Amakhala Game Reserve Safari is a top-rated safari destination in South Africa. It is located in the malaria-free Eastern Cape province and boasts 18,000 acres of Big 5 territory. The reserve offers a wide range of 3, 4, and 5-star owner-managed experiences and safari lodges, making it an ideal destination for anyone looking to experience the thrill of a safari in Africa.
One of the reasons why Amakhala Game Reserve Safari is so popular is that it offers visitors the opportunity to see a wide variety of wildlife, including the Big Five (lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and Cape buffalo).
Visitors are highly likely to have excellent sightings of these animals, while the more elusive animals encountered could include the bat-eared fox, hyena, or even aardvark. The reserve is also home to over 16 antelope species, making it a great destination for anyone interested in wildlife conservation.
Amakhala Game Reserve Safari offers a unique opportunity to experience the natural beauty of South Africa. With its stunning landscapes, diverse wildlife, and luxurious lodges, it is no wonder why it is a popular destination for tourists from all over the world. Whether you are looking for an adventure, a romantic getaway, or a family vacation, Amakhala Game Reserve Safari has something for everyone.
Amakhala Reserve Location
Amakhala Game Reserve is a stunning wildlife destination located in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. The reserve is situated in a unique location that offers visitors a chance to experience the beauty of the African wilderness.
The reserve is situated in a valley between two mountain ranges, the Bushman’s River and the Shamwari Game Reserve. The reserve covers an area of 8,500 hectares and is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including the Big Five, cheetah, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, and more.
Climate At Amakhala Reserve
The climate in the Eastern Cape is mild, with warm summers and cool winters. The best time to visit the reserve is during the dry season, which runs from May to September. During this time, the vegetation is sparse, making it easier to spot wildlife.
How To Get To Amakhala Game Reserve
Most visitors to Amakhala Game Reserve arrive via O.R. Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg or Cape Town International Airport (CPT) in Cape Town. From there, visitors can either take an organized safari or drive themselves to the reserve.
Distance From Main Centers In South Africa
|Location||Distance from Amakhala Game Reserve|
|Port Elizabeth||70 km or 43 miles|
|Johannesburg||1,200 km or 745 miles|
|Cape Town||850 km or 528 miles|
The best travel option is to catch a local connecting flight from your entry point in South Africa to Port Elizabeth, where you can hire a car to drive to the reserve, or arrange collection by your tour operator.
The Amakhala Safari Experience
Amakhala Game Reserve offers a unique and unforgettable safari experience in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. The reserve is home to the Big 5 – lions, elephants, buffalos, leopards, and rhinos, as well as other wildlife species such as giraffes, zebras, and antelopes. Visitors can enjoy a range of safari activities, including game drives, bush walks, bird watching, and river cruises.
The game drives are led by experienced and knowledgeable rangers who will take visitors on a journey through the reserve’s diverse landscapes, from open savannahs to dense forests. The rangers will share their knowledge of the animals, plants, and ecosystems of the reserve, making the safari experience both educational and entertaining.
Bush walks are another highlight of the Amakhala safari experience. Visitors can explore the reserve on foot, accompanied by armed rangers who will ensure their safety. Walking safaris provide a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with the wildlife and to learn about the smaller creatures that are often overlooked on game drives.
For those who prefer a more relaxed safari experience, river cruises are available on the Bushman’s River, which runs through the reserve. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely boat ride while spotting birds, hippos, and crocodiles along the riverbanks.
Amakhala Game Reserve offers a variety of accommodations for guests to choose from, including lodges and tented camps. Each accommodation provides guests with activities to enjoy during their stay.
The Safari Lodge is surrounded by indigenous bush and is part of the 7500 ha, Big 5, malaria-free, Amakhala Game Reserve. It offers guests two safaris a day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.
The lodge has an outdoor swimming pool, restaurant, bar, and free WiFi. The Woodbury Lodge is another option for guests, offering comfortable accommodations and an authentic African experience. It has a spa, outdoor pool, and restaurant on-site.
The Woodbury Tented Camp is a great option for guests who want a more rustic experience. It is tucked into an embracing hillside thicket and overlooks the ancient floodplain of the Bushmans River.
The camp has ten tents, each with an en-suite bathroom, and offers guests two safaris a day. The Hlosi Game Lodge is another option for guests, offering luxury tents with private decks and stunning views of the reserve.
Safari Activities At Amakhala
Amakhala Game Reserve offers a variety of safari activities for visitors to experience the wildlife and landscape of the reserve. Whether you prefer a game drive, walking safari, or bird watching, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Game drives are the most popular safari activity at Amakhala Game Reserve. Visitors can join a guided tour on an open Land Rover and explore the vast 18,000-acre reserve.
