Bucklands Private Game Reserve 

Bucklands Private Game Reserve

Do sightings of anaardwark, that normally elusive night-time hunter and a caracal whose distinctive pointed ears end in long black tufts grab your interest? Well, these were our prizes on our first night's game drive at Bucklands Private Game Reserve a mere 40 kms. outside Grahamstown.

The Stewart family describe Bucklands as “the game reserve for all seasons” and I would add “a game reserve for all people”.    For it is in their diversity of offering that I believe they have been so clever.   Whether you choose the Boutique Guest House, the Luxury Tented Camp or the self-catering Rustic Tent option your experience will be a rewarding one. This 5500 hectare Reserve adjacent to the Great Fish Nature Reserve is close enough to the coast to combine with a beach holiday, and yet when you are in the bush, the rest of the world seems very distant indeed.

For our stay we chose the Tented Camp – 4 well placed luxury en suite tents with a “Mess” Tent close by that resembled a stylish dining room in an elegant farmhouse. The camp entirely powered by solar, produced piping hot showers, good quality lighting and even a hair dryer – a first for me in a tented experience! There were little touches of luxury that popped up unexpectedly. The warmth of a ‘hottie’ nestled under the duvet and a neat little gas heater, should the cold really get too severe; the gown and slippers in the cupboard, the chocolate on the pillow as you turn in for the night and the “we trust you” honesty ‘fridge’ in the “Mess” Tent. There’s a little pool for relief from the summer heat and a sheltered boma to share those fireside tales on those balmy evenings. These all set the tone for a very special pampered Eastern Cape adventure. 

Our game drives under the careful direction and skilful driving of Matthew were conducted with an air of confidence and love of his job.   Good sightings of the Reserve’s white rhino population were especially rewarding as this beautiful beast is at the moment under so much scrutiny from those with evil intentions.   We even had the privilege of seeing their smaller cousins the black rhino in the adjacent Andries Vosloo Reserve. The antelope species - impala, springbok, waterbuck, kudu, red hartebeest, eland, bushbuck, blesbok, and steenbok revealed themselves timidly throughout the Reserve with the giraffe and zebra making a colourful and graceful show.   

Back in camp, our meals were superbly prepared and served by Matthew’s young wife Amy, whose move from ecology to chef seemed seamless and successful.   Tasty lambshanks, beautifully crafted stuffed chicken breasts, individual banana crumbles and a warm prawn salad were just a few of the delights that graced our dining table.

Let me not give too much away…this is a wonderful addition to the Eastern Cape's ‘safari’ offering – committed owners, leading by example, sharing their spot in paradise with the world at large.   Take a few days 'out' to refresh your soul, gather a group of friends together or sign up for their 3 day slackpacking product. Take a guided walk or enjoy a ride on their quad bikes – the opportunities are limitless, the experience joyful

RATES from 01 MARCH 2013 - 28 FEBRUARY 2014

Bucklands Rustic Tented camp - self catering

R400 pppn sharing

Minimum of 4 persons

Inclusive of:

  • Self-catering facilities
  • Rustic tented accommodation
  • Shared ablutions 

Exclusive of:

  • All activities
  • All additional meals & beverages
  • Transfers
  • Items of a personal nature

Children 6 yrs & over welcome
Children aged 6-12 accompanied by parents @ 50% adult charge 


Bucklands Luxury Tented Camp and Bucklands Lodge

R1500 pppn sharing

R1800 pppn single

Inclusive of:

  • Accommodation as designated: Luxury tents or Guest house rooms
  • Two activities per day
  • Early morning tea
  • Brunch
  • Afternoon high tea
  • Game drive snacks
  • Three course dinner

Exclusive of:

  • Additional activities
  • All beverages
  • Transfers
  • Items of a personal nature

At the Luxury Tented Camp children over the age of 12 are welcome
At the Lodge children of all ages are welcome with children aged 2-12yrs accom panied by parents charged @ 50% of the adult rate. 

There are a range of additional activities that guests can participate in - additional game drives, guided walks, fishing, night drives, quad bike trails - or even a full day trip with a picnic lunch or braai included. The cost of these can be provided upon request. 

SLACK-PACKING OPTION 1st March 2013 - 28 February 2014

A new addition to the offering at Bucklands is a 3 day Slack-packing experience, walking about 35kms. through the Game Reserve with an experienced guide, spending a night each at the luxury Tented Camp, the Rustic Tented Camp and Bucklands Lodge.

This experience would include: 3 night's accommodation, gthe guided walk/hike, early morning breakfast, bush lunch, 3 course dinner.  Additional activities, all beverages and items of a personal nature are NOT included

Rate: R3000 pp sharing or single, minimum 4 guests.