Amakhala Game Reserve
Amakhala Game Reserve offers a wildlife experience that will inspire and revitalize your soul. Be captivated by the call of fish eagles echoing through the kloofs and the roaring of lion at night.
Named for the stunning display of aloes proliferating in the malaria-free Zuurveld, Amakhala is home to the Big 5 and numerous animals. Visitors have the opportunity to spot lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, buffalo, cheetah, giraffe, zebra, abundant antelope and birdlife.
This breath-taking reserve also contains a prehistoric Bushman burial ground and some ancient dinosaur fossil sites.
By staying at Amakhala you can have a quintessential African experience exploring the bushveld while on safari, walking, and river cruising or simply chilling with a glass of wine at one of the well-appointed lodges.
Things to do near
Amakhala Game Reserve
*Distances are shown as the crow flies and not necessarily the actual travelling
Patterson (15.6 km from Amakhala Game Reserve)
One of the largest private game reserves in the Eastern Cape, the award winning Shamwari Game Reserve is a superlative safari destination for discerning guests.
Boasting numerous high profile animals including the Big 5 and five of South Africa's seven biomes, the reserve is one of the most successful private conservation initiatives coupled with responsible tourism in Southern Africa.
Shamwari is situated in luxuriant bushveld along the Bushmans River. Easily accesable, the malaria-free reserve lies halfway between Port Elizabeth and Grahamstown. There are daily flights from Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban to Port Elizabeth. It’s also an enjoyable drive from Cape Town along the beautiful Garden Route.
Guests can choose from seven unique luxury lodges on this private game reserve.
Sidbury (20 km from Amakhala Game Reserve)
Not only does Kwantu Private Game Reserve offer magnificent wildlife viewing in a malaria-free zone, it also has an elephant sanctuary and endangered animals in an untouched wilderness.
From the comfort of specially equipped open Land Rovers, visitors are able to encounter impressive white rhino roaming freely on the plains.
Entertaining antics of playful Vervet monkeys and Chacma baboons is commonplace as is the comical sight of warthog families speeding across the plains with their trademark tails held high. Other wildlife to spot is zebra, giraffe, wildebeest, blue duiker, kudu, porcupine, aardwolf, caracal, and leopard.
With over 250 different species of birds, Kwantu is an orchestra of sound, colour and movement. Even novice bird watchers will thrill at a glimpse of the gorgeous Narina Trogon or the Knysna turaco. Other birds to see are various kingfishers, owls, sunbirds, eagles, kites, and water fowl. Informative and friendly guides soon have guests marvelling at their intriguing and unusual habits.
Alicedale (28 km from Amakhala Game Reserve)
Bushman Sands Golf Course is conveniently situated near Shamwari Game Reserve and Addo Elephant National Park just 80 kilometres from Port Elizabeth. Designed by South African golfing legend, Gary Player, the 18-hole championship course lies on the banks of the Bushman's and New Year's Rivers.
Characterised by undulating fairways and pot bunkers, this challenging but friendly Links course has some unique features. The first stroke is played over an active railway line. A double green is shared by the second and fifth holes, crossing the Bushman’s River and New Year’s River on several holes.
The final hole finishes with a drive over a small cemetery in the centre of the fairway. Bushman Sands facilities include a halfway house, pro-shop and gents and ladies locker rooms with showers and steam rooms.
This stunning property has had new life breathed into it with the rescue work done by River Hotels Team. The tar road is complete all the way from Port Elizabeth. So now the 100 kilometer trip is easy and without any stoppages or stone chips. The golf course is certainly in a fine condition.
Alicedale (28.2 km from Amakhala Game Reserve)
Malaria free and home to an impressive diversity of animals, Bushman Sands Game Reserve boasts wonderful Big 5 wildlife viewing opportunities.
Situated on 40 square kilometres of former farmland, the reserve has reintroduced animals that once roamed here over 200 years ago. Lion, leopard, cheetah, buffalo, elephant, rhino, black wildebeest, red hartebeest, zebra, giraffe, hippo, kudu, eland, springbuck and waterbuck can all be found.
Sunset cruises on the reserve’s large dam present perfect opportunities for spotting wildlife such as elephant and antelope. Other things to see are the Bushman rock art paintings that date back thousands of years.
