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Game reserves - Shamwari or Sanbona?

Brighton, UK
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13 posts
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Game reserves - Shamwari or Sanbona?

My husband and I went to South Africa for our honeymoon a few years ago, and we are going back later this year.

We previously stayed at Addo Elephant Park and Eagles Crag Lodge at Shamwari.... possibly the best trip we have ever done!

We would like to do another safari, and are trying to decide whether to go back to Shamwari or try another game reserve.... our quandry is that Shamwari was so fantastic have we already been to the best, and would we be disappointed if we went to a different one?!

Can anyone suggest any other good game reserves (we are planning on doing the garden route) in the Western or Eastern Cape, or should we just bite the bullet and go back to Shamwari...although I think it would be a shame not to try somewhere else it's difficult when Shamwari was so great!

We were thinking about Sanbona... has anyone been to both and can say which they preferred?

Cape Town
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1. Re: Game reserves - Shamwari or Sanbona?

If your main aim is to see large African Wildlife, Shamwari will give you much more opportunity than Sanbona. If the aim is just to get away from it all and relax in luxurious surroundings - with some wildlife viewing thrown in - then maybe consider Sanbona.

Kwandwe is considerd to be the other top end reserve in the Eastern Cape. There is also Gorah which however, is on a private concession within Addo and much of your game viewing would be within the public areas of Addo.

However if you want something different - and potentially better - why not spend your safari time in one of the many Private Game Reserve lodges in the Greater Kruger region? Many more choices at all price points - even more expensive and luxurious than Shamwari if you want!

Edited: 09 August 2010, 23:11
Brighton, UK
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2. Re: Game reserves - Shamwari or Sanbona?

Thank-you for the suggestions - our main aim is to see the wildlife - we were lucky enough previously to see all the Big 5 at Shamwari plus plenty more (including my favourite the warthog!).

So maybe Sanbona is not better for us, I will look into Kwandwe though, I haven't heard of that game reserve before.

We already have our flights to Cape Town booked, so we can't really go to the Kruger reserves (plus we want to stay in the malaria free areas).

If we go for a private game reserve in the Eastern Cape we will probably go back to Addo as well, loved it there before!

Edited: 10 August 2010, 13:40
Weybridge
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3. Re: Game reserves - Shamwari or Sanbona?

I would echo the comments about Sanbona ... the lodge also would not want you to go there with expectations of it being a full on safari experience, as you would be disappointed.

Kwandwe is easily comparable to Shamwari, so definately take a look if you do decide to do something different. if you liked Eagles Crag, then definately check out Kwandwe Ecca Lodge - for me, it has a similar feel / design.

Belfast
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4. Re: Game reserves - Shamwari or Sanbona?

I completely agree with the earlier posters but don't rule out Sanbona just yet. I have stayed at Shamwari (very good) and have done safari's in several parts of Kenya. What Sanbona can offer is a different experience in a rather different landscape. They may advertise the big 5 but your chances of achieving this are lower than Shamwari for example - although in a three day stay there we never saw Cape Buffalo. In particular for leopard and elephant your chances are lower at Sanbona. However you do have the chance to see other things, some unique to Sanbona, such as the pride of white lions, and of course, the riverine rabbit (well yes I don't know just how desperate I am to see one !).

Accomodation wise, Sanbona looks on a par with most safari venues I have been to, and for those staying in the Cape Town it does have the definite advantage of being easy to fit into a driving tour part of your holiday .

Brighton, UK
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5. Re: Game reserves - Shamwari or Sanbona?

Thank-you again for your comments. Looking at the prices of the reserves Sanbona is significantly cheaper, I am guessing that might be because the game viewing would not be so good there...... I agree it would be amazing to see the white lions (and even the rabbits!) but we would want to go for the option that would give us the best all-round game viewing experience.

The accomodation, although we like a bit of luxury, is maybe not the most important factor, as a lot of the time you are being bumped around in a jeep out on the drives anyway!

6. Re: Game reserves - Shamwari or Sanbona?

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