Kwandwe Ecca Lodge and Villas (Eastern Cape)

Kwandwe Ecca Lodge in Eastern Cape

Kwandwe Ecca Lodge is a vibrant and intimate lodge, in the heart of South Africa’s Eastern Cape. On the malaria-free Kwandwe Private Game Reserve. This 22,000 hectares of pristine wilderness stretches out on either side of the meandering Great Fish River. There are also 3 x exclusive-use villas. Your safari home away from home.

Renowned for quality guiding, authentic and diverse experiences. And the thousands of animals and wildlife that call the reserve home. Kwandwe offers a range of meaningful activities and accommodation options to create lifelong memories. Ideally suited for families and the young at heart.

Highlights of the guest areas include the gorgeous rim flow lap pool, and a wine ‘cellar. Kwandwe Ecca Lodge offers breath taking views onto the beautiful valley below. Kwandwe Ecca Lodge offers an indoor/outdoor lifestyle embracing the African wilderness.

Skip to Kwandwe Ecca Lodge Rates, Kwandwe Villa Rates or Specials and Packages

Kwandwe Ecca Lodge Accommodation

With only 6 x suites, Kwandwe Ecca Lodge is intimate, relaxed and trendy. Three of the suites are for couples; sleeping up to 2 x guests. The other 3 are family suites which also have a lounge. They can accommodate 2 x adults and 2 x children under 16 yrs on day beds (in the lounge).

The décor is inspired by the natural tones and textures of the African bush. The spacious and private suites, are located a short distance away from the main lodge area. The rooms are airy, with barely a barrier between the indoors and outdoors. Each suite has a bedroom with en suite bathroom. The en suite bathrooms have an indoor and outdoor shower, with separate WC twin hand basin. A private deck with private plunge pool offer sweeping views and complete relaxation.

The Family suite rates also include a private vehicle and ranger.

Kwandwe Ecca Lodge Suite with private plunge pool
Ecca Lodge Suite view
Malaria-free safari lodge with private pool
Kwandwe Ecca Lodge Family Suite

Kwandwe Villas

Kwandwe has 3 exclusive-use villas. These are:
Uplands Homestead which sleeps a max. of 6 guests and 1 x infant.
Melton Manor which sleeps a max. of 8 guests and 1 x infant.
Fort House sleeps a max of 4 x adults and 4 x children 16 years old or younger and 1 x infant.

Information on the Kwandwe Villas ↓

Fort House

This exclusive private villa has two master suites and two classic rooms (all en-suite) and accommodates 8 people. It offers free flowing living and entertainment areas. A wine cellar, spa treatment room, and a refreshing pool make Fort House the perfect escape. For families and friends who enjoy exclusivity.

Peruse the wine cellar, help yourself to a snack from the guest pantry. Spend some quiet time in the study or enjoy a massage in the spa treatment room. The dedicated team is discreetly on hand to ensure you and your family are taken care of. From the veranda, enjoy views of a productive waterhole. Or enjoy the sweeping Great Fish River valley beyond. A private guide and vehicle are on hand for your safari game drives.

Aerial view of Kwandwe Fort House Villa
Aerial view of Kwandwe Fort House
Malaria free family safari in South Africa
Fort House boma

Melton Manor

A chic and contemporary safari villa based around a central courtyard and inviting swimming pool. The four en-suite bedrooms although all accessed from the courtyard, remain entirely private. Melton Manor accommodates 8 people. Each room has a large veranda, enormous bed, and butler hatches for that all-important morning coffee. In the bathroom, generous bathtubs and showers are perfectly positioned in front of large windows. Inviting you to a soak up the bushveld beyond. Inside the main living area, a personal chef will whip up delicacies in the farm-style kitchen. A private guide and vehicle are on hand for your safari game drives.

Kwandwe villa accommodation
Melton Manor bedroom
Exclusive-use safari villa
Melton Manor

Uplands Homestead

A family villa with heritage and charm and imbued with old-world romance. Built in the early 1900s, the original farmhouse has been lovingly restored to ensure its warmth and character shine through. There are three suites with private verandas. En-suite bathrooms, antique mirrors and yellowwood chests and wardrobes blend seamlessly with air-conditioning, in-room safes, underfloor heating and other conveniences. The most remote of the three villas, located in the west of the reserve. A private guide and vehicle are on hand for your safari game drives.

Kwandwe Uplands Homestead villa
Uplands Homestead Villa
Kwandwe Uplands Homestead villa accommodation
Uplands Homestead bedroom

Malaria Free Family Safari at Kwandwe Ecca Lodge

Kwandwe provides a family safari offering that is hard to match. With a strong emphasis on family activities, rather than just kids’ activities. And the guarantee of a private vehicle with every family. Connected time with those most special to you is guaranteed.

