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Mantis Founder’s Lodge

A Mantis Eco Escape Experience



Where it all began

Mantis Founder’s Lodge offers classic hospitality that is focused on detailed service. This 6 suite safari lodge is in the Eastern Cape, just one hour from Port Elizabeth, next to Shamwari Private Game Reserve on which Founder’s Lodge guests have their Big Five game drives. Founder’s offers a luxurious safari experience with a flair of romance for couples, and an intimate social environment for families and friends travelling together.

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If the walls of Founder’s Lodge could speak; they would tell tales of late-night conversations between Adrian Gardiner and the late Dr Ian Player. The land you see around Founder’s was nurtured back to life after centuries of abuse. From cornerstone species to Dung Beetles; an entire ecosystem was worked back into place – this was the pioneering work of Adrian and the Mantis team, and the beginning of ecotourism in the Eastern Cape.

Mantis Founder’s Lodge is situated alongside the world-renowned Shamwari Private Game Reserve which Adrian Gardiner created. Founder’s guests enjoy full access to Big Five game viewing on the 20 000-hectare reserve as well as intimate bushwalks in the 400-hectare Founder’s concession.

Founder’s Lodge is a celebration of essential beginnings in sustainable tourism, culture, conservation, and community inclusion. This lodge is a monument to conservation history, and it offers soul-reviving safaris in the place where Adrian Gardiner pioneered private game reserves and eco-tourism in the Eastern Cape. Founder’s Lodge was designed to give guests a sense of Mantis-ness. isiXhosa artefacts from centuries ago, and artistic displays of the evolution of indigenous species.

Standing at the heart of Founder’s Lodge, take a moment to place yourself in this piece of Africa. Breathe in the smell of indigenous plants, hear the calming water feature and birdsong. This is the tranquil courtyard garden that connects the social spaces to the six guest suites.

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classic or contemporary

Founder’s Lodge is intimate with only 6 suites that are accessed easily from the main guest areas, each is a gateway to privacy and exclusive down-time. Earth yourself! Take off your shoes, step off your private patio and onto the lush grass with your eyes fixed on hilly horizons. This is how you ‘earth’ yourself, and it’s best done with a cup of tea and Chef Louis’ homemade biscuits – you’ll find a fresh batch in your room.


Every food experience is unique



Nestled between Port Elizabeth and Grahamstown, Mantis Founder’s Lodge is the perfect escape into the wilderness. Enjoy tranquillity away from the bustling city and be reminded of the pristine beauty of the natural world. Situated adjacent to Shamwari Game Reserve, where Founders’ guests experience Big Five Game Drives.

Access: Follow the N2 east out of Port Elizabeth, heading towards Grahamstown bypassing the R342 turn-off
Continue along the N2, cross the Bushman’s River until you reach the Sidbury sign
Turn left on the gravel road and follow this road for approximately 15km until you reach a T-junction
At the T-junction, turn left and travel 500m
Turn left and follow sign boards to Founder’s Lodge

(Visited 2,031 times, 11 visits today)
Sidbury, 6131, Port Elizabeth, South Africa


Founder's Safari Adventure

A plethora of species to spot

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Big Seven Safari

The gateway to the only Big Seven Safari area in the world.

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Isipho Charity Trust

Mantis Community Impact

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Optional experiences

Romantic Destinations

A lifetime of adventures!

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Mantis Safaris

journey into the soul of africa

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History, Art & Culture

Experience the cultures of the world

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Encounters with Nature

Encounter nature in an ethical manner

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