Shamwari Riverdene Lodge: The Lowdown

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Shamwari Riverdene is a boutique, family friendly hotel on the excellent Shamwari Game Reserve.

What’s Shamwari Riverdene Lodge Really Like?

It’d be fair to say that Riverdene has a much more hotel-like, contemporary feel than a traditional safari lodge. Along with this comes many of the creature comforts and conveniences of a boutique hotel and we were impressed by the many thoughtful touches we found, right down to the safari packs which had all of the little extras to make our game drives comfortable.   The nine interleading rooms are large and have a stylish, modern décor with crisp whites and creams, and each has a patio opening out onto the manicured gardens and pool area. Beyond, there is a well-visited watering hole, and a path leading down to the outdoor boma. This isn’t used much for dining during the winter- you’ll generally be inside the main building- but is well worth a visit for the lovely views. As a quick aside, the pathways around Riverdene are well-paved, and the lodge itself is pretty compact, making this one of the more practical options on Shamwari for our guests with more limited mobility.

Children at Shamwari Riverdene Lodge: One of the things we particularly like about Riverdene is how family friendly it is. The kids club and adventure playground are very close by- the latter looked sufficiently fun that your reviewer was rather heartbroken not to be able to try it out personally. Rooms at Riverdene interconnect for families travelling together, and you can see they’ve really thought about making a stay here practical and fun for families- right down to the boarding platforms to help smaller children clamber in and out of safari vehicles.

What can I do at Shamwari Riverdene Lodge?

Guests at Riverdene are, of course, here to enjoy Shamwari’s magnificent wildlife and morning and afternoon game drives with your ranger are a serious highlight. Just as an aside- any children need to be over 4 to join game drives, but we can arrange babysitting for you if needs be. A visit to one of the Born Free Sanctuaries (there is one only about 5 minutes from Riverdene) or the Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre is fascinating, whatever age you are, and over 16s can join a guided walking safari.

Giving back at Shamwari Riverdene Lodge: Shamwari itself is a conservation programme, restoring degraded farmland into a wildlife-friendly wilderness. This has been sufficiently successful that Shamwari is now able to translocate wildlife to other areas, as well as running monitoring and anti-poaching programmes to protect their own animals. On top of this, there’s the Born Free Sanctuary and the wildlife rehab centre, which you can visit yourself to see the excellent work they do.

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