DURBAN – The Investment Corporation Dubai, is investing R355.5 million to upgrade the Shamwari Private Game Reserve in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape.
The first phase, two lodges, the flagship Eagles Crag and Riverdene Family Lodge, have been extensively refurbished.
The next phase includes constructing the new rehabilitation centre, renovating the historic manor house, Long Lee Manor, and re-building the adjacent accommodation to provide 18 luxury suites.
A new premium, luxury tented camp is also under construction.
The investment will generate much-needed investment to the area by attracting visitors, many of whom will be international and who will bring in foreign exchange.
Joe Cloete the chief executive of Shamwari said that the investment is important to ensure Shamwari remains one of the world’s premier wildlife experiences and can continue bringing revenue to fund its conservation programmes, with all their linked benefits.
The upgrade project includes new menus at the lodges. All the ingredients are obtained from local suppliers. Chefs, kitchen and hospitality staff have all received extensive training.
Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom who visited the game reserve said "Globally, eco- and experiential tourism is growing. With our abundant game reserves, natural beauty, modern infrastructure, good air access and favourable exchange rate, South Africa is ideally positioned to compete and develop this market".
He added that successfully doing so brings not only the obvious economic gains but creates a virtuous cycle which encourages more investment in conservation of our natural heritage and making the destination even more attractive.
The new, purpose-built facility will increase the capabilities of the rehabilitation team, allowing it to treat and care for more sick and injured animals before releasing them back into the wild.
It will also be a conservation education centre where academics, researchers, guests, school groups and members of the community can learn about the practice and benefits of conservation.
The complete upgrade of the game reserve is expected to be completed by December 2019.
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