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your home away from home
7 LUXURY SUITES &
A 2 BEDROOM MARULA SUITE
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timbavati game reserve

UNFORGETTABLE WILDLIFE
ENCOUNTERS
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the same warm and welcoming atmosphere with
AN ELEGANT NEW LOOK
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SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE
A WIDE RANGE OF ACTIVITIES
AVAILABLE
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GET UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL
HOME TO AFRICA'S BIG-5
AND MUCH MORE
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A WARM WELCOME TO MAKANYI LODGE

A truly special intimate lodge in the Big 5 Timbavati Private Nature Reserve

There is magic in the air when you enter your home from home in the bush, Makanyi Lodge.  It is not only the astonishing setting or the wondrous wildlife, it is also the unwavering passion and dedication that everyone involved in all aspects of the lodge share with those who join us.  Makanyi is an exceptional way of life that has held the same family and core team enthralled and empowered for the past 7 years, since launch.

As privileged custodians of this inspiring land, we are thrilled to share our knowledge and constant sense of wonder with you and are dedicated to creating the most memorable bespoke guest experience possible whilst respecting our natural environment and its incredible inhabitants. A stay at family owned Makanyi begins and ends with our guest’s happiness and, to this end, authenticity, attention to detail and total flexibility are paramount to every stay with us.

Located on the western edge of the Kruger National Park, an area that spans over 2.4 million hectares, the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve is incomparable in being easily accessible from main air and road access routes and yet still wild and unspoilt with fewer lodges and private homes than can be counted on one hand. This unique situation allows our guests the ultimate luxury of exploring this arresting habitat uninhibited by other tourist vehicles and in their own time – a rare and authentic safari experience. 

 We want you to love this place as much as we do, to take it to your heart and embrace a fuller understanding of nature and a deeper respect for its inhabitants, for we share their home.   Our greatest achievement is for you to leave us with not only an amazing photo album of all your wonderful sightings but also a deeper resonance in your heart that will stay with you forever.

Luxury Accommodation

Makanyi Lodge provides a graceful yet unobtrusive sanctuary of calm that goes a long way to rival the enchantment of the bush which embraces it.  Seven enormous suites and one sumptuous family suite blend seamlessly into their environment and offer the space and time to fully unwind: be that by relaxing on your suite’s deck with panoramic views of the bush and bustling dam beyond, curling up before a roaring fire in the evening chill or soaking up the unreal aura in a glorious pedestal bath.

A wide range of activities

There are many activities at Makanyi to indulge in and keep you busy and entertained throughout your stay. Most of these are offered by us and your guide will be happy to organize them for you at your request. 

A wide range of activities

There are many activities at Makanyi to indulge in and keep you busy and entertained throughout your stay. Most of these are offered by us and your guide will be happy to organize them for you at your request. 

Special events

Can you think of a better setting for your wedding, honeymoon or other special event? Perhaps a friends or family reunion where you can have the entire Lodge all to yourselves? Contact us for a quote for any of our packages below, or custom events and exclusive Lodge hire.

About the Timbavati Nature Reserve

In the early 1950’s a group of like-minded landowners realized that inappropriate land use could lead to habitat degradation and loss of wildlife for future generations. Working together, they formed the Timbavati Association in 1956, with the aim of preserving the natural integrity of the area.

