Kwandwe Private Game Reserve, Eastern Cape

Fort House


A private wilderness retreat

In the middle Kwandwe’s stunning 22,000 hectare reserve, Fort House is an elegant exclusive-use private villa surrounded by a conservation success story.

From the veranda, enjoy views of a waterhole and the sweeping Great Fish River valley beyond as wildlife wanders. The house itself has four en suite rooms as well as free-flowing living and entertainment areas, a wine cellar, spa treatment room, and a refreshing pool.

A private safari vehicle with a ranger and tracker offers a flexible daily itinerary out on the reserve with activities including daily game drives, walks and fishing. When not out exploring, relax on the terrace and watch the wildlife wander by, enjoy a swim in the pool, and dine under the stars around the traditional boma – all accompanied by the mesmerising view and looked after by a dedicated team is discreetly on hand to ensure everything is taken care of.


At a glance

  • Four bedrooms

  • Lounge, dining area and wine cellar

  • Pool and spa treatment room

  • Exclusive use with private guide and vehicle

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  • Tourists on a game drive observing wildlife safely in their natural habitat

    Game drives

    Explore the reserve on early morning and late afternoon game drives in an open 4×4 safari vehicle. The 22,000 hectares of pristine wilderness is home to the famous Big 5 as well as a diverse number of smaller and more unusual species. Thousands of animals including lions, black and white rhinos, elephants and cheetahs.

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    Walking safaris

    Explore the reserve on early morning and late afternoon game drives in an open 4×4 safari vehicle. An armed ranger and tracker team will share their extensive knowledge as you track the Big Five and a variety of wildlife.

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    There is an abundance of things to do at Kwandwe Private Game Reserve to suit the whole family’s sense of adventure and holiday ambitions. At Fort House, guests can design their own safari timetables, with no minimum age restrictions, including game drives at flexible times of the day. Child-minders are available with prior arrangement at no additional cost.

Community & Culture

Kwandwe’s ultimate purpose as a tourism conservation entity is to contribute sustainably to the environment, protect the incredible biodiversity of the Eastern Cape, and positively impact our surrounding communities.

Kwandwe is committed to making a positive and lasting difference in the rural Eastern Cape, one of South Africa’s least developed provinces. Working through their social development partner, the Ubunye Foundation, Kwandwe invests in projects that improve lives and create sustainable livelihoods opportunities in marginalised rural communities.

The reserve directly employs over 200 people from rural communities, at least half of whom are women. On average every employee supports five additional family members. Allocation of land on the reserve and facilitation of the construction of the Mgcamabele Community Centre, as well as housing and services for over 400 people. On-site Pre-school and Aftercare services are provided for the children of staff, with meals served daily while a dedicated wellness programme provides primary healthcare support and counselling for staff and families. The foundation has also helped construct and maintain a formal primary school and teacher’s accommodation outside the reserve


Kwandwe's successful and numerous conservation initiatives are directly supported by its visitors. 22,000 hectares of former farmland have been restored and protected, with biodiversity brought back in a big way. More than 7000 wild animals have been reintroduced, including leopards, lions, elephants and brown hyena/ Black rhinos were introduced in 2000 and the reserve is now home to a healthy and growing population of black as well as white rhino. Cheetah here are the first in the Great Fish River Valley since 1888. These populations have in turn grown and been shared with other reserves in Africa.

What makes us different

Why Niarra

Niarra Travel is a forward-thinking travel company headquartered in London born out of a passion to do things differently.

In Swahili, a Bantu language spoken by millions in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa, the name Niara means "with utmost purpose" and our team are united by a passion for exploration and a belief that the right kind of travel can make the world a better place.

Our Travel Researchers are here to create incredible trips with a positive impact for you.

  • Unforgettable experiences

    Creating your trip is entirely collaborative and our Travel Researchers are here for every step.

  • Positive impact

    Curated sustainable experiences and accommodation that maximize the benefits to local people and place.

  • Fairness and transparency

    An open, competitive pricing structure that ensures more money goes to where it's needed in the destination.

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