Schotia Safaris Private Game Reserve near Paterson, Eastern Cape, South Africa
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PO Box 105, Paterson, 6130, Eastern Cape, South Africa
  • I learned about Schotia thanks to the concierge at my accommodation who offered to make a booking for me since Schotia constantly has visitors
  • I thought at first that that would mean less area to cover, but the park is still quite extensive - you will definitely have a full safari even on the smaller amount of land here
  • I had contacted Schotia once before leaving for Africa, and I found them rather difficult to get in touch with
  • I didn't try to hard, but I believe I was very fortunate to have someone else call and make arrangements for me as they are so busy that it can be difficult to get in touch with them
  • Even though it's a bit hard to find and the food is mediocre, this will definitely be an experience to remember - even if only for the amazing view of the African night sky you will get riding in the Land Rover


    • by Melanie Noell

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      When visiting South Africa, I had my heart set on going on as many safari as possible; however, it is very difficult as a single traveler to find excursions during off-season that will take a single traveler if no others are booked. I learned about Schotia thanks to the concierge at my accommodation who offered to make a booking for me since Schotia constantly has visitors. I’m so happy that she did because the process was effortless, and I saw more animals here than anywhere else I visited.

      Schotia is a privately owned game reserve, making it smaller than the national parks around the country. I thought at first that that would mean less area to cover, but the park is still quite extensive - you will definitely have a full safari even on the smaller amount of land here. A small reserve also means that there is less area to cover to find the maximum number of animals. Don’t worry about there not being “enough” to see because “small” for a game reserve is quite large by any standards.

      I had contacted Schotia once before leaving for Africa, and I found them rather difficult to get in touch with. I didn’t try to hard, but I believe I was very fortunate to have someone else call and make arrangements for me as they are so busy that it can be difficult to get in touch with them. It seems like they have a good arrangement with most accommodation options in the area, so most visitors can ask at their hotel about booking if they don’t want to try and make contact themselves.

      It is really great that Schotia is busy enough to be able to constantly take on solo travelers; if you are traveling alone, I would highly recommend this since they always have tours


      going out and you won’t be rejected for being a solo traveler! There are several other tour itineraries other than the lion night drive that I took, and they can take you to nearby Addo Elephant Park, too.

      I was advised to arrive about half an hour early for the tour, but a full half an hour is not really necessary. Although it’s advisable, don’t worry, they will not leave without you if you show up fifteen minutes early instead! The process to sign up is actually quite fast, and once I had parked, it only took me about five minutes to sign some papers, go over a few rules and pay. The cost for the tour is approximately $100 with a small discount if you pay in cash (South African Rands.) After signing in and being assigned a tour guide, I had a moment to grab coffee and biscuits - we still waited at least another fifteen to twenty minutes after I had finished my food, which didn’t bother me but I think guests should know that they will not be left if they don’t get there a full half hour beforehand!

      The tour itself was fantastic. You travel in a Land Rover with seats set high up to look out over the open roof and through the open “windows” to the sides. You can fit about four people per row, so not everyone will get a window seat. There is also a seat up front for solo travelers which I got to ride in. It was nice to have such a clear view to the side, but I wasn’t up in the air to see out over the car like the other guests. There is also an outside seat on the hood of the car where guests can take turns riding to get ...


      • an up-close look at the wildlife - until you run into anything dangerous like rhinos and lions.

        Our tour guide was friendly enough, although he seemed more interested in speaking with the guests he had toured with before. He made a few jokes here and there, and he was full of information about the animals in the reserve as well as the species in general. The tour guides communicate with each other since there are two tours running at once which means they help each other find the animals! He found us the rhinos first, and then we found the male lion who led us to the two females and her cubs later that night. In addition to those fantastic sightings, we saw a mother, father and baby elephant up close, many zebras, a few giraffes and plenty of antelope/wildebeest/springbok/etc. We actually came quite close to seeing a kill, but unfortunately, the lions never made the attack. Where else do you get so close to lions in their natural setting?! It was fantastic!

        You won’t go hungry on this safari, either. We stopped first for snacks - cookies, juices, tea, etc. after about an hour and a half (after the rhino sighting); it also gave everyone a chance to use the restrooms! After we spotted the lions, we went to a beautiful little fire pit and dining area for dinner. The fire was a wonderful relief in the winter as it was quite cold and it gave ample opportunity for the two tour groups to socialize which I enjoyed. Afterwards, we were shown to tables and sent to a buffet of food which included corn, potatoes, salad and some carving meats. I think there was one more vegetable, but I have to admit as a vegetarian, I was a bit disappointed with the food selection.

        Maybe I should have told them ahead of time, but the food for me was only mediocre because I didn’t eat half of it! You eat at a table with your tour group which gives you a nice opportunity to chat about the experience and whatever else. It’s a really warm atmosphere, at least my group was very friendly! They also serve dessert, and there is a cash bar stocked with beers, wines and Amarula! - my favorite South African liqueur.

        One quick criticism is finding your way to their office, where tours leave from. There is no physical address, just a PO Box for mail (which I included) and a map on their website of where they are located. I followed directions from the internet as well as had my GPS on, and I still got lost. It is located at the junction of two roads, and there is a sign pointing it out, but the sign is past the actual driveway so I tried to drive further up the road. It’s actually what made me late - I drove for about 5 minutes before turning around. The driveway also has a big gate that is very intimidating, but for anyone who goes, just know that they will automatically open it when you pull up. The big gate really IS Schotia!

        Overall, this place is a must-do if you’re in the Eastern Cape in my opinion. The experience is wonderful, you see TONS of animals, the tour guides are nice, the price is reasonable and you have a very interactive experience with other guests. Even though it’s a bit hard to find and the food is mediocre, this will definitely be an experience to remember - even if only for the amazing view of the African night sky you will get riding in the Land Rover.




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    The review was published as it's written by reviewer in July, 2012. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 3825071586300631/k2311a0725/7.25.12
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