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9 - 14 of 36 reviews
Reviewed 29 November 2019

My wife and I recently spent two days at the Explorer Camp at Shamwari. A great deal of thought has gone into the recent upgrade of the facilities, which consist of three tented structures for couples and tents for the two rangers. The meals are prepared on site and were excellent; inventive, tasty and what was impressive was how the amount of food supplied was estimated so that there was minimal excess and waste. We had one very clear night and the stars were amazing. If you have a tablet a stargazing app is very helpful. Electronic devices can be charged up on request. We did get several walks in during our stay along with drives to get to areas where game was expected. Our two rangers, Wesley and Janco were very knowledgeable and one of the benefits of a walking rather than a driving Safari was to the opportunity to observe and learn about insects such as termites, spiders, birds, plants and the smaller aspects of nature that exist on the reserve. We did see during the stay cheetahs and white and black rhinos and a baby elephant just one week old. On our last day Armand who manages the camp facilities was kind enough to drive us to the Welcome lodge and our car early to enable us to catch a plane. The staff at the lodge had checked us in to our flight at our earlier request, which was most helpful.
The dedication of the staff to the ideals of Shamwari which is to provide a protective sanctuary for the wild life while not interfering in the normal interactions between predator and prey was very evident, as was the strong commitment to frustrate any poaching activities so necessary to the endangered rhinos. Our experience here was very positive and we really hope that the current drought is brought to an end soon with the normal rains.

Date of stay: November 2019
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    • Rooms
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Thank Rob B
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
SGR_socialmedia, Manager at Shamwari Explorer Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 3 December 2019

Dear Rob,

Thank you for your fantastic review.

We’re absolutely thrilled to hear that you had an amazing walking safari experience at our newly refurbished Explorer Camp.

Thank you for your kind words. We certainly hope to see you return to Shamwari Private Game Reserve in future too.

Best Regards,

The Shamwari Team

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 November 2019

My husband and I stayed at Shamwari’s Explorer Camp as part of our honeymoon - I was a little bit nervous at the thought of camping in the middle of a game reserve at first(!), but the experience was absolutely amazing, it’s certainly the most sophisticated camping / glamping I’ve ever done, with an en-suite bathroom! Our two rangers, Jacques and Joshua were incredibly knowledgable, and made both the game drives, and down time in the camp extremely fun! It wouldn’t have been the same without them! The explorer camp has a communal vibe, doing everything with your fellow camp mates and rangers, sort of similar to a ski chalet. We did both game drives and bush walks, we saw plenty of amazing animals on each! The food at the camp should get a particular shout out, it was amazing! With home cooked meals on the fire for breakfast lunch and dinner. I could not recommend this place more, and really hope to come back one day!

Date of stay: November 2019
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank Hannahloutravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 6 November 2019

We have just returned from a 2 day stay at the Shamwari Explorer Camp. The camp has recently been refurbished and upgraded, so if you are looking at older photographs from the travellers experiences you will be delighted when you actually arrive and see how comfortable the camp is. The staff are fantastic and everyone goes out of their way to ensure you are well looked after in every aspect of the holiday - no detail is too small for them from early morning coffee at sunrise to gin and tonics on the deck as the sun goes down.
Our guides for the weekend were James and Keenan, both friendly and experienced rangers who were happy to share their huge passion and knowledge of the environment. It is a nice aspect of the camp that they also share every meal with you so you get a chance to really find out as much as you can about the Reserve. We were fortunate to see a huge range of animals - lions, giraffes, zebras rhinos to name a few favourites.
Michael, Mundy and the 2 wonderful chefs made sure that we did not go hungry and the quality of the food served at each meal was excellent and more than enough for the hungriest of appetites - stand out was the home baked bread produced with each meal!
A safari experience is not an inexpensive holiday, so if you can leave feeling that you have had the best possible experience and value for money that has to be a good feeling and its a pleasure to be able to thoroughly recommend Shamwari Explorer Camp to friends and family

Date of stay: October 2019
Thank woodywake
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 4 August 2019

My wife & I did the two night Explorers Camp in January this year & had an amazing time!

This was our first safari & we initially booked the Explorers Camp at Shamwari as we wanted an authentic experience staying in tents but also because it was a lot more affordable that staying in one of the lodges.

We were initially a bit unsure about the walking aspect of the safari over the more traditional driving safari, but to be honest the Explorers camp gives you an element of both, since the guides (who are excellent & very experienced) let the guests decide what they want to do & see each day. You are therefore often driven to a location in the reserve where you will see wildlife en route & can you then get out and walk on foot to see more. Sometimes these walks will be 10 minutes, sometimes they will be 5K or more (it is entirely dependent on what the group want to do & are comfortable with).

