We have just returned from our honeymoon where we started off with 3 nights at Long Lee Manor. From the moment we arrived in the early afternoon with a warm welcome, cool towel and homemade lemonade, we knew we would love this place. After a swift check in, we were taken to our room which overlooked 'the bush' (quite an eerie sight at night and early morning as you feel in the thick of it!) within 15 minutes we were on a game drive where we met our fantastic ranger Nicky. There were 6 of us on board the 'love bus' as we called it due to all being on honeymoon and we all very quickly became friends. Nicky was absolutely amazing. Her friendly, fun personality meant every drive was fun and different. She knew so much - answering every question we asked about anything and everything. She worked so hard to ensure we saw everything we could, even off roading (shhh! Don't tell Andrew!) to catch a glimpse of the black rhino. We saw all the big 5, luckily managing to see lions on almost every drive and rhinos and giraffe on most times out in the truck. A male lion devouring a baby warthog is a sight I don't think we will forget for a while, especially as it happened just outside the gates to Long Lee. Manor just before our afternoon drive! We also did a walk in the bush with Nicky and Andrew which was really exciting. Never knowing what was going to be round the corner and not having the safety of the land rover! His knowledge of animals, plants and history of the area was fantastic and we learned and saw so much that we wouldn't have seen or found out from being in the vehicle.
The food there is incredible. Breakfast in the morning with your ranger and the rest of the crew on your truck was a lovely touch. All excitedly anticipating what we would find on the drive that morning. Lunch was amazing, beautifully presented and to a very high standard. The BBQ nights (brai) were every other night so we had this twice where you sit with your group and ranger again outside with a fire in the background. We couldn't fault the food at all. The sundowners were a lovely experience too where Nicky found a spot to stop to watch the sun set and enjoy some nibbles and drinks before going back to the lodge.
The rooms are huge!! We felt like we were in our own little apartment with lounge, fire, 2 bathrooms, massive bed, walk in shower, stand alone bath tub, double basins, TV etc.
There is absolutely nothing we would change about this place. We were shattered when we left but that shows just how much we crammed in to 2 days there and we didn't want to leave. We'd met some lovely people and had a once in a lifetime experience we will never forget.
Special thank you to Nicky. You really made our first safari experience an incredible one. Thank you to all the staff at Long Lee who always greeted you with a smile and checked you were ok. The fact that there's not many rooms make it even more welcoming and personal.
We have already spoken about how we'd love to return!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A mere 75 km from Port Elizabeth towards Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, South Africa. Shamwari is the crown jewel of private game reserves situated in the malaria free Eastern Cape, the birth place of Nelson Mandela. This privately owned 25 000 hectares of prime natural terrain has received numerous international awards. Shamwari is an exploration of nature with close encounters of free roaming wildlife and the coveted big five with a choice of unique lodges, an exclusive private villa and the adventurous Explorer Camp. Luxury accommodation is offered in 7 different game lodges on Shamwari Game Reserve, all of which are 5 Star graded. Choose a game lodge that perfectly compliments your ideal African experience. EAGLES CRAG LODGE - Exclusivity, privacy and serenity for the most discerning of travelersBAYETHE TENTED LODGE - The ultimate in luxury tented accommodationSARILI LODGE - A colonial and bush experience. Perfect for families or small partiesLONG LEE MANOR - Refined elegance from a bygone era. RIVERDENE FAMILY LODGE - Colonial Africa in an elegantly restored CHILD FRIENDLY frontier home. VILLA LOBENGULA - Villa Lobengula is a beautiful and tranquil space tucked away in the depths of the valley bushveld. Booked on an exclusive use basis only. EXPLORER CAMP - Camping & walking experience among the Big 5 on the magnificent Shamwari Game Reserve ON SAFARI - Game drives can last up to 3 hours each and are conducted twice a day in open vehicles / Guided walks / Star gazing RELAX - Various treatments can be enjoyed at our Relaxation Retreats which are situated at Eagles Crag, Lobengula Lodge, Bayethe Lodge and Long Lee Manor ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Shamwari Game Reserve Hotel Shamwari Game Reserve