Guests per Safari Vehicle
Amakhala Safari Lodge consists of 11 well appointed and richly furnished suites overlooking the bush and a waterhole in the north-western sector of the Reserve. The Suites are an unusual blend of conventional room and tent in that the front of the room is basically wide open – rather than a normal wall there are canvas drop blinds which can be lowered to keep out the elements. This really gives the Suites a wonderful feeling of being connected with the wild, especially those rooms which look out on an active waterhole barely 30 metres away – you can simply lie on your bed and look out at the animals grazing quietly in the nearby bush.
Whilst African tribal design may have inspired owners Mike and Justine Weeks in the creation of these thatched Suites with their rustic finishes including cement screed floors and reed walls, they also feature modern creature comforts that old tribal kings could have only dreamed about! You get air-conditioning for example, a separate lounge area, a comfortable king size bed covered with romantic mosquito netting and even under-floor heating. You can soak in a luxurious double bath or (our favourite bit!) splash off the dust in the twin his ‘n’ her outdoor showers with their view out onto the bush! And just in case you need any more convincing that a stay here is perfect for romance, each suite even has its own private plunge pool on the outside viewing deck – it really is a place where you’re tempted to disappear into your suite for the entire weekend, just emerging every now and then for a meal or game drive!
Back at the main lodge, it is a similar style that prevails with the lounge area also having those canvas drop blinds so that it is completely open to the views of the bush unless the weather gets dodgy. Sweeping decks provide the perfect vantage point to views of a small waterhole where monkeys come to play, and antelope and zebra arrive quietly to quench their thirst. Back at the lodge after your game drive, you can enjoy a massage with the lodge’s therapist, work on that tan on your deck chairs at your private splash pool, or have a cocktail with the other guests at the main pool area whilst sharing photos and experiences.
The main lodge has a lovely boma area where guests can relax around the fire after their evening meal and exchange safari stories, and there is also a telescope set up in a mini observatory for those interested in stargazing. Talking of meals, the lodge prides itself on the high quality of the food and you certainly will not go hungry, what with a cold and warm breakfast, light lunch, lovely platter for sundowners and delicious three course dinner on offer! In the evening, the haunting sound of the kudu horn will summon you to the fireside, to share tales of your day’s adventure and to enjoy a memorable meal under a magnificent canopy of stars.
Safari Lodge does two game drives a day on the Amakhala reserve (and they can also take you to nearby Addo if you fancy seeing more elephants than you can shake a stick at!) Nice little touches include the lodge giving out hot water bottles and blankets before you embark on those chilly morning game drives in winter! One thing to note is that Safari Lodge is on the parcel of the Reserve north of the N2, so you take a tunnel under the highway in order to get to the heart of the Reserve for game viewing purposes.
Whilst Amakhala is obviously a small reserve compared to the massive tracts of unfenced land in the greater Kruger area for example, this does have the advantage in that game viewing is pretty consistent as a result – chances are that you are going to see most of the major species that are there, with just the more elusive species like leopard and hyena being harder to spot (the reserve prides itself on excellent cheetah and elephant sightings by the way) On your return to the lodge you’ll find your double bath surrounded by romantic candles and filled with aromatherapy scented bubbles with a bottle of bubbles on ice alongside – no wonder Safari Lodge is a favourite for honeymooners and the romantic at heart!
The Amakhala Game Reserve is a unique conservation initiative that allows animals to be re-introduced to the area where they once roamed freely and so contributing to the conservation of our natural heritage. It is located about 50 minutes’ drive from Port Elizabeth and approximately 9-hours from Cape Town or 748km via the N2 (National Road).
Amakhala Game Reserve is named after the Xhosa word meaning Aloes, the prolific indigenous plant found in the uniquely diverse Eastern Cape province. Steeped in history and beauty, this 7000- hectare game reserve creates an ideal environment for an unforgettable safari and an intimate experience of the varied landscape, including breath-taking views of the Bushman's River.
The Amakhala Game Reserve offers a range of morning and evening safaris and other activities to enable visitors to experience the fascinating flora, fauna and birdlife of the Eastern Cape. This is your opportunity to return to nature.
Go on game drives in an open Land Rover in search of wildlife including lion, black and white rhino, elephant, cheetah, buffalo, giraffe, black wildebeest, zebra, tortoise and over 16 antelope species, or take a night drive with cheese and wine sundowners before searching for the elusive nocturnal animals such as lynx, porcupine and spring hare.
Relax on a slow river cruise down the Bushman’s River. The riverine bushveld offers excellent bird watching with a good chance of seeing the majestic African Fish Eagle and all three species of Kingfisher. Amongst the game drinking at the river’s edge, the rare Cape Clawless Otter might also be sighted.
Surrounding attractions include the Shamwari Game Reserve (5 min), Addo Elephant Park (30 min), Grahamstown (40 min), the Sunshine Coast with its stunning beaches (45 min), and historical Settler villages such as Sidbury and Salem.
Port Elizabeth International Airport
2 hours from East London
40 minutes from Grahamstown
50 minutes from Port Elizabeth Airport
Amakhala Safari Lodge- Amakhala Game Reserve, Paterson, South Africa