Shamwari Private Game Reserve has worked with professional health and travel industry bodies to develop a set of safety standards to mitigate the possibility of COVID-19 virus spreading at its facilities when it reopens in September.
Shamwari CEO Joe Cloete says, “We’re fortunate that most of our accommodation is safely spread out between lodges across the reserve. In addition to offering exclusive-use options at smaller, villa-style Lodges, our other lodges offer self-contained free-standing suites and luxury tents. These lend themselves to social distancing and self-isolation for our guests, offering complete peace of mind.
“It’s a fact that there will be increased demand for self-contained, exclusive-use accommodation in the post- COVID world. We’ve spent the shutdown period adapting our operations to that, and to ensuring we offer a combination of uncompromised safety and a luxury wilderness experience.”
Cloete adds that all Shamwari’s safety protocols have been reviewed by medical health professionals, vetted by the WHO, the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA), and other tourism regulatory bodies.
A vital component Shamwari’s approach, he says, is training: “Our staff have been trained to offer warm, smart and contactless hospitality. All guests will be welcomed with the famous Shamwari hospitality, and with uncompromising attention to their health, and that of other guests and personnel.”
While the reserve has been in shutdown, Shamwari also launched the successful Shamwari Zoom Virtual Experiences, a series of which includes a gin- or wine-tasting, an overview of Shamwari, its lodges and reserve and a live virtual game drive with Head Ranger Andrew Kearney and his team of rangers.
Shamwari has seven lodges: Eagles Crag, Long Lee Manor, Bayethe Tented Lodge, Lobengula, Sarili Private Lodge, Riverdene Family Lodge and Sindile Luxury Tented Camp, as well as the Explorer Camp.
Over the past 25 years Shamwari has restored much of the ecology and attracted or re-introduced an abundance of indigenous game and birdlife, from the big five to the humble ox-pecker and the flightless dung-beetle.
Last year Shamwari opened its new Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, at which injured, ill or abandoned animals are treated and cared for before released back to the wild. This operation has become an epicentre for successful wildlife rehabilitation.
The team applies and shares its accumulated experience, knowledge and expertise with professionals across Southern Africa and beyond. It’s also integral to the Shamwari experience, providing a rare insight into the complex business and day-to-day realities of environmental conservation.
The Born Free Foundation, which jointly funds two sanctuaries at Shamwari, provides lifetime care to several big cats which have been rescued from poor conditions in circuses, zoos or private owners around the world.
Shamwari has refurbished its lodges, upgrading all aspects of the reserve’s operations to new standards in luxury, service and hospitality. These include new menus, wine lists, a new coffee experience and a new spa brand. The sumptuous accommodation and catering compliment the unsurpassed, malaria-free game viewing with the country’s top rangers.
Shamwari, meaning “my friend” in Shona, is the pinnacle of private game reserves and home to Africa’s iconic Big Five. It’s a place where guests can exist in harmony with nature, where wildlife roam under the relentless African sun. Located in the heart of the malaria-free Eastern Cape, the reserve offers abundant wildlife, fauna and flora endemic to the area and unforgettable encounters with nature.
Its lodges each provide distinct experiences: from secluded tranquility, effortless family enjoyment or the back-to-nature appeal of a luxury tented camp, all complemented by the very best local cuisine and thoughtful service.
For more information about Shamwari Private Game Reserve, call +27 (0) 42 203 1111 or visit www.shamwari.com. If you’d like to be invited to a virtual game-drive, contact Shelley van Rensburg on email@example.com.