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Kwandwe Ecca Lodge

Our rating

8/10

Price guide

Price rating 4

Highlights

- Located in Kwandwe Game reserve
- Great 'kids' activities
- Big Game Walking Safaris
- Luxurious accommodation

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Overview

Ecca Lodge is located in the Kwandwe Private Game Reserve. It is surrounded by 22 000 hectares of exclusive, malaria-free wilderness that features 30 km of privately owned river frontage along the Great Fish River. The Kwandwe area is home to the endangered 'Kwandwe' or blue crane, South Africa's national bird, among various other game.

Ecca Lodge is the most recent addition to the Kwandwe family of safari lodges. It consists of six suites, each with its own private plunge pool, covered verandahs, large en-suite bathrooms and separate lounge areas. The suites are decorated in a unique modern-chic style with vibrant colours, Warhol-like prints, funky bean bags and retro light fittings. Large glass doors and wraparound wooden decks maximise the indoor-outdoor flow with the surrounding acacia, spekboom and aloe-covered valley. There is an open interactive kitchen, a lap pool, and an interpretive library in the main lodge. It is a 15-minute drive away from the well-stocked Safari Shop.

Run together with its sister lodges, the safari experience includes daily morning and afternoon/evening game drives for sightings of the big five along with other unusual species such as the porcupine, aardwolf, or aardvark. The award-winning guiding team also offer nature walks for a more thorough exploration of the native bush, and 'up close and personal' experiences with wildlife. The Big Game Walking Safari offers the thrill of tracking rhinos, elephants, and buffalo on foot with an armed ranger and trackers. Other activities (with advance booking) include fishing and volunteering activities at the Mgcamabele Community Centre. For additional cost, there are options to go on a 'Save the Rhino' drive, a Rhino Conservation safari or a photographic safari, including photography workshops. To relax from the excitement of game tracking, in-room massage treatments are available.

Ecca Lodge is a great place for families. Children of all ages are welcome, with a maximum of two children aged 16 years and younger allowed with parents. Children are given a welcome pack, there is a kid's play centre, and a children's menu is available. Although children under 5 cannot participate in organised game drives, and children aged six to 11 may only do so at the lodge's discretion, a private-use vehicle can be hired to accommodate children. Alternatively, babysitting can be arranged at no additional cost, and there are many other activities for children, including a daily ‘Stripes & Hooves’ adventure — a one-hour morning game drive to view ‘non-aggressive’ game, a ‘Bugs & Bones’ walk, fishing trips, sand art, face painting, baking, Plaster of Paris and chocolate fun, storytelling, eco-educational board games, movies, and so on. Families can also participate in Kwandwe’s voluntourism activities, including gardening, crafts and knitting activities.

Nearby Alternatives

Our rating

8/10

Price guide

Price rating 4

- Located beside Great Fish River
- Big Game and Bush walks
- Rhino Conservation safari
- Luxurious accommodation with views

Our rating

8/10

Price guide

Price rating 4

- Exclusive-use only
- Ideal for families or groups
- Located in Kwandwe Game Reserve
- Private, tailor-made services

Our rating

8/10

Price guide

Price rating 4

- Exclusive-use
- Tailored experience
- Great for families
- Big Game Walking Safari

What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 504 reviews

(5.00/5)

  • Hi Lisa,

    The safari trip was excellent! The stay, the food and the people were all very nice. We were happy to have Ryan and Stanley as our game drive guides they brought us up close to the animals and Ryan gave very good information throughout.

    Would definitely recommend to friends who are interested in safaris :)

    Also, thanks much for your help, particularly keeping the room for my Brother and his wife they’ve enjoyed the safari very much too!

    Best regards,
    Woan Chyi

    MissingWoan Chyi L reviewing Cape Town & Kruger Safari on 16 October 2019

  • We had a fantastic time and all the arrangements worked perfectly.
    We were very impressed with the quality and service levels of all 4 locations visited and it was truly a holiday of a lifetime.
    Thank you to you and to Lisa for giving us this experience.
    Particular highlights for us – really the whole experience, but of particular impact:
    Breathtaking scenery at Cathedral Peak Hotel
    Rhino Ridge game drives incredible, thanks to guide (we had their head guide, Hala, who’s knowledge, enthusiasm, kindness, interaction, ability to spot wildlife was out of this world)
    Luxury of Rhino Ridge (shower, food, views, service)
    Immersion in nature, torch lit meal on last night and beach trip at Kosi Forest Lodge
    Level of service, quality of food throughout

    MissingCatherine F reviewing South Africa Safari, Beach and Wetlands on 04 September 2019

  • We had a fantastic time. Thank you and it went smoothly in the main except for British Airways!

    The trip had the right degree of luxury and relaxation (for me) and adventure (all of us).

    A few points:
    Driving directions to Umlunghi Lodge were slightly wrong. The driving directions should read at the 4th roundabout take the first exit and turn right over the railway. We loved it there. Anton, Bianca and her son and Harriet were very informative and entertaining. The snake talk and handling, night walks and seeing scorpions and the walk in the bush and "bumping" into a giraffe were really special. The kayak trip to Makuzi pan that the lodge organised was good and Tomaz was very informative and kept a respectful distance from the hippos.3 nights was plenty.

    Rhino River Lodge game reserve was incredibly luxurious and we felt very looked after. The lion siting in camp the day we arrived sent an extra frisson of excitement down our spines. It was easy to forget there were predators that could attack us with all that luxury. The staff and guides (Karl) were knowledgeable and invested in their set up. We saw rhinos with baby, cheetahs with young, porcupine, Genet, wildebeast, Impala, Lion with young, buffalo, a puff adder, ostrich, zebra and giraffes. 4 nights was also plenty.
    They all served great food but I felt Ghost Mountain Inn topped the lot. The variety was amazing. We arrived at 10.30 but could not get into our room until 2 ish. The service was not so personal I guess because it is larger (far more than 50 rooms). We had been a bit spoilt at Rhino River! My daughter and I had some treatments at the Spa and loved it. We also went on a large boat trip on Jonzi and had a closer encounter with a large bull hippo and also a hike up Ghost Mountain with Patrick who was very informative and passionate about his people and his country. Isaac the other guide there took us on the boat trip and pointed out the sugar cane harvest on the way. he was very informative also.

    Lastly, Lalaria Lodge was fabulous and we all piled into the surf of the Indian Ocean. There was hardly anyone on the beach. It was "too cold" according to the landlady. The view from her terrace was of the ocean and whales breaching in the distance. I could have sat there all day. She very kindly provided us with a Scrabble board of her own for us to play. We took a Microlight ride from Ballito over the coastline in the hope of seeing whales and dolphins but no luck. If we had stayed longer we might have gone on a boat trip from Durban. We had a meal at a restaurant called Mozambique which was great fun with vast portions, plenty of carbs and fresh seafood!

    The value of the Rand to the Pound was excellent and therefore we felt that we got excellent value which also played a large part!

    MissingKatrina P reviewing South Africa Bush & Beach Safari For Families on 02 September 2019

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