Now in their 10th year, the Safari Awards are held annually to recognize Africa’s most outstanding lodges and safari experiences, from best riding safari and best safari spa to best guiding team and best design. As this year’s awards ceremony unfolded on November 6th in London, the greatly anticipated results were revealed to an audience of leaders in the safari industry. While a number of lodges and safari specialists were brought into the spotlight, it was South Africa’s Kwandwe Ecca Lodge that won the overall prize for Best Safari Experience.
As this year’s judging panel comprised 15 knowledgeable and highly respected independent safari operators, the awards given showcased which lodges and safari specialists have outshone the rest within their category. The best safari experience then takes into account the experience that’s consistently given to guests in the lodge as well as while out exploring the surrounding wilderness.
In addition to this accolade, Kwandwe Ecca Lodge won the award for Africa’s Best Safari Guiding Team, testament to the energy and enthusiasm of the lodge’s trackers and guides, along with coming second place in the South Africa category for Best Ecologically Responsible lodge, and third place in the Best Family Safari Experience category, as well as being recognized in the Best Design category.
Positioned within the 54,000-acre Kwandwe Private Game Reserve on South Africa’s Eastern Cape, Kwandwe Ecca Lodge is one of just two lodges to stay in here, which along with three private safari villas comprise just 26 rooms. This ensures a private safari experience that’s also entirely personalized with complete flexibility in how each guests chooses to spend their time.
Guests who stay at the lodge are invited to choose between a variety of safari experiences including game drives, walking safaris and fishing. This is owing to the expertise of the guiding team, which is made up of specialists in big game walking, birding and photographic safaris, as well as fishing, with a wealth of knowledge between them on the wildlife and environment; as well as the big five, this reserve is home to threatened species such as black wildebeest, crowned eagle, the black footed cat and blue crane.
These wildlife excursions, along with the lodge’s family activities, gastronomy and luxurious accommodation, come together to provide guests with an exceptional experience.