Kwandwe private game reserve’s luxurious Ecca Lodge near Grahamstown has reaped some top honours at the recent Safari Awards event in London, including the highly prized best safari experience in Africa award.
This year’s awards were judged by 15 of the safari industry’s most experienced safari specialists to reveal the very best lodges, camps and houses alongside the most outstanding guides and operators in Africa across 15 categories.
To win this particular overall category, Kwandwe Ecca Lodge competed with hundreds of other nominated lodges and category winners across 19 African countries.
Kwandwe also scooped the award for having Africa’s best safari guiding team for the second year in a row. This award pays tribute to guiding and tracker teams’ knowledge and enthusiasm.
Kwandwe advertises itself as providing a wide variety of safari activities.
The Big Five reserve is situated on 22000ha but with only 26 rooms split between two safari lodges and three private safari villas, meaning it has a comparatively light environmental impact.
Ecca Lodge was also placed in the best ecologically responsible lodge list. With its magnificent biodiversity, the area in which Kwandwe is situated is billed as ideal for walkers, birders, photographers and people who enjoy fishing.
It is home to the Big Five, and threatened species such as the black wildebeest, crowned eagle, black-footed and the highly endangered Blue Crane.
The Safari Awards are billed by the industry as totally independent with no commercial interest in any nominee. The reserve’s thrilled executive manager Graeme Mann said: “Not only does the awards acknowledge the amazing team we have at Kwandwe Ecca Lodge, but the high quality of skill and passion of our safari guiding team.”