Malaria free family safari at Kwandwe Ecca Lodge
Elephant family on safari
More Information on Family Safaris ↓

There are no age restrictions for game drive activities. Child minders are on staff for those times when the grown ups might need some time alone. In short, Kwandwe’s family experiences have no limits. But for the imagination and energy of those who embark on it.

Children’s Activities

There are a variety of children’s activities at Kwandwe Private Game Reserve:
Families can participate in fun and adventurous activities on the reserve. Including kite building. Scavenger hunts across the reserve with thought-provoking clues to seek hidden items which will help you in your next task. Or, treasure hunts during a game drive. This teaches basic navigation using a sun-compass. And how to use major landscape features in order to find the treasure!

Children receive an age appropriate gift from the gift shop on arrival as well as:
Activity book comprising animal checklists.
Themed games and activities.
A pledge to ‘live green’,
Crayons/ pencils.

Other activities for children include ‘crumpet creatures’. Using a variety of colored crumpet mixtures in squeezy bottles, the ranger and kids will create animal shaped crumpets. Sand art, making moulds from Plaster of Paris, beading, Minnow’s fishing trip with a ranger. Baking and pizza making with specially designed ‘Chefs in Training’ aprons and toques. DVDs and popcorn. Eco educational board games (learning about recycling and the how to care for our planet in a fun way). And African bedtime stories.

At the lodge, The Den is ideally equipped to keep little hands busy for hours. A shared lodge pool provides the perfect place for a communal splash.

All family activities are tailored according to individual and family interests and skill sets.

Giving Back as a Family:

Families have the opportunity to plant Spekboom. Spekboom is a type of thicket vegetation that is native to the Eastern Cape and prolific on the reserve. It is one of the top five carbon-storing vegetation’s on the planet. In this way they are encouraged to offset their carbon footprints.
Children are also welcome to participate in Kwandwe’s ‘Knit a Bit’ program. The knitted squares are joined to make blankets. And given to the Ubunye Foundation that distributes them to the communities surrounding Kwandwe.
Families can also participate in Kwandwe’s volunteering activities through the reserve’s Ubunye Foundation. Which works with communities living in and surrounding the reserve.
Families can assist with gardening projects at the local Mgcamabele Community. Participating in arts and craft activities. And toddlers are invited to join in playtime at the pre-school.

Family Dining

A children’s menu is available with fun and nutritious mealtime options. Such as fish cakes with veggies and homemade chips. Vegetable soup and freshly baked bread. DIY pizzas with fun toppings. Fresh fruit salad. Homemade chocolate brownies and more!

Ecca Lodge Fun for the kids


At Kwandwe, the following activities are included in the rates:
Morning and afternoon game drives in open safari vehicle,
Big game walking safaris,
Guided bush walks,
Visits to the Mgcamabele Community Centre (subject to availability)
Dining experiences on the reserve.

Wildlife on Kwandwe Safari

Game Drives

All guests at Kwandwe Ecca Lodge can enjoy twice daily game drives (Included). Explore the natural splendor of Kwandwe in an open 4×4 safari vehicle. On both early morning and late afternoon / evening game drives. An armed ranger and tracker team share their extensive knowledge of the bush with you. As you track the Big Five, as well as a variety of other wildlife.

Morning drives begin as dawn breaks over the Great Fish River. Providing the opportunity to see predators winding up their nocturnal hunts and settling in for the day. Many animals take advantage of the cool morning hours to graze before the heat of the day. In the late afternoon wildlife can often be spotted coming down to the river to drink. Night drives produces some unusual sightings. Including aardvark, aardwolf, bat-eared fox and porcupine.

Malaria free safari

Walking Safaris

There’s nothing quite like experiencing the bush on foot with armed ranger and tracker team by your side. Set out to look for big game (white rhino, black rhino, elephant and buffalo) for the ultimate thrill. Or alternatively, immerse yourself in the dense euphorbia (succulents). Enjoy the fascinating environments up close. With no engine to distract you. Walks usually last from 3 to 4 hours and depart in the cooler early mornings.


Kwandwe offers a variety of catch-and-release fishing options. Either in still water or in the Great Fish River. Try your hand at catching Large Mouth Bass on artificial lures or fly rod in the reserve’s largest dam. Coarse (bait) fishing can also be tried in either the Great Fish River or one of the other large dams. To target Yellowfish, Carp, Sharp tooth Catfish and more. A fun activity for children as well as for adults.

