The Eastern Cape, the province between Cape Town and Durban, is renowned for its history, beaches, and a wide variety of flora and fauna (including the Big 5) in a malaria-free environment. There are some excellent conservation initiatives taking place in the Eastern Cape which boast private game reserves often on reclaimed ranch or farmland.

Our favorite game reserves are Amakhala and Kwandwe. We like these two reserves in particular because while some of Eastern Cape’s reserves still feel like ranchland, both Amakhala and Kwandwe feel wild and remote once you are inside the gates. They are enormous and have excellent game-viewing with frequent sightings of lion, elephant, black and white rhino, buffalo, cheetah, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, and monkeys.

We find that the Eastern Cape can get pretty cold from May to August, but the game viewing is still good. If you can stand the cold, this region has good game-viewing year-round. Our favorite properties are Great Fish River Lodge and Melton Manor in Kwandwe and HillsNek in Amakhala.

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Elizabeth Gordon