BY Nikki Bolton

The 22,000 hectares (54 000 acres) of pristine wilderness is home to the famous Big 5 as well as a diverse number of smaller and more unusual species. Kwandwe flanks both the north and south banks of the Great Fish River, which meanders for 30 km (19 miles) through this private wilderness where the Big Five once again roam freely.
The wide open spaces and tranquil scenery belie the area's turbulent history, and relics of the area's rich historical and cultural legacy can be found both on the reserve and nearby. This is combined with effective conservation of many of Africa’s iconic wildlife species including the Blue Crane, Black Rhino, Black Wildebeest, Crowned Eagle and many more, makes it a truly immersive and responsible destination.

Kwandwe’s commitment to conservation and community development has always been unwavering, and the success of these values in present in the very DNA of Kwandwe’s day to day life.


 “Kwandwe is proud to be part of looking after our Rhino heritage

and very grateful for all the work put in by the OLLI Team. 

We wish them all the best!” 

JP Maree - Kwandwe General Manager

Visit Kwandwe's website to find out more...



On the 3rd July the Olli Team arrived at Kwandwe after a long and challenging cycle from Lalibela Game Reserve in wet and cold conditions, via Grahamstown’s steep Ecca Pass and a quick stop at Fish River Nature Reserve.  The General Manager, JP Maree, and his friendly team met our cyclists, Wayne and his children Daniel and Laura, who were given the privilege of cycling from the gate through the park to the lodge.  Here the scroll was signed and a ring placed onto Olli’s horn.
The Team then enjoyed a fruitful game drive with the knowledgable Chase, which included the obliging cheetah father and son coalition that flopped down in the grass nearby and inbetween keeping an eye open for their supper, affectionately engaged in some grooming.  A rhino sighting was an obvious plus and the sun setting over the vast expanse of Kwandwe a fitting close to a long day.

The Olli Team was hosted by Melton Manor which was an experience we have spoken about frequently.  Tucked away in one of the valley’s you are struck by the artful way that the villa has been designed to afford absolute luxury while still connecting you with the surrounding wild environment.  The warm welcome of the staff made you feel like you were old friends visiting while still making sure that all your needs were taken care of.

The floor to roof windows of our spacious rooms and en suites allowed us to enjoy the warm and cosy environment in our living area while still enjoying a panorama of bushveld.  A candlelight bubble bath to soothe some sore muscles was followed by drinks in the lounge with a flickering fire as its centrepiece.  Our personal chef rose to the occasion and the meal was superb.

What stood out to the Olli Team was the genuine hospitality of the Kwandwe staff which extended from the General Manager to each of the staff that we encountered including among others our guide, tracker, waitress, chef and hostess.

Kwandwe are about making sure that their guests appreciate and enjoy their park and giving you a bush experience along with genuine hospitality that you will remember.

 July 03, 2017
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Diary of the parks
Nikki Bolton

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