Founders Lodge

Discover the Diverse Wildlife of Shamwari Private Game Reserve


Nestled atop a hill in the heart of the captivating Shamwari Private Game Reserve, Founders Lodge stands as the birthplace of Eastern Cape conservation. This extraordinary safari destination is a sanctuary for those seeking to restore their connection with nature and Africa’s roots. With panoramic vistas of the pristine landscape, the Lodge offers a tranquil setting to experience the mantra, ‘Man and Nature Together is Sustainable.’ Beyond the captivating scenery, Founders Lodge provides an array of amenities including a boma, gym, steam room, and two refreshing swimming pools. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to encounter the timeless legacy of Adrian Gardiner, the founder, who dreamt of preserving and nurturing the region’s wildlife and natural treasures for future generations.

Room Amenities

  • Air Conditioning
  • Tea / Coffee
  • En-Suite
  • Minibar
  • Safe
  • Wi-Fi

What to Expect

Founders Lodge game reserve occupies a unique vantage point, perched on the highest elevation overlooking the expansive wildlife reserve with its diverse biomes and abundant flora and fauna. It’s akin to an exquisitely appointed eagle’s eyrie, affording you a bird’s-eye view of the valley and waterhole below. This enchanting haven beckons adventure enthusiasts and eco travelers from around the world, inviting them to explore the rewilding that took place in this pristine part of South Africa. The experience is so potent, so captivating, that it transports you back to a time of serenity and unspoiled authenticity, inviting you to reconnect with the essence of nature. Shamwari Founders Lodge is not only a tribute to the beginnings of sustainable tourism, culture, conservation, and community inclusion but also a living monument to conservation history. Here, you can embark on soul-reviving safaris that encompass the Big 5 and the intricacies of the smaller, lesser-known wildlife and ecosystems, all in the backdrop of a vast 25,000-hectare wilderness area.


Master Suite

Exuding old-world charm, the Master Suite is located in the original colonial manor house. These spacious and comfortable rooms open onto a private veranda, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the natural surroundings.

For families, the Master Suite can be booked along with the Heritage Room, both situated in the manor house section of the lodge. These two spacious suites are connected by a central passage, offering families of four greater privacy and seclusion.

Heritage Room

The Heritage Room is an ideal choice for families, located just up the corridor from the Master Suite. Situated in the original colonial manor house, it offers a sense of history, sophistication, and classic décor, opening onto a private veranda.

Contemporary Suite

Founders Lodge boasts 4 Contemporary Suites with a more modern and minimalist aesthetic compared to the Heritage Suite. These suites are accessible through the indigenous garden courtyard, each featuring a private veranda with picturesque views of cliffs, valleys, and the vast bushveld of the Founders Reserve.

Each spacious suite is equipped with a seating area, a work desk, a generously sized en-suite bathroom, and a private veranda furnished with armchairs and a small dining table for two.

Honeymoon Pod

Experience elevated romance in this private pod, designed for intimate getaways. Perched above the central lodge, it offers unobstructed valley views and a private entrance for ultimate seclusion. Indulge in the perfect romantic retreat where every detail is considered, creating unforgettable moments. Your love story unfolds in this enchanting space, promising an extraordinary escape.

Founders Railway Carriage

When Adrian Gardiner retired his private railway carriage on which he and his family had enjoyed many an adventurous journey across South Africa, it was his intention to emulate the romance of a bygone era with modern touches, such as a pool, boma and outdoor deck at Mantis Founder’s Lodge.

This lovingly restored 5-berth Railway Carriage, stationed at a siding atop a hill, overlooking a magnificent valley, offers new, exclusive use accommodation. The charming Carriage features, an expansive outdoor deck, private swimming pool, dining area and boma.

The Carriage has three compartments: a main double sleeper as well as a two berth and a single compartment. There’s also period bathroom facilities onboard and a stunning lounge and dining area. The outdoor deck and boma with separate bathroom facilities completes the Founders Railway Carriage.

Game Drives

A “must-do” for any visitor to South Africa, game drives provide the perfect opportunity to observe African wildlife in their natural habitat. There are not many places in the world such as this where one is treated to such a variety of animal and birdlife, each one beautiful, unique and perfectly adapted to its environment.

Founders Lodge offers daily game drives to spot Africa’s Big 5 (elephant, lion, Cape buffalo, leopard and rhinoceros) as well as 5 of the 7 biomes of South Africa, which allows for a large concentration and variety of wildlife.

Daily game drives with professional guides provide countless sightings of diurnal (daytime) animals, while the more elusive nocturnal animals are discovered during the early evening drives. Sundowner drinks at sunset and coffee/tea at sunrise add an extra special touch.

Guided Game Walks

Qualified guides provide the opportunity for guests to experience the excitement of tracking, as well as identifying birds, insects and plants. These walks are restricted to the 400 hectare Founders Reserve, which is free of predators and dangerous animals, to allow for more freedom of movement.


  • 24-hour Security
  • Eco Friendly
  • Mobile Connectivity
  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • TV Room
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Book With Confidence

Best price guarantee
Client support 24/7
Premium Camps & Lodges

Need Help?

+27 41 001 0857


Book With Confidence

Best price guarantee
Client support 24/7
Premium Camps & Lodges

Need Help?

+27 41 001 0857