Bushman Sands comprises 40km2 of former farmland. The reserve is malaria free and has a variety of impressive wildlife. There are also thousands of years old Bushman rock art paintings located on the reserve. The 2km2 New Years Dam is located within the reserve and is perfect for sunset cruises on which guests can spot wildlife such as elephant and antelope. Originally built to serve steam trains running though the region, the dam now helps sustain the area’s wildlife amidst the harsh Eastern Cape landscape.
Bushman Sands is situated just outside Alicedale. Located an hour from Port Elizabeth, Alicedale was an important railway town until steam trains were sidelined in the 1980s. Since then the town has decayed, with high unemployment and poverty wreaking havoc on its fragile infrastructure.
In 2003 the construction of the Bushman Sands Reserve marked the rebirth of Alicedale. Although it’s still early days, the reserve has ushered in the hope of creating sustainable growth and bringing new investment to the area. Should you chose to visit the reserve, you will be guided by one of Alicedale’s previously unemployed citizens. All rangers currently guiding tourists were unemployed until the birth of Bushman Sands.
There is now a luxury hotel at Alicedale, as well as a unique golf course designed by South African golfing legend Gary Player. Bushman Sands borders on Shamwari’s wilderness area, and is a ten minutes drive from the Lobengula Gate at Shamwari.