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Founders Lodge

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Founders Lodge lies in a private 400-hectare reserve, right next to Shamwari Game Reserve. For around 20 years this beautiful lodge was the family holiday home of Adrian Gardiner, the founder of Shamwari. Then in 2016, after extensive renovations, Founders Lodge opened its doors to guests, and now offers tailor-made luxury safaris in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province.

Founders still has the warm, welcoming feel of a safari home; but with all the luxurious touches of a 5-star property. This small lodge has just 6 suites: 2 Traditional Suites in the original 1940’s manor house, and 4 Contemporary Suites leading off the courtyard. The style of these suites is quite different but they all have the same level of luxury, and each has a private veranda with lovely views across the Eastern Cape hills.

A conscious decision was made not to introduce dangerous game to the private reserve. This gives guests the best of both worlds as they can enjoy walking safaris and bush breakfasts on Founders reserve, as well as thrilling Big 5 game drives in next-door Shamwari. The entrance to Shamwari lies just 50 metres from the lodge, and Founders has full traversing rights.

Days at Founders Lodge are shaped around guests: get up early for a dawn game drive or sleep in and catch up with the wildlife later. Challenge the other guests to a game in the billiard room or laze by the pool taking in the views. And in the evening, everyone sit down together to a delicious South African dinner served in the lodge dining room or in the boma under the stars.