Alexandria (29.3 km from Amakhala Game Reserve)
Woody Cape Nature Reserve is now incorporated into the Greater Addo Elephant National Park.Listen for the haunting calls of the rare tree dassie by night and awake to a chorus of birds in flitting through the forest canopy. The Langebos huts are available to hikers on the two-day Alexandria Hiking Trail, as well as those simply wanting an overnight stay in the forest. The 7km Dassie Day Trail begins at the huts and the breathtaking Woody Cape coastline of the Park is a short drive and walk away.5 Things to Seek1. Trumpeter hornbill2. Ground hornbill3. Knysna turaco4. Tree dassie5. BushbuckContact MatyholweniTel: +27(0)41 4680916/8Fax: +27(0)41 4680949Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgRanger at Woody Cape – Tel: +27(0)46 6530601
Alexandria (31.6 km from Amakhala Game Reserve)
This totally awesome trail begins in the stunning Alexandria forest at the park offices. The two Langebos Huts are the base huts for the trail and it is recommended that hikers stay at these huts the night before leaving for the first day. The huts are newly constructed huts, sleeping 6 people each. They are equipped with hot water showers, toilets, a stove, fridge and braai area.The first section of the hike travels through magical forest where ancient yellowwoods and spectacular coral trees can be seen. The "Waterboom" or "Lekkerboom" - a gigantic yellowwood named for the reservoir of water held at the base of its trunk - provides an interesting stop. After crossing the open fields of Perdevlei, the trail moves onto the beach where the stark sandy beach ecosystem and dramatic dune cliffs provide breathtaking scenery. Six kilometers of untouched coastline stretches out in front of the hiker. The dramatic cliffs of Woody Cape provide the hiker with two options, either walking along the boulder-strewn base of the cliffs (impassable at high tide) or climbing a log ladder to reach the top leading onto the dune fields Southern right whales can be seen just off shore in certain months and dolphins are often spotted playing in the waves. The wreck of the Nidaros - an old steamer - can be investigated, as well as the fascinating natural debris washed up by the sea.After a walk through aromatic coastal fynbos, hikers will find the Woody Cape hut nestled in thick coastal forest on top of the cliffs with a view of Bird Island in the distance. This hut has 12 beds with mattresses and rainwater tanks.On the second day the trail traverses sand dunes of the largest coastal dune field in the Southern Hemisphere. Early morning offers hikers an opportunity to investigate the signs of animals, such as jackals, duikers and the endemic hairy-footed gerbil, left on the dunes from the previous night. Tall posts guide hikers through the shifting dune fields. Fascinating ancient middens sites, evidence of the strandloper people that wandered these shores, can also be seen. The last five kilometers of the trail winds again through indigenous forest, where Knsyna loeries paint the canopy. then into the Langvlakte valley where a chicory stack can be seen which was built in 1820's.Listen for the haunting calls of the rare tree dassie by night and awake to a chorus of birds in flitting through the forest canopy. Look out for trumpeter hornbills, ground hornbills, Knysna turaco, tree dassies and bushbuck.Need to know? Situated: Woody Cape section of the Addo Elephant National Park, departing from the offices near Alexandria.Length: Approx 36 km two day circular route of which the first day is 19.5km and the second day is 16.5 km. Estimated duration: 2 daysSuitable for: Those who want a challenging walk along the coastline. Hikers carry their own provisions and the hike is not guided.Logistics:Keys for the overnight huts are collected at the park offices near Alexandria. (Tel: +27 (0)46 653 061)Fees can be paid at Matyholweni rest camp or at the Addo main camp reception. At the Woody Cape hut, no fires are allowed and the hikers must carry their own cookers. Water at the Woody Cape hut is only for drinking and cooking as the hut relies entirely on rainwater.At least one or more of the hiking group should be able to read a map and compass, and to wear a brightly coloured jacket that can be seen from the air if a search and rescue is launched. The Langebos huts are available to hikers on the two-day Alexandria Hiking Trail, as well as those simply wanting an overnight stay in the forest. The 7km Dassie Day Trail begins at the huts and the breathtaking Woody Cape coastline of the Park is a short drive and walk away.
Pumba Private Game Reserve (34.4 km from Amakhala Game Reserve)
Situated in a stunning Eastern Cape landscape, Pumba Private Game Reserve is the perfect destination for a malaria-free African wildlife experience.
In addition to leopard, buffalo, rhino and elephant, guests of Pumba Private Game Reserve have the rare opportunity of seeing beautiful white lion.
Visitors can discover Africa’s wildlife in their natural habitat by joining a birding safari, guided bushwalk, stargazing and game drives. There’s so much to see including lion, hippo, hyena, giraffe, wild dog, cheetah and numerous antelope species. The birdlife is phenomenal and will keep birders busy with over 300 bird species to spot.
Guests at Pumba have the choice of staying in luxury at two unique five-star lodges. The Water Lodge is beautifully appointed on the shore of the Kariega Lake. Msenge Bush Lodge overlooks the waterhole on the Kariega River floodplain and boasts panoramic views of the Zuurberg Mountains.