Kwandwe Ecca Lodge

Private Guide and Vehicle

Book a dedicated ranger and private vehicle for a completely flexible, specialist safari. This ensures a private game viewing experience throughout your stay. Days are entirely up to you and mix and match chosen activities with specialist experiences and down time. Days run from 12 pm to 12 pm. Private guides and vehicles must be booked for the duration of stay.

A private guide and vehicle are already included for villa and Ecca Lodge Family Suite stays.

Private Photographic Safari

The photographic guide advises guests of appropriate camera settings at different scenarios. Providing compositional ideas and to answer any questions relating to photography. Alternatively simply sit back and enjoy the connected experience of your safari. While your specialist guide takes the pictures for you. Includes edited photographs in electronic format along with a complimentary Kwandwe digital photo book.

Private Birding Safari

Spend as much time as you like looking for those elusive specials. And add to your knowledge of South Africa’s bird life. Your specialist guide has detailed knowledge of where, when and how to find what bird you are after. The guides have intimate knowledge of Kwandwe’s 315 recorded species of bird.

Birding safari
Secretary Bird

Specialist Safaris

A variety of specialist safaris offer you a more unique experience. Founded on Kwandwe’s ethos of conservation in action.

Rhino Monitoring Drive

Spend 3 to 4 hours tracking rhino with a specialist ranger and tracker team. Learn about the habits of this threatened species. The issue of rhino poaching as well as Kwandwe’s own conservation efforts. The experience ends with refreshments at a scenic spot in the bush. All ages are welcome.

Rhino Conservation Safari

The opportunity to participate in Kwandwe’s exciting rhino darting and notching program is a unique activity. Under the supervision of experts, the rhino is darted. In order to plant microchips into the horns and perform ear notching for future identification. This is an essential task to ensure the preservation of this endangered species. The procedure is always subject to the availability of the wildlife management team. As well as the availability of rhinos that need to be notched for conservation purposes. Not suitable for children under 16 years of age. We recommend a three night, four day safari

Conservation Safari
Rhino Conservation

Giving Back – The Impact of your Stay

Kwandwe Ecca Lodge and Great Fish River Lodge are committed to biodiversity conservation and rural livelihoods. This is enabled through a sustainable tourism business, which is underpinned by a leading safari experience. Their robust business model together with a dynamic management approach preserves Kwandwe for generations to come.

Your stay also supports the direct employment of over 200 people who work and live on Kwandwe with their families. Funds raised are equally split between reserve conservation and community development.

If you would like to do more, join in a variety of activities. Get to know the people, and participate in some the vital conservation work. Giving back to the community which makes the Kwandwe experience possible.

Kwandwe supports The Mgcamabele Community Centre with it’s creche and pre-school. Plus the Ubunye Foundation is the social development arm. Established in 2002, the Foundation is an independent, non-profit, charitable trust. That currently invests in the development of nine rural communities. Two of which are located in the Kwandwe reserve. Get involved by donating items to the Foundation, joining in activities and by giving financial donations.

Wellness on Safari

Spa Treatments

A variety of wellness treatments are available to be enjoyed in the privacy of your suite.

Keeping Fit

Whilst there are no gym facilities on the reserve, there are plenty of ways to keep fit during your stay. Embark on a walking safari with one of the experienced guides. And stretch your legs whilst learning about the smaller flora and fauna of the reserve. Or, choose to track big game and raise your heart rate in more ways than one!

The airstrip also provides an excellent running track. Fenced and perfectly tarmacked. One of our guides will accompany you to the ‘track’ while you get your laps in.

Location and Access

The nearest national airport is in Port Elizabeth which is 160 km (100 miles) from the reserve. There are daily scheduled flights from both Cape Town and Johannesburg international airports. From there, it is 2 hours by road to Kwandwe Private Game Reserve. Or a short helicopter flight (additional cost). The reserve also has a private airstrip for charter flights.

Kwandwe Ecca Lodge Accommodation Rates

Per person per night sharing

Family rate with private vehicle
(Max 2 adults + 2 children under 16 yrs)

High Season: 16th January – 30th April 2024R 20 440R 67 070
Savings Season: 1st May – 30th September 2024R 15 200R 51 900
Shoulder Season: 1st October 2024 – 15th January 2025R 22 100R 72 600

Single supplement: 40%

Kwandwe Villa Accommodation Rates

Uplands Homestead

Max 6 guests + 1 infant

1 – 5 guests per nightFull 6-guest occupancy
High Season: 16th January – 30th April 2024R 85 170R 102 200
Savings Season: 1st May – 30th September 2024R 63 600R 76 000
Shoulder Season: 1st October 2024 – 15th January 2025R 92 000R 110 400

