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Why did we hand pick Carnarvon Dale?

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  • Historic farmhouse has housed weary travellers since the 1820s
  • Owner-managed by knowledgeable hosts
  • Comfortable and affordable accommodation inside the Amakhala Game Reserve

Carnarvon Dale

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Price tier (pps): R200  R1500+

Child policy: 6 years and older

78km from Port Elizabeth


-33.5028, 26.1183


In a tradition of hospitality that has been evident at Carnarvon Dale for years, Roger and Maryan Hart welcome guests to their 1820 Settler farmhouse – the Bottom House – and the 1907 Edwardian Top House.

The clean and simple Bottom House is where continental and English breakfasts and 3 course dinners are served, and offers a free wireless internet service.

At the elegantly restored Edwardian Top House, two comfortable en-suite bedrooms are connected to a private lounge which leads onto a cool, covered veranda overlooking the swimming pool, and light lunches are served here for your convenience.

The accommodation is ideal for two couples travelling together or for a family group. 

As ex-history teachers, hosts Roger and Maryan can impart fascinating about the history of the culturally rich area, and offer attentive and personalised service. But the main focus of Carnarvon Dale is placed on the wildlife safaris. 

Wildlife enthusiasts are taken on exceptional morning and late afternoon game drives through the animal-rich, beautifully scenic game reserve, guided by professional rangers, and free access to the Shamwari Game Reserve will provide the chance to see the Big 5. 

Morning excursions to the Addo National Park for a breakfast with the elephants can be arranged, as well as battlefield tours and rounds of golf at Bushmans Sands. 

Rates & Summary

2 Rooms

En-suite bath and shower
Shared lounge
Covered verandah


  • For pricing detail, click on CHECK AVAILABILITY & BOOK ONLINE above


Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included


Childen over 6 years are welcome.


Why Stay Here?

Carnarvon Dale is an 1820s settler farmhouse which once provided lodgings for travellers whose journeys had been halted by the flooding of the Bushman’s River, and offers owner-managed comfortable and affordable all-inclusive accommodation in the Amakhala Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape, a malaria-free wilderness area featuring exceptional game viewing and direct access to the highly-acclaimed Shamwari Game Reserve. Morning and evening drives on the 18 000 acre Amakhala Game Reserve will reveal abundant wildlife, including the Big 5.


  • Historic farmhouse has housed weary travellers since the 1820s
  • Owner-managed by knowledgeable hosts
  • Comfortable and affordable accommodation inside the Amakhala Game Reserve


The two rooms are great for exclusive use for families or groups.

Things to consider Bringing

Sunblock, hat, walking shoes, swimming costume, swimming towels, golf clubs, mountain bike, binoculars for bird watching/game viewing.

Road Conditions

The gravel roads leading to the lodge are in good condition and suitable for all vehicles.

Activities & Attractions

  • Swimming Pool
  • Daily game drives
  • Bush walks
  • Excursions to Addo Elephant Park, Shamwari Game Reserve 
  • Battlefield tours
  • Golf at Bushman Sands



Accommodation & Hospitality

  • Lounge
  • Verandah / patio
  • Bed linen supplied
  • Bathroom towels supplied
  • Daily housekeeping
  • No smoking indoors

Catering & Kitchen

  • Full board


  • Water supply good for drinking
  • Electric geysers
  • Eskom electricity

Leisure Amenities

  • Swimming pool
  • Garden

Business & Connectivity

  • Free Wi-Fi
  • No business centre

Access & Convenience

  • Not wheelchair friendly
  • Child friendly
  • No pets allowed
  • Off street parking
  • Nearest shops further than 10km
  • Nearest fuel further than 10km


  • Credit cards accepted
  • EFT accepted
  • Cash accepted




Sunshine Coast

Eastern Cape


With the most recorded sunshine hours in South Africa, the name Sunshine Coast is no idle boast or empty promise. Situated between Port Elizabeth and East London, the quaintness of the Sunshine Coast is a welcome escape from big-city bustle. 

The area includes the inland towns of Alexandria, Salem and Bathhurst, with kilometres of beaches accessed via Cannon Rocks, Boknes, Bushmans River Mouth, Kenton-on-sea, Kasouga, Port Alfred and the Great Fish River area. The mixed derivations of these names suggest the rich cultural heritage of the area – the primary meeting point of San, Xhosa, Boer and British. The British influence is clear in the architecture of Bathhurst, Salem and Grahamstown.