Colchester (37 km from Amakhala Game Reserve)
The estuary of the incredibly scenic Sundays River with its spectacular sand dunes and views of Algoa Bay is a knock out! Situated at the southern boundary of the Addo Elephant National Park, the Sundays River Mouth is calm and peaceful and offers a relaxing and memorable experience. The beach is exquisite - totally pristine with some of the highest dunefields in South Africa.If you're visiting this area a wonderful thing to do is go cruising on The Sundays River Ferry. The double decker ferry features a raised viewing deck which is a great place from which to watch the bird life along the river banks and game in the bush. Contact Les Kingma to book a cruise on 041 4680945 or 082 4654391.
Colchester (37.6 km from Amakhala Game Reserve)
For the adventurous, exploring Addo Elephant Park on horse back is a truly amazing experience.
Prior experience is not required to enjoy these trials, and each trip will be accompanied by a guide. Trails last about 3 hours.
For more information, contact SAN Parks to book your excursion.
Colchester (37.6 km from Amakhala Game Reserve)
Schotia Game Reserve is one of many private reserves in the Paterson area
This reserve has 3 of the Big 5, however the lions are the main attraction. Tour packages will help you get as close as possible to get the best viewing of rhino, hippo, giraffe and lion.
Grahamstown (42.9 km from Amakhala Game Reserve)
Named after the famous 19th century artist, naturalist and explorer, Thomas Baines Nature Reserve is a great spot for a day trip if you’re visiting the Grahamstown area. It’s an easy 12-kilometre drive from Grahamstown in the direction of Port Elizabeth.
Thomas Baines explored the region extensively and contributed a valuable record of the amazing plant life and wildlife that occurred here. The reserve represents three of the major vegetation types of the Eastern Cape – Grassy Fynbos, Valley Bushveld and Afromontane Forests.
There’s so much to do here – game drives, canoeing, hiking, camping, picnics, bird watching; and sailing and bass fishing at Settlers Dam. Look out for Cape buffalo, eland, red hartebeest, bushbuck, kudu, oribi, aardvark, warthog, vervet monkeys, genets and numerous small mammals.
Birders will find plenty to spot with 175 species of birds recorded in the reserve. Picnic sites, braai facilities and ablutions are available at Settlers Dam.
Addo Elephant National Park (49 km from Amakhala Game Reserve)
Cuddle a snake, count all 64 teeth of a Nile crocodile and get up close to a sky predator.
Emphatically not a zoo, the Addo Raptor and Reptile Centre is a rehabilitation and education facility providing a home and veterinary care for rescued birds of prey and reptiles.
Daily live shows and guided tours allow visitors to come face to face with the venomous Cape Cobra and numerous other deadly African snakes.
A large component of their work is educating authorities, the public, retailers and young folk. The focus is to create a better understanding and awareness of these misunderstood and largely misaligned creatures.
Some of the animals and birds were rescued from the pet trade or are injured and not able to be returned to the wild. Others are sourced from reputable reptile breeders.
+27 (0) 82 332 3499
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday 09:00 - 18:00
Feeding tours: Tuesday to Sunday 18:00 (bookings are essential).
Cannon Rocks (49.3 km from Amakhala Game Reserve)
The unspoilt beach at Cannon Rocks offers superb fishing, surfing windsurfing and kiting conditions. Tucked between the little village of Boknes, farmlands and the Greater Addo Elephant National Park, it provides a peaceful escape for families and nature lovers.
Galleries and Museums
Grahamstown (51.4 km from Amakhala Game Reserve)
Visit a rare Victorian amusement once considered 'The Magic Mirror of Life'.
This unusual multi-storeyed 19th century Victorian shop and home is now a museum housing interesting displays, a Meridian room, an observatory and the only camera obscura in the southern hemisphere.
Known for its identification of the Eureka in 1867, this house had a place in the identification of the first diamond that was found in South Africa, and a display on the ground floor tells this story.
This connection with the Eureka prompted De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd. to purchase and restore the Observatory in the 80s to commemorate the start of the diamond industry in South Africa.
The Observatory Museum is part of the Albany Museum complex – www.ru.ac.za/albanymuseum.
Weekdays 09:00 – 16:30
Saturdays 09:30 – 13:00.
Kenton-on-Sea (51.9 km from Amakhala Game Reserve)
Enjoy an ultimate safari experience on the Sunshine Coast in the malaria-free Kariega Game Reserve.
Situated near the ever-popular Garden Route, this family-owned and operated private reserve spans 9 000 hectares of pristine Eastern Cape wilderness encompassing the stunning Kariega and Bushman's Rivers.
Awesome Big-5 viewing along with an extensive diversity of fauna, flora and birdlife in five different eco-systems offers an authentic and unforgettable African encounter.
Along with lion, elephant, leopard, buffalo and white rhino, other wildlife you are likely to spot include hippo, hyena, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, waterbuck, Nyala, kudu, warthog and a variety of other antelope.
Over 280 species of birds have been recorded including Martial, Crowned and Fish Eagles which nest on the reserve.