari - Villa Lobengula

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.  

Those seeking true privacy are directed towards this exclusive-hire villa, secluded among the plains.  Decorated by local villagers and aping a traditional African kraal (a hutted village enclosure), Lobengula offers a distinctly Zen-style vibe.  Its spa sanctuary and breathtaking views will quieten the most frazzled minds.


Available for rental by just one group, the villa contains six suites, all sleeping two adults.  You’ll probably have to pull straws for who gets which.  While three are dreamily adjacent to the main pool, another two have their own plunge pool.  Best of all is the Chief Suite, which has a large lounge and fireplace to go with its plunge pool.  Every air-conditioned room boasts a veranda, outdoor shower and sensational mountains and valley vistas.


No need to bring your apron, as Lobengula is catered: lavish meals and fine wines are served on the main deck or in an al-fresco boma.  That central veranda gazes across the bushveldt, as do the main pool and accompanying bar.  Elsewhere, Thai massage, reflexology and yoga therapies are available inside the Relaxation Retreat, alongside a fitness room.


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

Only children aged 12 and over can stay.  However, the reserve’s Riverdene Lodge and Sarili Lodge welcome all ages.



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