Shambala glory: Limpopo private game reserve voted best in the world

Luxury safari hotspot Shambala Private Game Reserve snapped up the title as the World’s Leading Private Game Reserve in the 2020 World Travel Awards.

South Africa is well known for its superior wildlife experiences and ranks highly as a safari destination, alongside other countries in East Africa which also offer similar experiences.

Shambala voted World’s Best Luxury Private Game Reserve

And this year Shambala Private Game Reserve, in the Limpopo province, snapped up first place on the prestigious annual travel awards’ list of the World’s Best Luxury Private Game Reserves ahead of three other nominees from the African continent:

  • Londolozi Private Game Reserve (in Sabi Sand Game Reserve in Kruger National Park);
  • Shamwari Game Reserve (Eastern Cape); and
  • Wolwedans Dune Lodge & Dune Camp (in Namibia).


The World Travel Awards was launched in 1993, as a way to acknowledge excellence across all sectors of the travel, tourism and hospitality sectors.

Throughout the course of the year, members of the public, as well as experts from within the travel, tourism and hospitality sectors can vote online for the contenders in the various award categories.


Shambala Private Game Reserve, a member of Leading Hotels of the World, is situated on 10,000ha in the Limpopo province, is a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Johannesburg. The reserve is located in the picturesque Waterberg Mountains and is home to a variety of fauna and flora species.

Guests can enjoy the African Bushveld, while given the opportunity to view the Big Five at the reserve.  The Waterberg is a malaria-free area, so guests do not need to take malaria precautions when planning trips to Shambala.  

“It is indeed a great honour to be recognised by the industry and our guests, and of course, I am standing here on behalf of my team,” Shambala executive director Anton Gillis said at the awards presentation.


This year has been an extremely challenging year for the travel, tourism and hospitality sectors, with a global slump in demand for tourism resulting from the COVID-19 restrictions which have limited the ability to travel.

Companies in the tourism and hospitality sector have faced many obstacles and shown tremendous resilience throughout the year. Winning awards during this period of time is remarkable, in light of the difficulties faced by many companies in the sector.

“Our world winners represent the best in global travel and tourism. They have all demonstrated remarkable resilience in a year of unprecedented challenges,” said Graham Cooke, the founder of the awards.


The record highs, in terms of the number of votes received, are a sign that there is a strong interest and desire to travel. This is promising for the tourism and hospitality sector which hopes to see a rapid recovery in the near future.

“The 2020 World Travel Awards programme received a record number of votes cast by the public. This shows the appetite for travel has never been stronger. With hope and a tourism bounce on the horizon, our industry can look forward to a resurgent and bright future,” Cooke added. Protection Status


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