Safari Game Reserves – Cape Town

Most featured Game Reserves in Cape Town:

Aquila Private Game Reserve

Featured in the “World’s 21 favorite things to do in Cape Town”, the Aquila Game Reserve is undoubtedly a rewarding tourist attraction in Cape Town.

This malaria free reserve bears the name of the endangered and quite uncommon Black Eagle which abounds in the area. It is an almost two hours’ scenic drive via the N1 from Cape Town. Proclaimed a private nature reserve in 1985, it boasts a breathtakingly beautiful 7500 hectares conservancy in the southern Karoo.

It is an area with the appeal of a four star establishment, a remarkable safari lodge. Home to the big 5 legends of the wilderness roaming the Karoo mountains, valleys, rivers and kloofs (deep ravines), it will provide you with an intimate wildlife experience. Your choice will be wide and varied:

  • Traditional game drives amongst lions and other members of the Big 5
  • Safaris on horseback
  • Slow champagne sunset safaris
  • Quad biking
  • Visit to ancient rock art sites
  • 4 x 4 mountain trails
  • Cool-off dips in natural rock pools
  • Golf
  • Cherry picking in the valley

In addition to the big 5, Aquila is also home to the hippo, giraffe and over 170 different species of bird. The Reserve is set in the Cape’s malaria free famous fynbos, luscious Karoo and extremely rare Renosterveld vegetation that was once the favourite hunting grounds of the ancient Khoi/San hunter-gatherers. Aquila is proudly home to an array of Khoi/San rock-art.

Acclaimed for; renewable energy social responsibility efforts and conservation programmes, Aquila is more than just a treasured wildlife experience, it is an experience in: luxurious African hospitality, traditional culinary feasts, service excellence and the restoration of pride to the indigenous peoples and the land.

Aquila is a place where it is considered important to know about nature. Visitors are offered a complimentary educational introduction to the cheetahs of the region. These animals are bred in captivity and strictly controlled in the interest of cheetahs’ survival worldwide.

One or two day fly-in safaris are also offered (flights of 20-30 minutes long). You can fly over the stunning Hex River Mountains which is the second highest mountain range in the Western Cape Province. There is also a Children’s Adventure Area which includes: Game Drives; Jungle Gyms; Playstations; Mini-Golf; Remote Control Boats; Kiddies Quads; Kiddies Pizza Oven; Horse Rides; Kiddies Menu and Baby Sitting facilities.

It offers luxurious accommodation; ranging from unique premier, luxury and standard chalets. The reserve sets the outdoor atmosphere in with its earthly décor, using brown and beige, thatch, slate and rock elements. The high ceilings, large fireplaces, light and dark woods and natural stone features add a distinct African character to Aquila.

Fairy Glen Safari

The Fairy Glen Safari, offering game drives and bush Safaris is Cape Town’s closest free roaming Big 5 Safari and Africa’s most southerly based Big Five Safari. It was awarded the Best Destination Winner for exhibition excellence in the category, Game Lodges, B&B, Guest Houses, Hotels & Resorts.

The name Fairy Glen derives from a very large dragonfly, found occasionally in their natural habitat, the valley mountain streams. Set at the foot of the world famous Brandwacht Mountains surrounded by Protea and Cape Fynbos vegetation in a peaceful, typically rural environment, it is about 1 hour’s drive from the city. Fairy Glen came about as a result of six privately owned reserves combined surrounded by approximately 20 000 hectares of Government conservancy.

The reserve hosts African Elephants, Rhino’s, Lions, Mountain Leopards, Buffalo’s, Blue Wildebeest, Giraffes, Elands, the endangered Bontebok, Zebras, Lynx, Oryx & other smaller buck species as well as a variety of Birds and the endangered and very famous, Black Eagle. It is also home to an African Khoisan Bushmen Rock Art heritage site dating back some 6000 years.

The two African elephants, Klasseria and Letaba of about 20 years of age, were two of the five elephants to have escaped the Kruger National park in 2005. They were relocated to Fairy Glen Game Reserve and successfully rehabilitated. They were released to roam the reserve freely. The reserve was home to elephants about 200 years ago.

