Riverdene Family Lodge

Location: Eastern Cape | South Africa

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

Riverdene Family Lodge is a luxury safari lodge in the Shamwari Game Reserve, a region of South African wilderness which is one of the finest of its kind in the world. As the name suggests, the lodge has a family emphasis - it’s in a malaria-free area, family members of all ages can learn about the region and its wildlife at the reserve’s conservation centres, and in addition to wildlife and birdwatching, there are several sports, arts and cultural activities on offer for children. Accommodation is in luxurious suites, while there’s top-quality food at the restaurant.
Perfect forAdventurous families seeking the ultimate African safari adventure.
In the knowBudding photographer? Special safari programmes are available which see you learning pro photo-taking tips over the course of several days, so you can immortalise your adventures in style.

Recommended for...

  • Wildlife & Nature
  • Setting & Views
  • Family-friendly
  • Adventure

Hotel Overview

Sense of place

Riverdene Family Lodge is in Shamwari Game Reserve, which has many times been voted the finest of its kind in the world, and it’s not hard to see why. This unspoilt region of plains and hills is home to iconic wildlife including lions, tigers, rhinos and zebras, and is a leading light in the effort to protect vulnerable African wildlife.

Rooms at Riverdene Family Lodge

Riverdene’s luxurious suites have a traditional, colonial style, with high ceilings, large sash windows, and a tasteful colour scheme of pea-green walls and plush grey furniture. In addition to large double beds, there are big comfy sofas (some of which can fold out into extra beds) and coffee tables. The large bathrooms feature huge wall mirrors, double sinks and walk-in showers. Each suite opens onto a private patio where you can relax and enjoy the views over the game reserve.

Food & drink

Being on a game reserve in the African wilderness doesn’t mean anything is out of reach when it comes to eating and drinking, with delicious food served up using the finest ingredients - sample dishes include wagyu beef burgers, lamb chops and venison steak. Breakfast takes the form of a hearty buffet, with fresh fruit, pastries, bacon and eggs, French toast and more, while lunch and dinner are sumptuous multi-course affairs. In classic colonial style, afternoon tea is enjoyed at around 4pm, with sundowners before dining on the terrace under the starry skies. 


The lovely outdoor pool, with a rim-flow edge which merges into the huge African horizon, is an inviting space to relax, cool off, and watch wildlife go by. In keeping with the family-friendly ethos, there’s a shallow end in the pool for kids to play in, while there’s also a children’s playroom and a jungle gym. Massages and other wellness treatments can also be arranged by request.

Activities at Riverdene Family Lodge

Wildlife-spotting adventures in the wilderness are the prime draw here. The reserve includes the Born Free big cat sanctuaries, where you can spot protected lions, tigers and leopards, while game drives and walks with expert guides will also let you observe elephants and rhinos. The latter are protected at the Ian Player Rhino Awareness Centre, where you can learn about these magnificent, endangered beasts, and the measures that are being implemented to save them. Back at the lodge, there are board games, puzzles and more for children to enjoy. 

Best time to go

Best time to travel

Good time to travel (but some limitations)

Travel is possible (but it’s not the best time)

Travel is not recommended

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Best time to go

Hotel location

Riverdene Family Lodge is around an hour’s drive from Port Elizabeth International Airport.

More places to stay in Eastern Cape


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