Christine W
Christine W
2023-11-20
Fabulous Lodge From the moment we arrived i can't imagine that we would feel so at home and i would like to say a special thanks to Carl and Rondi for our fabulous drives and Armondo for making my husband his favourite tipple !! Everybody was amazing and i can't wait to come again Thankyou for making this an absolute trip of a lifetime.
Manuella
Manuella
2023-10-19
Experiência incrível de lua de mel essa foi a primeira vez que eu e meu marido fizemos um safári na África e posso garantir que ficar no Makanyi foi a escolha ideal. As instalações eram maravilhosas , o staff muito simpático e os guias excelentes, sabendo dar todas as instruções necessária e com vasto conhecimento da localidade e dos animais. Aqui, vimos leões, hienas, elefantes, zebras, girafas, búfalos… tudo! Na última noite prepararam um jantar à luz de vela e com rosas em nosso lodge que vai ficar para sempre em nossa memória. Obrigada!!
Lizzy
Lizzy
2023-09-14
Excellent We have just returned from our second stay at Makanyi as a family of six adults. We are lucky enough to have been on a number of safaris in the past and this is the first time we have returned to the same lodge, which is testament to how much we enjoyed it last year. Happily, in the last 12 months there have been some changes at the lodge (notably some decorating and the addition of a new barman) which have made the experience even better. Accommodation: the individual lodged are huge and really well decorated, as are the communal areas. Staff: the staff and the overall atmosphere and environment are brilliant. Everyone is so friendly and welcoming and the staff seem to genuinely love their jobs. Food: there is a good choice at each meal, particularly breakfast, and the quality is excellent. All of the included spirits and wines are of a good standard and the new addition of a cocktail barman has taken the bar and drink experience up a notch. Facilities: facilities include a small gym, a spa and a shop. The gym is very welcome after all the food and wine! All of the treatments at the spa are excellent and also very good value when compared to the European market. Game drives: the vehicles are well maintained and the drivers and trackers are excellent. We had Rico and Saki this year and loved all the drives they took us on. The game itself is probably more sparse than in some of the fenced in private reserves, but we still had some incredible sightings.
Cynthia W
Cynthia W
2023-08-17
Amazing safari lodge in every way This was a fabulous stay from beginning to end. It’s an intimate place with a caring staff ready to help make your safari experience the very best it can be. Our beautifully appointed room was spacious and super clean and the lodge facility was wonderful. The food was outstanding with thoughtful menus capitalizing on the abundant game plus other tried and true dishes. A big shout out to our guide Solomon and our tracker Sakkie. We established a great rapport and had so much fun with them. I think about our stay at Makanyi all the time and would love to come back here.
Kmd379
Kmd379
2023-08-04
Amazing experience, exceptional staff, will return What a wonderful place. Truly exceptional. Our room (pool suite) was gorgeous and huge. The beds were very comfy and had nice sheets. Nothing was too much trouble. We had such a wonderful adventure at Makanyi. Rico and Sakkie looked after us so well, Anja was a delight, Lillian always joyful, Distance with the drinks. Just in fact ever member of staff could not have been kinder. What Makanyi offer is truly amazing, from the comfort of the stay, the quality of food and the exemplary customer service. Just go, you will not regret it
ChrisF072271
ChrisF072271
2023-07-23
Makanyi Private Lodge - South Africa Safari Family Trip My family (Me, my wife and 3 sons (aged 13 x 2 and 15) had 3 nights recently at Makanyi. Wonderful experience from start to finish. When we arrived Lillian greeted us all (by name) even tho she'd never met us. We were made to feel so welcome. The service was exceptional. Both me and my wife had birthdays around this time and they made us a surprise cake and presented it to us at dinner. The game drives were amazing. Warren was our ranger and Robert our tracker. Both outstanding at their jobs. Warren was very informative about all aspects of the wildlife which made the drives more enjoyable. He was always determined to get us the best possible viewpoints of the animals that he could. After each drive he'd join the family for a drink or breakfast which we really enjoyed. The food was excellent as was the staff service. The lodge we had was fantastic - we even had monkeys as our neighbours! Because we got very close to the animals we got some excellent photos. We used Anja to purchase some hi-quality prints for our home and she was very helpful in this process. Overall we had a fantastic time and would highly recommend Makanyi. Chris Flynn Charlotte, NC
Anton G
Anton G
2023-07-18
