Welcome to Shamwari

Originally when K & I talked about travelling to South Africa, our intent was to participate in a volunteer project while we were there.  Unfortunately, due to some time restraints, we were not able to participate in this kind of experience, however, in doing our research, we were led to the Shamwari Game Reserve.

Looking over a small piece of Shamwari.

Looking over a small piece of Shamwari.

Shamwari is a private reserve located in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. We chose it for a few reasons.  Situated in a malaria free zone & covering an area of approximately 25,000 hectares, we liked the idea of being able to visit the reserve we had hoped to volunteer on but more importantly, we were impressed with the very close attention paid to the conservation of the land & the animals who live here.

From the moment we arrived on Shamwari, we knew we were in a special place.

There are 7 choices of accommodations on the reserve, each beautifully incorporated onto the property.  They are small by North American standards, with the largest of the 7 only accommodating a maximum occupancy of 30.  This is part of what makes them so unique, creating not only an intimate experience, but a very tranquil one.

*We chose to stay in the Bayethe Tented Lodge, which consists of 12 private “tents”, each strategically placed to ensure privacy for guests while being surrounded by the quiet of nature.

We were blown away when we were escorted to our “tent”.


Walkway up to our “tent



The view from our tent. If you look closely, you can see another tent off to the left.


Inside our tent


A bath perhaps?


Or maybe an outside shower?


Or would you prefer to just sit & watch the world go by!

Over the course of the next 3 days, K & I would find ourselves speechless many times, drinking in the beauty of this place & the utter sense of calm we felt in being here.


Making our way to the dining area. I believe “K” may be saying, “no seriously, we are never leaving here!”

After freshening up a bit, we made our way down to the common area where guests are treated to beautifully prepared gourmet meals 3 times a day as well as high tea each afternoon prior to heading out for the late day game drive.

Pool outside dining & common area

Pool outside dining & common area

Outside eating area which overlooks a watering hole on the other side where animals are often sighted.

Outside eating area which overlooks a watering hole on the other side where animals are often sighted.


Dining area

Lounging area just below the dining area

Lounging area just below the dining area

Lounging area below dining area

Lounging area below dining area


The Spa & yes, we booked a full body massage for ourselves!

Guests are assigned a ranger who is responsible for taking you out on your game drives & acting as your host for the duration of your stay.  I cannot say enough about our ranger, Alistair.  His knowledge of the plant & animal life on the reserve, his charm in making us feel so welcome, his patience in driving all over the reserve in search of animals we hoped to see & his enthusiasm for the work that he does, were all part of what made this experience so memorable.

We were so excited at the prospect of the sights we would see over the next few days.  Like two little kids in a candy store, we happily tucked ourselves in for an experience that would leave a lasting impression on our hearts.


Our chariot awaits!

After briefing us on the dos & don’t of going on safari, we headed out for our first game drive.  We were barely out of the road that leads into our lodge when we spotted  a group of these magnificent creatures!


Well hello!

First sighting!

Loved how the majestic this giraffe looked standing against the darkening clouds.

Stay tuned for many more wonderful sightings!



*Our tour was booked with African Welcome Safaris who were incredibly easy to deal with, responding to any concerns or questions in a very timely fashion.


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61 Responses to Welcome to Shamwari

  1. Sue Slaght says:

    Wow Lynn it looks amazing! Now that is my kind of tenting! I am see that choosing to stay in a malaria free zone does make it less complicated. Since we will be going to Victoria Falls, which will require malaria precautions, we chose a reserve in Kruger. Love those giraffe photos and looking forward to more.

    • Lynn says:

      It was stunning Sue! Kruger is much larger in comparison & is a National Park vs a private reserve. I am certain you will have an incredible experience!

  2. Wow! That “tent” makes me want to go “camping” – ha. Beautiful area, I’m sure you two had a fantastic adventure.

  3. Heyjude says:

    Looks very luxurious! For a basic (and much cheaper) experience we stayed in Addo also in the Eastern Cape where we had a rondavel to ourselves and could self-drive in the park. Addo doesn’t have giraffes though as they aim to only have the wild animals that inhabited that region. So lots of elephants, warthogs, birds and even lions.

  4. You took my breath away, Lynn. This is a magical place and I can’t help being impressed with the beautiful views. I seriously do not know how you could stand roughing it in the “tent.” Thanks for sharing this. 🙂

  5. Your tent is better than my house!

  6. Joanne Sisco says:

    Definitely my kind of camping 😉 This looks like it was an amazing stay – even without the added benefit of the safari!!
    And who doesn’t absolutely love giraffes?!!

  7. That’s about as close to a tent as you’ll ever find me. What a wonderful place and experience.

    • Lynn says:

      You seem to be in good company Nelson! Although we expected our accommodations to be above the usual kind of tent, we did not anticipate this kind of luxury!

  8. Ingrid says:

    Amazing! What a fantastic experience to share with your daughter… I’m speechless.

