Kwandwe Ecca Lodge

Location: Eastern Cape | South Africa

Price guide: £££££ £350-£500 per person per night

Once you’ve fallen in love with the bush it’s difficult to resist its lure, so we’ve found a lodge that helps relieve the effects of the persistent ‘safari bug’. Set within the malaria-free and Big Five-packed Kwandwe Game Reserve, the immaculate Ecca Lodge is a million miles away from the typical khaki camp that most are used to. Ecca Lodge, where funk meets futuristic farmhouse, is emblazoned with Warhol-like prints, magnificent retro light fittings and roofs that resemble pagodas and offers a safari with attitude - which is why we just love this outlandish but entirely homely take on a scenic safari lodge.
Perfect forHip couples, families looking for a colourful, malaria-free safari and honeymooners on a mission to spot the Big Five.
In the know
  • Designed to be cool and luxurious but also family-friendly. 
  • Kwandwe means ‘Place of the Blue Crane’ in Xhosa and is home to a population of these rare birds, which are also South Africa’s national bird. 
  • Chic and modern suites with plunge pools and superb views. 
  • Big Five wildlife strewn across the acacia and aloe-studded valley.

Recommended for...

  • Family-friendly
  • Lodge
  • Malaria-free
  • Wildlife & Nature

Hotel Overview

sense of place

In South Africa’s Eastern Cape - on a hillside set in a former farmland of 22,000 hectares, which has been restored and restocked with wildlife.

rooms at Kwandwe Ecca Lodge

With barely a barrier between the indoors and the African bush, the six stand-alone suites have glass walls that slide back to revel wraparound wooden decks with private plunge pools and views over the bushveld. Each room is dominated by a different colour in celebration of Africa’s cultural vibrancy and you’ll find the rooms revolve around the super-king sized beds, large en suite bathrooms with free-standing baths and lounge areas with fun bean bags and plush day beds, which can be reconfigured to accommodate children.

food and drink

Loosen your belt a notch or two- there’s nothing these South Africans like better than feeding visitors. There are early morning biscuits, sumptuous brunches, afternoon tea, early evening nibbles, and to top the day off, hearty Pan African cuisine served with the freshest of farm ingredients.

Facilities

With an emphasis on comfort and relaxation, the main lodge has a stunning rim-flow lap pool, an open interactive kitchen and a nearby interpretive library.

Activities at Kwandwe Ecca Lodge

All of the Big Five are found on the reserve, so the main focus here is on some pretty impressive game viewing; however, you can take some time to look beyond the “Big Five” - baboons and some of the smaller animals are fascinating to watch too!
The day starts and ends with game drives, with the chance for safari walks, bush picnics and sundowners. For guests who want something really special, there are some fabulous optional extras, including scenic flights, a chance to learn about the area’s carnivore research and to get involved with the rhino darting programme, just to mention a few! Kids are well looked after too - if they don’t fancy a game drive there are cakes to be baked, pools to swim in and hundreds of different types of animal dung to identify.

Hotel location

2 hours from Port Elizabeth International Airport and 43km from Grahamstown.

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