A truly special place I am now considered a repeat guest at Makanyi. I first visited 7 years ago and now again. Makanyi is simply heaven on earth. Jess, Carmen and Rics are the most perfect hosts. Over time they have inculcated a very special culture amongst the entire team. Karl took us on a game drive, I believe this is what truly sets Makanyi apart. The vehicle was in show room condition, the game viewing was sensational and the photo's on my phone will forever remain a lifelong memory. I will be frequenting my gallery when I am back in the city. The lodge has recently undergone a complete refurbishment, it's more than perfect. Makanyi is ideal for a solo or couple retreat. If I was a digital nomad - this would be home.
NKG54
NKG54
2023-06-13
Just Amazing Celebrating 35 years of marriage and travelling without the grown-up kids, my wife and I wanted to go on a safari trip in South Africa. A holiday of a lifetime. Arranged by Heidi Bedford at Pembury Tours (highly recommended) we recently spent three nights at Makanyi Lodge and three nights at another lodge about 3 hours’ drive away on the edge of the Kruger National Park. "Excellent" doesn't come close to describing our experience at Makanyi Lodge. Our game driver/guide Warren, and tracker Robert, were both very experienced and calm, informative and welcoming. We saw an amazing variety of animals, getting very close up to the wildlife as the Land Rover was able to go off track and into the bush to follow or find any number of different species. Given that the lodge is in a private game reserve, alongside a select number of others, we never felt crowded and were able to see the animals at close quarters without crowding by other jeeps or safari cruisers. An eighteen strong Lion Pride taking down a Zebra, a Leopard in a bush one day and in a tree the next, eating a Civet, Elephants (so many Elephants) a troop of Hyenas, amazing birdlife, Buffalo, Giraffe, a huge variety of Antelope, Impala, Kudu, Water Buck, Steenbok. Warren and Robert even pointed out a Chameleon on the edge of a tree branch as we were returning to the lodge on an evening game drive, then another and another. I could go on. Memories to last and last. Warming tea/coffee or hot chocolate after two hours on a morning drive. In the evening “sundowners” off the Land Rover with gin and tonics or anything you wanted, usually by a hippo pool listening to the night closing in on the African bush. The food, drink and general ambiance in the lodge made us feel very welcome and pampered so that in between game drives (morning and evening) we could relax and watch the neighbourhood as any number of animals strolled by near to the local Hippo Pool in sight of our private deck area. Equally good views from the main lodge deck where lunch and dinner were served. We could have had private dining but were entirely happy to be in the main lodge for our meals. The bar for a pre-dinner drink and convivial chat over a glass of whatever you wanted was warm and relaxing, exchanging tales of sightings with other travellers and guests. On a scale of one – 10, I would give this place a score of 11. If we had the time available and the money to spare, we would be back in a heartbeat. A big THANK YOU to everyone at Makanyi for making our trip so memorable. We will be back, I don't know when, but a once-in-a-lifetime holiday must be repeated.
mrsnicolanoel
mrsnicolanoel
2023-05-18
Truly incredible safari experience A wonderful safari experience. Excellent lodge with delicious food. All staff were truly amazing, Distance always had a smile for us and Johannes kept us safe at night. Solomon and Saki gave us the most special animal sightings and their knowledge was incredible. The accommodation was of a super high standard. Would highly recommend.
Evan H
Evan H
2023-05-08
A dream experience made even better by the staff and property Going on Safari was always a dream for my wife and I. So when we decided to go to South Africa for our honeymoon we knew we needed to find the perfect lodge for a few nights. Makanyi was more than perfect. It was an experience that far exceeded anything we could ask for our first time on Safari. We arrived right after a renovation took place on the property, and they did a fantastic job. There are only a max of 16 people at any given time at the lodge, which makes it a very cozy and intimate setting. The staff were exceptional. They took care of every need we had, created a romantic room turn down, did laundry, booked spa appointments, did professional game drive photography shoots, and cooked some of the best meals I have ever had. Our safari guide and tracker were fantastic. They took their work seriously, but were so easy to be friendly with. They truly made our game drives some of the most memorable travel experiences I will ever have. It was truly an emotional experience leaving this place. I am not too sure when when we will be back at Makanyi, but I do know that we will go at some point. If you are looking for a great safari lodge in the Kruger area please consider this incredible lodge.