  9. Carolyn says:

    Lynn, I am just speechless! A definite “out of continent experience.”

    • Lynn says:

      It was so beautiful Carolyn. I know we have talked about what this experience meant to K & I but you probably haven’t had a chance to see pics!

  10. Norm 2.0 says:

    Wow, what a place. A once in a lifetime experience for sure. I look forward to seeing more pics 🙂

  11. What an unbelievable experience. Yes, do tell more. I’m captivated and want more. Nice ‘tent’. Wow. ❤ ❤

  12. Ann Coleman says:

    Now that is my kind of camping! But seriously, it looks as if it was an incredible experience, and the photos are awesome. I can’t wait to see more!

  13. George says:

    Speechless is a great word. It looks beautiful..:)

  14. Our local REI doesn’t have these type of tents. (I wonder if they are in the back aisle I never explore.)

    This camping you’ve shown us here is not the type of camping I avoid.

  15. roseanna vachon says:

    Absolutely magnificent!!! I’m looking forward to seeing more

    Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

  16. Wow Lynn, thanks for sharing this with us

  17. This post makes me positively homesick! Although as kids we stayed in very very basic lodging in the Kruger Park. This “tent” is stunning and makes me want to go camping right away…just gorgeous pics of your accommodation.

    And as for the giraffe ~ just WOW ! Beautiful.


    • Lynn says:

      Peta, our experience at Shamwari went beyond our expectations in so many ways. How wonderful for you to have such memories as a child, I am sure you must have many stories to tell!

  18. LB says:

    Oh Lynn! What an incredible experience in such an amazing place.
    Your “tent” was stunning and I’m so excited that you were able to see those giraffes.
    Can’t wait for more.

    • Lynn says:

      The giraffes were so interesting to watch Laurie. We would see many of them over the next few days but never tired of being fascinated by them!

  19. restlessjo says:

    Like no tent I ever set eyes on! You lucky girl 🙂 🙂 Fabulous to see giraffes in the wild. More to come. Oh, goody!

    • Lynn says:

      I am so lucky Jo! Not only did I get to experience this incredible adventure, but I got to do so while enjoying the company of my daughter ❤️

  20. badfish says:

    Well, I suppose if I really wanted to rough it, I could spend a few days/years in a tent like that. Lovely shots of the place, and animals!!! South Africa…now on my radar.

  21. Cheryl Marsh says:

    [😊] awwwwe, and beyond! .. never camped like this, looking forward to more.

    cheers, God bless

    c xo

    Cheryl Marsh


  22. Very posh tent there Lynn. We’ve done a couple of safaris on the Serengeti, but haven’t done anything quite as lux as your trip. One of my most vivid memories is camping in a real tent, and after dark, when we wanted to go to the dining tent, we had to wave our flashlight outside our tent so a spear-wielding Masai guard could escort us; what with all that roaming game. It was very cool. ~James

    • Lynn says:

      This was definitely a luxury for us James. I am not sure what we were expecting but it was certainly not as beautiful as this!

      Oh my! Yes, you definitely would not have wanted to become dinner prior to getting to dinner! What an adventure!

  23. Sherri says:

    This looks amazing Lyn, thank you so much for posting the links as going on a safari is mine and hubby’s dream, something we’ve talked about for years. We hoped to go this year for our tenth wedding anniversary, but we weren’t able to for various family reasons. I’ve bookmarked the links…great photos. Looking forward to seeing more! I’ll be signing off blogging until after the New Year, but I’ll catch up with you then. Meanwhile, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you! xo

    • Lynn says:

      Sherri, it was so amazing! I would highly recommend Sharmwari as a destination for a safari. I cannot say enough about our experience there! I hope that you & your husband fulfill your dream of getting to this part of the world. It truly is an unforgettable experience!

      Wishing you & your loved ones a very Merry Christmas & all the best in the New Year!

      • Sherri says:

        I’ve bookmarked your links Lynn, and will definitely be showing them to hubby! What an amazing experience for you both. Thank you again for sharing them and for your lovely Christmas and New year wishes!

  24. Midwestern Plant Girl says:

    You were really slumming it there in that ‘tent’ 😉 Holy beautiful!! When hubby and I go full time in our travel trailer, we are going to find volunteer opportunities also. The act brings so much joy to me, that I wonder who’s benefiting more!

    • Lynn says:

      We had no idea our accommodations would be so beautiful! We were totally blown away. Volunteering is something that can make the travelling experience all the more richer. We hope to go back some day & explore more of this fantastic destination!

      When are you & hubby hoping to hit the road?

  25. safari are awesome and this place has awesome infrastructure! Thanks for sharing, staying in touch, following! In case you have more wildlife pictures…

    • Lynn says:

      Thank you so much! It truly was an incredible experience. I so appreciate the comment & the follow. I hope to write more about our safari experience in the next few weeks😉

  26. Pingback: Going on Safari-1st drive out | Life After 50

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