Only 2 hours from Port Elizabeth, Kwandwe Ecca Lodge is fun, flamboyant and fabulous, with a 'funk-meets-futuristic-farmhouse' ambience. Situated in the 22,000 hectare malaria-free Kwandwe Private Game Reserve, the lodge is ideal for family safaris.
Experienced rangers and Xhosa trackers will lead guests on interpretive, twice-daily game drives in open 4x4 safari vehicles, bringing you close to Africa's Big 5.
Fascinating nocturnal animals such as aardvark, aardwolf, porcupine, Cape fox, bat-eared fox and spring hare are regularly encountered on exciting night drives.
The main guest areas comprise a spacious sitting room with fireplace, dining room and bar area, and a deep veranda with expansive viewing decks. Delicious cuisine is prepared in the modern, open-plan kitchen and an interpretive centre provides hours of entertainment for children of all ages.
The lodge is airy, with barely a barrier between indoors and the African bushveld.
The 6 suites each features private plunge pools, an en-suite bathroom with spacious, plate glass-enclosed shower, bath, and twin hand-basins, as well as a sitting area which can comfortably convert into accommodation for children 11 years and younger.
Special offers for longer stays or when booked as part of a longer itinerary may apply - details on request.
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All meals; tea/coffee; house wines, local brand spirits and beers, soft drinks and bottled water; 2 scheduled shared game drives daily in an open 4x4 safari vehicle accompanied by an experienced ranger and tracker; interpretive nature walks daily (one hour) accompanied by an experienced armed tracker; transfers in a game-drive vehicle from Heatherton (Reception and parking area) to the lodge; the Community and Conservation Levy; and a laundry/valet service are included.
Children of any age are welcome. Rates available on request. Children under 6 are not allowed on game drives, but shortened game drives (FOC) may be arranged with the lodge subject to availability of Land Rovers and rangers. Children aged 6 to 11 are allowed on game drives at the Lodge Manager's discretion. Children under 12 are not allowed on bush walks. Babysitting services are available.
Ecca Lodge will welcome your family with open arms. You will be shown to your family's accommodation, and you can get settled into your room.
From then on, Ecca Lodge offers a host of fascinating and entertaining activities for children, bringing alive the magic of a safari. Every minute is supervised by rangers and camp staff, who provide hours of amusement and invaluable information to the children in their care.
Your children will each receive a Planet Manager backpack, filled with surprises and containing an Eco-guide - a fantastic interactive booklet that encourages the conservation of the planet's precious natural resources. Throughout your stay at the lodge, your ranger will help the children to complete their guides, taking them out into the bush to collect feathers, pods, insects and leaves. At the end of your stay, the children will each receive a certificate declaring them official Planet Managers.
Children will witness the regions's rich wildlife, including the famous Big 5 (from a distance, not close to) and the not-so-famous Little 5, and they will try their luck at spotting the lodges's 10 'Star birds'. The children will also learn why elephants have long noses, and why giraffes have long necks !
After lunch, the children will be invited to the kitchen to help cookies for afternoon tea, and the chef will encourage them to get stuck in, be creative and have fun. In the meantime, parents can indulge in an afternoon siesta !
Dinners are a true highlight, with an abundance of flavours and textures on offer. Early meals can be arranged, with a specialised children's menu - chicken skewers, sausage and mash, homemade pasta with fresh tomato sauce, and ice cream with hot toffee sauce. Delicious Pan African dinner platters are served in the dining area or perhaps in an outdoor boma under starry African skies. A special children's table is set aside in the boma, where children can share their own campfire complete with marshmallows for roasting - always under the ranger's watchful eye.
The children will be enchanted by an abundance of adventures suited to their unique likes and dislikes. The ranger can take them on fishing or frogging safaris to explore some of the small wonders of the bush, or they can go on a bark-rubbing expedition and a bug hunt. They can visit the workshop to oversee maintenance to the safari vehicles, or they can learn how to make recycled paper, or spend time in the sun painting. Or perhaps they would enjoy a guided 'Pooh' walk to indentify animal droppings, spoor, animal species, trees and vegetation. Or go on a special children's picnic.
The options really are endless !
Guest Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 based on 9 ratings
What can we say about the safari - no words can describe the experience adequately. Being so close to the animals, a lion yesterday sat down on the ground next to the back wheels of our 4x4, watching the elephants drink, the lions play and the cheetahs with their cubs, it is almost unreal. All the staff there were so friendly helpful and informative, nothing seemed like a problem for them.
Just wanted to let you know that we had a fantastic trip. All the accommodation that you arranged was first class. We were really pleased with the level of information provided, particularly the directions!
Each place was beyond our expections, all in different ways. We loved Kwandwe and the Kurland Hotel (how did you get such a good price for the Kurland?), but all of them were fantastic. We were very well looked after and felt welcomed by all the hotels.
I will certainly be recommending you to anyone I know who has an interest in South Africa.
I look forward to needing your services again, very soon!
Finally Ecca Lodge! Turned out be THE highlight of the trip ... I never expected either the level of luxury, the many small personal touches or the excitement of chasing around after lions and elephants and rhino and every other kind of wildlife in what my wife called the "Magic Bus". Magic because it appeared that as long we were inside the "bus" the animals couldn't see us.
The safari was wonderful and although it wasn't on my list of things to do before I die, it would have been had I known what to expect. We were actually sad to leave.
We are just back from the most wonderful holiday made even better by the accommodation you found for us. Each and every one was superb. The highlight of our trip was Kwandwe Ecca Lodge the staff there are delightful, nothing is too much trouble for them.
Everything was A1. The lodge (Kwandwe Ecca) was great - very good with children etc - also glad we chose the Mount Nelson.
General Information For Guests
Each suite features a bedroom with en-suite bathroom, indoor and outdoor shower, separate WC, twin hand basin and a private deck with plunge pool. Suites are also air conditioned, have complimentary Wi-Fi, a hair dryer, a room safe, a fan, a heater, a fridge, tea/coffee making facilities, a mini bar and underfloor heating.
Main guest areas feature a spacious sitting room with fireplace, dining room and bar area and a deep veranda with expansive wooden viewing decks overlooking rolling spekboom valleys with a backdrop of the distant cliff-faces of ecca shale. At the main lodge area there is also a swimming pool and an intimate study.
Explore the natural splendour of Kwandwe on early morning and late afternoon/evening game drives in an open 4x4 safari vehicle. In between game drives, take a closer look at the subtle, unseen wonders of the bush on a leisurely walk within easy reach of your lodge.
Spend 2-3 hours tracking rhino with a member of Kwandweandrsquo;s rhino monitoring team. Learn about the habits of this threatened species as well as Kwandweandrsquo;s conservation efforts. Cost is additional per person, minimum 2 guests, maximum6 guests, 12 years and older, available all year.
A Community and Conservation Levy (currently R200 per person per night) has been included within your rate. The proceeds go towards anti-poaching efforts, the community and ecology.
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