Walking safaris may not be for everyone, but having now done one, being back in a jeep feels like you are almost cheating, since it offers relative safety & you don't feel like you are actually in the wild to the same extent. The walks are both interesting & exhilarating at times. You also get to learn much more about the wildlife & their environment, as during the hikes, the guides will point out tracks, previous kills & other signs that various animals have been through an area.

The tents are certainly more on the side of glamping so you are not completely roughing it, but the showers & toilets are a short walk from the tents & of course there are creepy crawly's & the threat of snakes, but we were lucky enough to not see either during our stay (although that didn't stop me looking all over the tent for spiders & snakes every night before bed - much to my wife's amusement!).

There are only 3 tents for guests (6 people max on the camp), plus two guides & the cooks and at the end of the 2 nights / 3 days we really felt like family. You eat together each night in a larger dining tent & the food was great considering you are in the middle of nowhere - credit to the cook & staff.

Each day consisted of an early 5am start, with tea / coffee & a snack around the campfire, followed by a bush walk / drive. By 10-11am we would usually be back at camp having a huge cooked breakfast (which is much needed by then having been up for hours already).

A lighter lunch is provided around 1pm & you are free to relax around camp until the evening or if so inclined the guides will take you on another drive / walk.

In the evenings before sunset, we would set out for another walk & come back just as it was getting dark for a sun-downer (much appreciated by then!) and an evening meal with drinks.

In terms of wildlife viewing, the Explorers camp was fantastic & we were lucky enough to see 4 of the Big 5 (no leopards unfortunately), including being 10 metres from a cheetah & 5 metres from a male teenage lion (both on foot without the safety of the vehicle!

Seeing a lion this close on foot was an awesome & exhilarating experience, which wasn't actually supposed to happen (the lion flanked us behind a bush & decided to sit down blocking our route!), but the guides were both extremely professional & handled the situation brilliantly allowing everyone to stay calm. Fortunately the lion decided to move on in time & we were able to get back to camp later in time for a much needed drinks or three!

We both agreed the whole weekend was one of the top experiences of lives & I honestly don't think a more conventional game drive would cut it now after the experience of the trek - thoroughly recommended if you are the somewhat adventurous type!

Date of stay: January 2019
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Wunderlust78
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 20 January 2019

We did the Shamwari Explorer Camp with our kids (16 and above) and it's been without doubt the highlight of our wonderful trip to SA. Shamwari it's a private reserve that includes several 5-star lodges inside and that also hosts the Explorer Camp experience.

The reserve is around 30,000 hectares where animals live in the wild, they're not fed, not isolated, nothing. There's not artificial human intervention and since it's a private reserve with a controlled number of guests you can see wildlife at its prime.

It's something that we'll all remember forever, 2 days/2 nights enjoying wilderness and nature.
The camp is very well set I'd say with luxurious accommodations (for a camp). Tents are spacious and they have 2 comfortable beds each, chests to store your stuff and two decks (one at the front and one at the back) on each tent. There are two well-set toilets (with flush and basin) and two separate showers with a heater.

The camp also hosts a nice deck from where you can enjoy a drink or watch the sunset or sunrise, there's also a small pool (which we didn't use), a big tent where you have all your meals and a campfire area where you can warm up at night while having a drink or a coffee early in the mornings.

The service is awesome, every detail is taken into account. Chefs are magnificent, meals are extraordinary with a great variety of dishes on each of them. All drinks and beverages are included.

The safari experience is out of the world, we had two knowledgeable rangers dedicated full time to us. We did sunrise, afternoon, late afternoon and night game drives. We did them on a truck and on foot which is the most amazing and enlightening experience. You get to see all sort of animals (even more than in nearby national parks like Addo) since Shamwari has a more diverse ecosystem.

Just in case you’re concerned, it’s fully safe! While doing on foot safaris rangers carry a rifle, but trust me, they won’t need it. They know the place, animals behaviour and they are extremely professional. They won’t put you in danger and you’ll fully enjoy the experience

Is it cheap? No, it’s not, but it’s worth every single penny. If you prefer full comfort you can still opt for any of the lodges (which are more expensive and luxurious but provide you with all the comfort of a 5-star place). In the lodges you can arrange for all the game drives you like. The Explorer Campo is a full experience with dedicated rangers.

We hope we can come back one day, we’ll certainly be looking forward to it!

Room tip: Book early! There are only 3 tents (2 beds each)!
Date of stay: January 2019
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank mdorgan
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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