For the overnight guest the reserve offers many attractions, among which, an indoor hot Roman bath, outdoor pool, cigar bar, restaurant, nature walks, birding, falconry safaris (seasonal), abseiling, and fly fishing. To suit the clients’ preferences, standard to luxury accommodation are provided.

Zandibela Private Game Reserve

Feel your stress dissipate from the moment you enter the main gate – a winding bush track takes you to the Zandibela Lodge situated on a hilltop. It is a 4500 acre, 5 star private game lodge close to the strikingly beautiful Baviaanskloof in the malaria-free Eastern Cape.

Blending perfectly with the landscape, the natural architectural style and building materials ensure that the focus remains on the magnificence of the vast surroundings.

The Private Game Reserve boats 22 species of game, a rich diversity of unique Karoo plant and bird species. San rock art, as well as the dramatic landscape itself—astonishing hills, waterfalls, and landcapes—will please each of your senses. You can spend your time observing sable, giraffe, blesbok, zebra, oryx, kudu, springbok and many other species in their natural habitat.

Lalibela Game Reserve

This private game reserve’s location is in the Eastern Cape, on the doorstep of both Addo and the ‘friendly city’ Port Elizabeth, which are only an hour’s drive away. Due to the proximity, visitors have the additional advantage of being able to enjoy a Big 5 safari before or after a tour along the famous Garden Route, without having to fly elsewhere.

Lalibela covers 7,500 hectares (approximately 18,500 acres) of pristine Eastern Cape countryside and is home to the Big 5. Due to this prime positioning, it is not only malaria free, but spans 5 ecosystems (valley bushveld, savannah grassland, fynbos, riverine forest and acacia woodland), resulting in a breath-taking diversity of plants, animals and birds. The valley bushveld biome which occurs only in the Eastern Cape has the highest carrying capacity of game in South Africa. Lalibela is thus able to sustain a dense population of African wildlife.

Lalibela brings you the charm of authentic Africa and is an ideal blend of the formal and informal. One distinguishing factor of this reserve is that there are no public roads through it, so the animals (including the predators) can all move freely. In this way, the visitors can get a unique view of the Big 5 as well as of cheetah, hippo, zebra, kudu, wildebeest, eland, giraffe and zebra.

Game drives are conducted by experienced and knowledgeable guides in the early morning and evening, right at the time when various groups of animals there are active. To enjoy the most of your safari experience, a 2 or 3 night stay is definitely recommended!

Families with babies and children are welcomed with friendly safari accommodation and quite interesting interactive activities, game drives and meals for the children. Comfort and luxury are assured in the 3 lodges (Mark’s Camp, Tree Tops and Lentaba), with an exclusive African and traditional Safari décor. Food is true safari cuisine, emphasizing on local specialities, ranging from centuries-old recipes to exciting contemporary African dishes.

These three aspects make an African safari exceptional: the game viewing, the accommodation and the food. Lalibela combines these three ‘ingredients’ with a warm cordial service to render your Big 5 experience exceptionally memorable.

Buffelsdrift Game Lodge

Absolutely gorgeous, stunning, breathtaking—there is never a complaint about the scenery. With the Swartberg mountains as background and an impressive waterhole at your doorstep, it will be your closest encounter with the wild of the Klein Karoo and true African accommodation. It is The place where you can escape into the spectacular!

Buffelsdrift Game Lodge is 4 hours from the Mother City of Cape Town and is on the scenic Route 62, better known as the “Longest Wine Route in the World.” It is 7km outside the culture-rich town of Outshoorn en route to the Cango Caves. Very close to it, you will find the Swartberg Mountain Nature Reserve, Cango Caves, Wine Farms, Ostrich Farms and the Gamaskloof Valley ( also known as “Die Hell”).