The game drives are led by experienced rangers who will take visitors to the best spots to view the Big Five (lion, elephant, rhino, buffalo, and leopard) and other animals like cheetah, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, and antelope species. The game drives are available in the morning, afternoon, and evening, and last for approximately three hours.
For a more immersive experience, visitors can join a walking safari and explore the reserve on foot. Walking safaris are led by experienced rangers who will guide visitors through the bushveld and point out interesting plants, insects, and wildlife. Walking safaris are available in the morning and afternoon and last for approximately three hours. Visitors should wear comfortable walking shoes and bring sunscreen, a hat, and water.
Amakhala Game Reserve is a great destination for bird watchers, with over 250 bird species recorded. The best time for bird watching is from November to April when migratory birds from North Africa and Europe visit the reserve.
Visitors can join a guided bird watching tour and explore the different habitats of the reserve, including riverine forest, savannah grassland, and thicket. Bird watching tours are available in the morning and afternoon and last for approximately three hours.
Wildlife At Amakhala
Amakhala Game Reserve is home to a diverse range of wildlife species. Visitors can expect to see a variety of animals, including the Big Five and other fascinating creatures.
The Big Five are the most famous and sought-after animals in Africa, and Amakhala Game Reserve is home to all of them. Visitors can expect to see:
Game drives are the best way to see these majestic animals up close and personal. The experienced guides at Amakhala Game Reserve will take visitors on a thrilling safari adventure to see the Big Five.
In addition to the Big Five, Amakhala Game Reserve is home to a wide variety of other animals. Visitors can expect to see:
There are also many bird species to be seen, including eagles, vultures, and various types of owls. Visitors can take guided walks to explore the reserve’s diverse flora and fauna.
Amakhala Conservation Efforts
Conservation is at the heart of the Amakhala Game Reserve. The reserve’s efforts to preserve and protect the environment and wildlife are based on the principle that we can only preserve what we understand. To achieve this, the reserve puts considerable effort into analyzing the current and projected status of the reserve.
The reserve has organized focus areas that are supported by comprehensive programs of research and monitoring. This information informs all of the conservation management decisions made by the reserve. The conservation efforts on the reserve include anti-poaching practices and wildlife reintroduction efforts that have contributed to an increasing number of mammals and had a positive impact on the flora and fauna of the region.
Amakhala Game Reserve is also dedicated to educating South Africa’s youth on the importance of environmental conservation for long-term sustainability. The Amakhala Foundation, spearheaded by Dr. Jennifer Gush, runs environmental education programs that positively influence many children.
The reserve is home to 11 unique lodges ranging from 3-Star to 5-Star ratings. All of the lodges set in the reserve offer fantastic animal sightings and game drives. Guests can also participate in various activities such as water safaris, walking safaris, and traditional guided game drives.
Beyond The Safari
Amakhala Game Reserve Safari offers more than just a chance to see the Big Five and other wildlife up close. Visitors can also enjoy a variety of activities and experiences beyond the safari.
For those interested in culture and history, a visit to the nearby township of Paterson can provide insight into the local way of life. Visitors can also learn about the history of the area at the Sidbury History Museum.
For those looking for adventure, Amakhala Game Reserve offers activities such as horseback riding, hiking, and canoeing. The reserve also has a spa where guests can relax and rejuvenate after a day of exploring.
For those interested in conservation, Amakhala Game Reserve offers opportunities to learn about and participate in conservation efforts. Guests can take part in tree planting initiatives or visit the Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre to learn about the rehabilitation of injured or orphaned animals.
Finally, for those interested in culinary experiences, Amakhala Game Reserve offers a variety of dining options. Guests can enjoy traditional South African braai (barbecue) or a gourmet meal prepared by the reserve’s chefs. The reserve also offers wine tastings featuring local wines.
Amakhala Game Reserve Safari is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in experiencing the beauty and diversity of South African wildlife. With its stunning landscapes and abundance of wildlife, Amakhala offers visitors a unique and unforgettable safari experience.
Visitors to the reserve can expect to see a wide variety of animals, including the Big Five, cheetah, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, and more. The reserve is also home to several antelope species, including greater kudu, eland, and the endemic black wildebeest.
One of the unique features of Amakhala is its commitment to conservation and community development. The reserve was established as a conservation area to protect the rhinos, and it continues to provide an excellent example of how communities can convert agricultural land for conservation purposes while promoting a viable tourism economy.
Overall, Amakhala Game Reserve Safari offers visitors an authentic African safari experience with a focus on conservation and community development. With its stunning landscapes and abundant wildlife, it is a destination that should not be missed.