Driving on the N2 or its tributaries the R67 or R72, the rolling green hills Lord Charles Somerset likened to English parklands were not exactly what the settlers expected. The unique dark golden-green shade of the Albany Thicket biome is due to the dense growth of hardy drought-resistant plants such as aloe, euphorbia and spekboom. Rain falls in winter and summer, and while not frequent, it is at times unpredictable, so the vegetation is built to withstand fickle skies.

Although unattractively scrubby to some, the Thicket contains 20% of the 316 threatened plant species found in the Eastern Cape, making it an important centre of endemism.

One is tempted to describe this beautiful and unusual landscape as “untouched”, but the area has long been farmed, with cattle, sheep, ostriches, pineapples and chicory among its historically successful concerns. Many farms have since been converted back into game reserves, such as the world-class, malaria-free Kariega and Shamwari Reserves. Game fences line the long, quiet, tarred roads and drivers are often startled at the sight of elephants, giraffes or other game grazing along the fences.

Drivers should also look out for smaller wildlife - porcupines, small antelope, hares, snakes, owls and tortoises - crossing the roads at dawn, dusk and at night.

The beaches and dunes of this coastline are magnificent. The Alexandria dunefield - famously the largest active dunefield in the world - and the exquisite Alexandria State Forest have been absorbed by the Greater Addo Elephant National Park. 

While Kenton-on-sea and Port Alfred are the main seaside attractions, the family-oriented Cannon Rocks, Boknes and Kasouga are popular places to buy holiday homes and have a few lovely self-catering and guest cottages.

The Dias Cross at Kwaaihoek is a replica of the padrão erected there by Portuguese explorer Bartholomeu Dias on his 1488 cruise past the South African coast. At the Cross there is a deck for dolphin sightings and whale-spotting in late spring and early summer. In season, southern right whales are sighted all along the Sunshine Coast.

Despite its fairly good roads and obvious attractions, this area is still, miraculously, relatively unspoilt and undeveloped. With the exception of the graceful Port Alfred Marina, attempts to beat its bush and rivers into commercial shape have been abandoned and it remains gentle, peaceful, simple, pristine and soul-enriching.

Situated on the Indian Ocean, one needn’t expect the “bath water” temperatures of KwaZulu-Natal  - Sunshine Coast swims are invigoratingly cool and sometimes chilly, but seldom as achingly cold as the Western Cape.

The area doesn’t have the same flashy allure as other popular seaside destinations, but if you think of the coast as a place to relax and unwind, rather than paint the town red, there is no better place to visit.

Look out for

Addo Elephant National Park, 30 minutes from PE, features the “Big Seven” (the Big Five, plus southern right whales and great white sharks).

Explore Alexandria’s dunefields on the two-day Alexandria Hiking Trail or the seven-kilometre Dassie Day Trail, named for a rare tree dassie in the area.

Bathurst - founded in 1820, this “English country village in Africa”, 10 minutes from Port Alfred, is home to the Pig & Whistle, the oldest pub in South Africa, and the 16,7-metre-high Big Pineapple.

With unspoiled beaches, the tiny villages of Cannon Rocks, Boknes, Kleinemonde are a fisherman’s and bird-watcher’s paradise. Cannon Rocks is named for its two cannons and anchor. The Dias Cross at Kwaaihoek is an uplifting thee-kilometre walk from Boknes across incredible sandy beaches, or a six-kilometre walk at low tide from Bushmans River.

Bushmans River – the second-longest navigable river in South Africa, with 22 kilometres of navigable water, is a favourite with canoeists, sailors, water-skiers and fishermen.

Kasouga – maintains its rustic beginnings with dirt roads and no streetlights, hotels and shops, wonderful birdlife and an exquisite lagoon.

Port Alfred – enjoy the elegance of the Royal Alfred Marina. Famous for its annual powerboat race, Port Alfred offers provides great shopping, dining, and beauty retreats.

The Sunshine Coast, and nearby holiday meccas such as Great Fish River, St Francis Bay, Cape St Francis, Jeffreys Bay, Tsitsikamma and the Wild Coast, offers excellent surfing, adventure and water sports, fishing, nature reserves and world-class hikes, mountain biking, canoeing, beach horse-rides, bird watching, 4x4 trails, game-viewing, golf, and as well as rich local arts and culture.

When to go

To Do

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