A safari in the Eastern Cape is the perfect end to any road trip along the Garden Route. You can head to Addo for magnificent elephant herds (visit early in the year to catch adorable elephant calves), or pick from one of the Eastern Cape’s numerous private game reserves. Many of these are former farms which have been “re-wilded” – fences have been removed and big game flourishes once again. With a bit of luck and a few days in almost any of these reserves, you should be able to tick all of the Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo) off your wishlist. As the Eastern Cape Reserves are generally smaller and more enclosed than the vast spreading expanses of the Greater Kruger, they work particularly well for people who just want to dip their toes into the world of safari, rather than spending weeks on end immersed in the bush.
We were impressed by how luxurious many of the Eastern Cape lodges were, and would highly recommend them for those who want wildlife without having to rough it. As the Eastern Cape is malaria-free, the reserves are a popular choice for a family safari, and there are several lodges that cater particularly to families, with baby-sitters, children’s game drives, and “poo safaris”, beloved of every 5 year old boy we’ve encountered! Others are very much an adult experience, offering impressive wine cellars and post game-drive massages- just let us know what you’d prefer and we’ll suggest a lodge to suit you.