You’ve heard of the Big 5, for which South Africa is famous. These are the leopard, lion, elephant, rhino and buffalo. However, the Eastern Cape is home to the Big 7, which adds Great White Sharks and the Southern Right Whale to this already-impressive list.
There are a few game reserves in the Eastern Cape that offer this very exciting combination of nature’s finest, guaranteeing a memorable safari and vacation in this South African province. These include:
Addo Elephant National Park
Addo is just outside of Port Elizabeth or the Nelson Mandela Metro. It is a national park and ranks third in size in the country. It was recently extended to stretch from Sunday’s River towards Alexandria, and includes the marine areas of St Croix Island and Bird Island. It stretches 1 640 square kilometres. In addition to the Big 7, Addo is also home to the famous Flightless Dung Beetle, as well as the Spotted Hyena, warthogs, a vast array of antelope, and an impressive selection of birdlife.
Kwandwe Private Game Reserve
Acclaimed for its luxury, Kwandwe offers award-winning accommodation and safaris that cater to the needs of local visitors and international tourists. Kwandwe stretches for 220 square kilometres, and is also the home of the Cape Grysbok, Knysna Woodpecker, Black-Footed Cat and Crowned Eagle. So, once you have spotted all of the Big 7, there remains plenty to see and do during your special time at Kwandwe.
Kariega Game Reserve and Park
This private game reserve is situated along the renowned Eastern Cape coastline of South Africa. It includes the beautiful Kariega River and the Bushman’s River and stretches down to the magnificent coastline, along which the whales and dolphins frequently play and surf. Thanks to this location and the variety within the reserve, visitors are assured of plenty to do and see, over and above the impressive Big 7. Kariega is situated close to Kenton-on-Sea, which is a tiny village, as well as Port Alfred and the small community of Bushman’s.
Shamwari Game Reserve
Shamwari is just 65 kilometres from the hub of the Friendly City, Port Elizabeth. It is 250 square kilometres in area and is all about the luxurious side of safaris. This area was once under huge threat of total destruction due to generations of farming. However, Shamwari has focused on the rehabilitation and conservation of the land and those that have made it their home. The Cat Sanctuaries and Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre are very special and serve to educate the public about the threats facing our precious natural treasures. This is all set within unrivalled natural beauty.