Shamwari founder, Adrian Gardiner, opens private lodge


Adrian Gardiner, founder and visionary of Shamwari Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape, is commercializing his private residence situated on a slice of spectacular land adjacent to Shamwari.

The character-filled 1940’s farmhouse – used by the family for 20 years - has undergone an extensive renovation to become a unique and unrivalled lodge for guests who wish to adventure through this part of the Eastern Cape, South Africa.

Founders Lodge offers six serene suites, beautifully finished with local and traditional furniture and décor.  Aside from the expected amenities of a 5-star property, each room has a private veranda offering breath-taking views across the cliffs, valleys and sprawling natural bushveld.    The home is a fine example of how traditional and contemporary furnishings can be mixed.

Activities at Founders Lodge will be tailor-made to suit guests and their requirements with a strong focus on appreciating the outdoors as Adrian did when hosting his family and friends.  With the conscious decision not to re-introduce the bigger more dangerous animals to this property, guests will be able to enjoy the scenic walking expeditions and beautiful bird-watching experiences on the 400 hectares of unspoilt Malaria free land.

For the Big 5 experience, Founders Lodge has an agreement with the current owners of Shamwari for game drives to take place on their world-renowned reserve.   The entrance to the Big 5 reserve is 50 meters from Founders Lodge.

Back at the lodge, guests will be able to make use of facilities such as a gym and steam room; two outdoor swimming pools; a boma; a billiard room; a library and business centre with complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the lodge as well as an elevated viewing terrace.

The heart of the lodge is undoubtedly Adrian’s collection of museum pieces and artefacts including a famous Xhosa bead collection.   These pieces are housed in a special room, called The Founders Collection. Mantis properties have become renowned for their appreciation and display of famous artworks. Founders Lodge is no exception and visitors will experience a number of masterpieces by world famous wildlife photographer, David Yarrow

Cuisine is set to have a local, easy eating flair and will be served outdoors as often as possible.

With the opening just a week away, owner Adrian Gardiner remarks: "I have a lasting, personal and deep connection to Shamwari which still offers one of South Africa’s top game experiences.  Opening up my private residence adjacent to this iconic reserve gives me great pleasure and is very symbolic of our roots in the Eastern Cape.  This is an exciting time for me personally and the Mantis Group.

Founders Lodge, besides being Managed and Marketed by Mantis, is also a proud member of the Prestigious Mantis Owners Collection –