This unique bushveld malaria free experience in the heart of the Klein Karoo has lavish en-suite tents; amazing fauna & flora; an A la Carte Restaurant; and wonderful outdoor activities, horseback safaris, bush safaris and walking and riding experiences. You will be closely accompanied by the African wildlife, including including Elephants, Rhino, Cape Buffalo, Giraffe, Hippo and over 200 bird species.

Inverdoorn Game Reserve & Safari Lodge

Since 1996, Inverdoorn has offered an incredible diversity of animals for viewing on a huge malaria free space in the wild. Between 1915 and 1972, it was actually known as the biggest fruit farming area in the Southern hemisphere! One of the key responsibilities of the Inverdoorn private game reserve is to act as a genetic reservoir for endangered species.

Situated in the Ceres Karoo, it is 2 and a half hours’ drive from Cape Town through glorious mountain passes and stunning vineyards—the only place this close to Cape Town offering such a wide variety of free-roaming species. The 10,000 hectares dedicated to conservation contains over 1200 wild animals representing 28 different species: giraffes, zebras, hippos, meerkats, various antelope (such as kudu, Red Lechwe, nyala) and about 165 species of birds, among others—and, of course, the Big 5.

The highlight for guests is the unique experience offered at the Western Cape Cheetah Conservation inside the reserve. You will be able to approach them and learn more about them from close. The cheetah team will be present to introduce you to the rehabilitation, breeding and special care programmes of the cheetah population in South Africa.

What is also unique about this reserve is that it has its own look-out deck giving a view over a well populated ‘waterhole’. Besides game viewing and game walks, there is a wide range of activities to help you enjoy your time: birding, swimming, golfing, quad biking, tennis, bushman painting tours and exquisite dining facilities. After the safari, guests can return to the lodge to taste one of the mouthwatering dishes of some superb chefs, a fine fusion of French and South African cuisine. There are also several beautiful guest houses and chalets for some relaxation time after a day full of activities.

Tip: The best time to visit Inverdoorn is during the dry season, precisely between November and March. It is when the animals frequently access the watering holes to drink. Besides, as the bush is less dense, your view can extend further into the game reserve.

Kariega Game Reserve and Park

The Kariega Game Reserve is a malaria-free privately owned and operated reserve in the Eastern Cape. It stretches to about 9000 hectares along the famous Garden Route and is conveniently close to the picturesque beaches in the popular town Kenton-on-Sea on the Indian Ocean.

Home to some of the richest biodiversity in South Africa, the reserve also hosts two abundant rivers, the charming Kariega and Bushman’s rivers. Luxury safari lodge accommodation is offered in case you wish to stay a few days to contemplate the breathtaking vistas, valleys and rivers, alongside the majestic Big 5 and many more different species of indigenous wildlife including hyenas, elands, zebras, giraffes, wildebeests, among others.

You might get lucky one evening if you can spot a lion hunt or a family of hippos emerge from the water for a night of grazing. The experience is simply thrilling. A boat cruise down the Kariega reserve or a kayak paddle will give you the chance to watch the abundant river birdlife.

Kwandwe Game Reserve

In isiXhosa, one of the official languages of South Africa, Kwandwe means “place of the Blue Crane”. The blue crane, also known as the Paradise Crane or the Stanley Crane, is the national bird of South Africa. It is a way of showing the reserve’s commitment to keeping a rare species close to the hearts of people. The reserve is a distinguished host to a population of these rare, vulnerable birds.

Located in the centre of South Africa’s pristine Eastern Cape Province, on the banks of the Great Fish River, this malaria free reserve of 22 000 hectares (54 000 acres) proposes a world-class Big 5 Safari experience. Besides, there are many other species of animals to be seen around (the cheetah, springbok, hippo and giraffe, to mention a few). It is also a sanctuary to other endangered species such as Cape grysbok, black wildebeest, Knysna woodpecker, crowned eagle and black-footed cat.

The reserve is a perfect place for a family outing—it is suitable for both the young and old travelers. The beauty of the landscape is simply soul-stirring. After a tour of the world famous Garden Route, the Kwande reserve provides an enchanting opportunity to end the day in delicate wilderness.