What can I say - what a magical place to visit!
From start to finish, this was a whirlwind experience of; majestic wild animals in their natural habitat, wonderful scenery / sunrises and sunsets, beautiful food and luxurious accommodation, all wrapped up in the fantastic hospitality of our Ranger - Jaques (in our opinion, the Crocodile Dundee of Rangers - a great personality and a passion to provide his clients with the best Safari experience he can (even if that means climbing out of the Jeep so that he could change a punctured tyre - in the company of the Black Rhino!))
Day by day we were left overwhelmed at the adrenalin fuelled adventure we had with Jaques, never giving up on the hunt, reaping the dividends when we found the elusive Cheetahs early one morning, and being able to enjoy their company in private for a while before the other Shamwari Rangers and their clients descended. Even now as I write this, I find myself getting quite emotional at the memory.
The 'tents', if you can call them that are extremely comfortable and luxurious - who would have thought that at almost 50 years old I would be happy to take an outdoor shower, and the complimentary toiletries were that nice that we ended up buying the whole range from the Spa to take home with us. The coal burning fire was an additional bonus - not that we needed it to warm us up, but it added to the magic of the experience.
Food was plentiful and delicious too, in fact I can't think of one complaint - other than the fact that we had to leave!
Would recommend to everybody, and would be back there in the blink of an eye given the opportunity. What a place, what an experience, and what a Ranger!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Shamwari Game Reserve - The Pride of the Eastern Cape!Bayethe Lodge offers the ultimate in Luxury Tented Accommodation.Bayethe is a splendid stone walled & thatch roofed Lodge with a large Deck Area overlooking a Waterhole. There is a double volume Lounge & Dining Area which spills out onto the Deck which is adjacent to the outside Boma for traditional fireside Dining under the stars. The 9 Luxury Tents are camouflaged under trees allowing for ample privacy & unsurpassed comforts. Each Tent is Air-Conditioned & heated & has an En-Suite Bathroom, Shower, private Plunge Pool & viewing Deck.The 3 Premier Tents at Bayethe Hills are the ultimate in tented luxury. These Tents offer the additional luxuries of a Fireplace, Satellite TV, Plunge Pool & Hammocks suspended out of the wooden Decks. Shamwari, meaning “my friend” in Shona, is the pinnacle of private game reserves and home to the coveted Big 5. Stretching 25,000 hectares over a malaria free landscape, it offers an award-winning nature experience and is one of the largest private conservation initiatives in Southern Africa. ... more less