The Eastern Cape has seen some busy activities in this past month with the Grahamstown Arts Festival having kick-started the events which have followed in its wake. Stats at the festival recorded that some 218 000 visitors checked in at the Arts Festival.
This past weekend, The Stanton’s who own the magnificent Inkwenkwezi Game Reserve and Lodge hosted the 13th ‘Wild Coast Jikeleza Festival’ on their beautiful property, 30 klms east of East London. This is a sequel to last weekend’s ‘Christmas in July Festival’ at Hogsback. Both events attracted thousands of visitors and the organisers said that the attendance and participation exceeded all expectations.
Graham Stanton, founder of the Wild Coast Jikeleza Association and co-owner of Inkwenkwezi Game Reserve, was motivated to start the annual Jikeleza Festival and Jikeleza Association by a trip along the KZN Midlands Meander 13 years ago. ‘Jikeleza’, a Xhosa name means ‘Meander’ and the tourism area of Jikeleza starts from Floradale outside East London and continues along the East Coast Resorts Road.
The Jikeleza Marketing movement is responsible for having created some 500 full-time jobs for local folk.
The festival attracts visitors from Port Elizabeth, Queenstown Mthatha and of course, East London and surrounding areas.
A little background
Inkwenkwezi, was a manifested dream of the Umtata born Stanton brothers, Graham and Keith.
Some time after Graham matriculated, he moved to the CintsaValley and bought portion of the property on which Inkwenkwezi is now situated with the idea of developing a game farm.
Over the years, stocking of the game park has resulted in there being over 40 species of game, including sightings of leopard which have been encouraged by the buck/game to return to the area.
One of the Big-5 reserves however taking into consideration the uniqueness of the reserve’s locality, being adjacent to the coast there is also the possibility of spotting the Southern Wright Whale which would entitle this magical property to be called a Big-6 Reserve!
Inkwenkwezi started off employing 10 staff members and over the years, as the reserve has grown they now employ 80 people with these numbers likely to grow as the reserve develops even further. Local crafters are also encouraged to provide the on site Curio Shop with locally made items, native to the area.
Inkwenkwezi Private Game Reserve is a 4-star property offering luxury tented accommodation, tastefully appointed with all mod-cons and en-suite bathrooms plus 25 en-suite bedrooms in the Lodge.
4-star Conference facilities seat up to 120 delegates while the Lapa, used for out-door conferences and events seats up to 30 people. A relaxing haven in the bush where traditional and Western cuisine is offered to resident guests.
Each family in residence in the luxury tented camp is served right royally by a dedicated tour guide/ranger who attends to all one’s needs from collecting guests at their tent and taking them to the Lodge or the Lapa for their meals to taking them on a personal game drive throughout the magnificent reserve, home to Lion, Elephant, Giraffe, many species of Buck, Zebra, Cheetah, Warthog and many bird species.
Activities on site include guided game drives, guided mountain biking, guided quad bike tours, and the tour of the Elephant Sanctuary, a highlight of one’s visit to Inkwenkwezi where visitors may interact with the elephants, feed them, touch and smell them. An experience you will never forget, close up and personal with one of the world’s greatest and largest animals.
Article written by Rosalie Howard, The Venue Pages.
- Conference Venues Hazyview (venuepages.co.za)