Lying deep within the 25 000 ha Shamwari Game Reserve, these two options - located 10km from each other via gravel roads - combine total privacy with the most exhilarating Big 5 game-viewing in the Eastern Cape. Both overlook the fast-flowing Bushman's River and feature spectacular views of the undulating Cape savannah, but beyond their geographic outlook, the villas are very different. Shamwari's first sole-use lodge, the perennially popular and good-value Bushman's River Lodge is an artfully restored Victorian settler farmstead dating back to the 1860s, offering just four rooms and an intimate, more historic atmosphere. Purpose-built Sarili is the more modern option, its open lines off-set by bold use of colour, comfortable, oversized furniture and warm detailing in stone, thatch and timber. Both are family-friendly havens, where gazing into the evening fire under a canopy of stars is as uplifting as the sight of a hippo lumbering into the river from the comfort of your pool lounger.
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