Melton Manor

Max 8 guests + 1 infant

1 – 6 guests per nightAdditional rate per person*
High Season: 16th January – 30th April 2024R 107 310R 17 885
Savings Season: 1st May – 30th September 2024R 79 800R 13 300
Shoulder Season: 1st October 2024 – 15th January 2025R 115 900R 19 300

Fort House

Max 4 adults + 4 children 16 yrs or younger + 1 infant

1 – 8 guests per night
High Season: 16th January – 30th April 2024R 143 080
Savings Season: 1st May – 30th September 2024R 106 400
Shoulder Season: 1st October 2024 – 15th January 2025R 154 500

*Children up to 5 yrs old do not pay the additional guest rate at Melton Manor (additional rate applies from 6 yrs and older).

Rates include

Accommodation as specified (exclusive-use of the villas),
Twice daily game drives,
Nature walks accompanied by an armed ranger,
Big game walking experience. (tracking white rhino, black rhino, elephant and buffalo on foot. Accompanied by an armed specialist ranger and tracker team. Subject to availability),
3 meals daily,
A selection of South African house and sparkling wines, local & premium brand spirits, beers,
Soft drinks, teas & coffees,
Refreshments on game drives,
Laundry, emergency medical evacuation insurance, VAT,
Transfers to & from the reserve’s airstrip,
Complimentary child-minding (at the villas).

Rates exclude

Community & Conservation levy,
In-room massage treatments,
Telephone calls,
Safari shop purchases,
All items of a personal nature,
Imported champagne, select wines, cigars
Additional specialized safari activities not mentioned above.

Kwandwe Ecca Lodge Accommodation Special Offers

Kwandwe Ecca Lodge Safari Classic Combo

Save 25% on these combination offers:
Combine any of the Kwandwe lodges with a stay at either La Clé des Montagnes (in Franschhoek, Cape Winelands).
The discount applies when booking two or three properties and is valid as follows:
Between 15th January – 30th April 2024: A minimum stay of 4 nights at each place.
Between 1st May – 30 September 2024: A minimum stay of 3 nights at each place.

Long Stay Special Offer at Kwandwe

Connect to your journey in more soulful ways by staying longer. Allow yourself the time and space to soak up the natural beauty of the untamed wilderness.

Long Stay Discounts

4 or 5 nights


6 or 7 nights


8 nights or longer


Valid from 1st May – 30th September 2024
Applicable to all lodge and villa stays

Special Occasions ↓

Celebrate at Kwandwe and let us craft an event that is original and creative and that will provide memories to last a lifetime.

Whether it’s a cherished celebration for two or a festive affair for 52, special occasions abound at Kwandwe. Enjoy meaningful experiences and captivating moments within the African wilderness. The villas and lodges offer a choice of locations and settings. For romantic delights; to meaningful conservation efforts.


Weddings on the reserve are highly personalized ceremonies. Inspired by the pristine surrounds and composed around Kwandwe’s ethos of ‘connected experiences’. The reserve’s sandy river banks, escarpment plateaus, and open kopjes provide a choice of magical wilderness settings for smaller gatherings. Multi-day celebrations can feature a diverse array of safari experiences and get-togethers. Including game drives, walking safaris, harvest table lunches, spa treatments, and fishing.


Getting engaged is one of the most memorable experiences of your life. And with 54,000 acres of private wilderness, the landscape at Kwandwe offers a multitude of options to get down on one knee. From pledging your love at sunset after an afternoon game drive. To dining under the vast night sky by candlelight. The options are endless. Keep the romance going with breakfasts in the bush. Locally made gin tastings. Couples spa treatments. Or quiet moments by the pool.

Family Gatherings

With many families scattered across the globe, it is important to get together and reconnect once in a while. Kwandwe’s lodges, villas and camp accommodate up to 60 people in total. They are located close enough for larger parties to all feel part of the action. Explore the natural splendor of Kwandwe on early morning and late afternoon game drives in an open vehicle. Experience the thrill of big game walking. Or select specialist safari experiences, tailored to you. How you spend your time at Kwandwe is entirely up to you.

Honeymoon Offer

Honeymooners save 50% on accommodation for one partner at Kwandwe Ecca Lodge (min 4 night stay).

A romantic arrival box filled with pampering treats,
Romantic turndown with sparkling wine,
An in-room couples wellness treatment voucher.

*These special offers are applicable to the Lodges or Villas

NB: Conservation & Community levies remain at full rate for all special offers.

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Kwandwe Ecca Lodge and Villas (Eastern Cape)
Kwandwe Ecca Lodge
Kwandwe Private Game Reserve Eastern Cape South Africa

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