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Makalali River Lodge

Makalali River Lodge

Makalali Conservancy

Makalali River Lodge  Location Map

Makalali River Lodge is situated on the banks of the Makhutswi River. This 5* lodge consists of 3 camps that have 6 luxury suites each. All the camps are private yet within easy access of one another, featuring a plunge pool, boma plus enclosed dining and lounge area. Each camp can accommodate up to 12 guests.

The lodge is located in the 26,000 hectare Makalali Private Game Reserve, close to the mighty Drakensberg Mountains west of the Kruger Park. The Reserve boasts the ‘Big Five’ – lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo and other characteristic species sucha as cheetah, wild dog, giraffe, zebra and kudu.

Makalali has a number of activities offer, including morning or afternoon game drives in an open safari vehicle, guided bush walks, hot air balloon rides that coincide with the game drives and visits to the The Cheetah Breeding facility. golfing excursions to the Hans Merensky Golf Course next to the Kruger National Park can also be arranged.

Game drives on open safari vehicles seating just 6 people and guided walks provide you with the chance to see some of the most rare and spectacular species of wildlife in the whole of the African continent.

Dining here is a culinary adventure. The cuisine is a combination of regional African cuisine which represents a melting pot of cooking styles that have evolved over the centuries of exploration on this great continent. The setting is casual and relaxed, with the chefs providing an array of dining experiences, from dinner in the bush to the legendary ‘boma dinner’ under the stars. Other options include the indoor-outdoor dining areas where guests can enjoy a plated dinner or more casual family style dining with other guests.

All suites have an en-suite bathroom which includes an indoor and outdoor shower, bath and fireplace. Each suite has a raised, private timber viewing deck (sala) offers spectacular views over the Makhutswi River from which to observe the birdlife and game - and also is the ultimate spot for private lunches or dinners.

Guest can visit the spa in the main lodge, which offers a variety of therapeutic treatments, assured to restore mind body and soul, unwind and take in the echoes of the African bush.

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Rates Include

All meals; the Conservation Levy; and 2 daily game drives are included.

Children Policy

Children of any age are welcome. Rates available on request.

Bush knowledge course for children.

As children can enjoy lighter and smaller meals, the menu has therefore been catered to their specific needs. There is a has a choice of all their favourite foods to satisfy their taste buds. The chefs prepare appetising meals using fresh, healthy ingredients and these include favourites like: fish & chips, spaghetti bolognaise, hamburgers, roast chicken with rice and pizza. Please liaise with the Camp Manager / Chef to arrange your children’s meals.

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Makalali River Lodge Location.

Directions For Drivers

Directions from Hoedspruit to Makalali Private Game Lodge: From Hoedspruit take the R527 towards Mashishing (previously Lydenberg). Follow the road till you reach the Tzaneen turn off and turn right here (R36). Follow this road over the Oliphants River, slowly through The Oaks village, then past the Phalaborwa/Mica road, and turn immediately right at the Makalali sign and onto a dirt road (Gravelotte D202). You will then come to a boom gate, proceed through the boom. Then follow this dirt road for another 9 km and turn right into the Makalali Game Reserve Gate. The main Gate to reception is a further 11 km  (30 min) in the Reserve.

Directions from Hazyview: At the 4-way stop in Hazyview, take the turn off towards Sabie, and go through Sabie towards Graskop. Go through Graskop toward God's Window, and at the T-Junction turn right towards the Abel Erasmus Pass. Go through the JG Srtijdom tunnel and take a left turn on the R36 towards Tzaneen. Then turn right onto the Gravelotte Road and continue for about 10 km until you see the Makalalai stone pillars. 

Directions from Johannesburg: Take the N1 North towards Pretoria, and then take the N4 East to eMalahleni (previously Witbank) and onwards to Belfast (Belfast to Pretoria approx 240 km). Turn left off the Highway to Belfast. In Belfast, turn right at Belfast Toyota onto the Dullstroom/Mashishing (previously Lydenberg) Road (R540). At the T-Junction (R540 & R36) turn left to Mashishing (previously Lydenberg). In Mashishing at the Ohrigstad sign, turn left and follow the main road of Mashishing (De Clerq Street) on the Ohrigstad road (R36). Follow the R36 through Ohrigstad and through the Strijdom Tunnel. Turn left towards Tzaneen (still R36). There is a Total Garage on your left - this is also your last petrol stop before the lodge. Follow the road over Olifants River, past the Oaks (local village) and past Phalaborwa /Mica turnoff (approx 10 km) and follow Makalali signs. Turn right at Gravelotte turnoff, this road becomes a gravel road. Proceed through the boom gate and travel 17 km on the gravel road to the Makalali Main Gate on your right hand side.

General Information For Guests

The rooms are all equipped with Wi-Fi.

All the camps have access to the main lodge spa and curio shop.

There are mini bars in the rooms which are included in the rate – beer, wine, softs drinks, water are stocked once a day.

Activities available nearby and offsite include game drives and guided bush walks. 

All game viewing vehicles have a maximum capacity of 6 guests.

There is a therapist on request for a variety of soothing treatments.

A laundry service is available (additional cost).

Babysitting services are also available (additional cost).

Credit cards (Visa, MasterCard and Amex) are accepted.


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If you're not sure which place might be best for your own trip then either give us a call or get in touch via the website, and we'd be delighted to run through the options with you.

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