Shamwari Private Game Reserve, in South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province, has completed phase one of a $25m upgrade, and opened two refurbished lodges – its flagship Eagles Crag, and Riverdene Family Lodge.

CEO of Shamwari, Joe Cloete, says the investment both enhances the luxury experience of guests and ensures that Shamwari can continue attracting revenue to fund its conservation work. “We want Shamwari to be one of the world’s premier wildlife experiences, so we can sustain and grow an exceptionally successful 25-year conservation programme. A stay at Shamwari contributes to conserving a vanishing way of life,” says Cloete.

The Eagles Crag upgrade includes a new viewing deck incorporating a fire pit, and two private dining pods. There is also a new entertainment lounge and a gym. The nine stand-alone suites have been extensively upgraded, with each suite having an interior bathroom, outside shower a heated plunge pool and a private deck.

Riverdene Family Lodge has been almost entirely rebuilt, with nine spacious rooms, all of which are interconnecting, making multi-generational family stays practical and comfortable. A fully supervised outdoor children’s adventure playground incorporates climbing towers, elevated walkways and ziplines. A toddlers’ play area has a maze and mini soccer field.

Children are also able to participate in a Kids on Safari programme, which includes tracking and animal behaviour, star-gazing, pizza evenings, and visits to the Born Free Foundation.

The next phase of the project will include the renovation of the historic manor house, Long Lee Manor, and an extensive rebuild of the guest accommodation to provide 18 luxury suites. A new flagship tented camp is also being built.

Shamwari’s wildlife rehabilitation centre is also being expanded, and guests will now be able to visit a purpose-built facility on the reserve, where animals are cared for and treated before being released back into the wild.

The full renovation project is due to be completed by November 2019.