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Kwandwe is a 62,000 acre (25,000 hectare) private reserve of rolling hills and savannah located in the malaria-free Eastern Cape. North of the eastern end of the Garden Route and 2 hr. drive northeast from Port Elizabeth, it is appealingly accessible for those interested in spotting the Big 5. This was made possible by concerted conservation efforts to reintroduce many different animal species, including black and white rhino, elephant, hippo, lion leopard, brown hyena, serval, African wildcat and Small Spotted Cat.
The reserve’s landscape is defined by 19 mi (30km) of the Great Fish River and the Karoo Basin. The former is a sight of historical significance: it was a hotly contested border during the Xhosa Wars (Cape Frontier Wars) of 1779-1878 between the Boers and Xhosa nation. The latter is where several of Africa’s vegetation zones converge. As a result, the valley bushveld characteristic of Kwandwe is extremely biodiverse, containing bushveld, euphorbias, aloes and spekboom, along with numerous endangered animals and birds.
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